Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mediterranean Diet Shown to Improve Health and Boost Weight Loss Results

(Article first published as Think Mediterranean to Drive Your New Year Weight Loss Goal on Technorati.)
Overweight and obesity are known to dramatically increase the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia. Excess body fat fuels the flames of systemic inflammation and the release of dangerous chemical messengers or cytokines that damage the delicate inner lining of our arteries and set the stage for vascular dysfunction. As we pass age 35, there is a natural tendency to gain weight due to slowing metabolism, unchanged calorie intake and less physical activity. Following a Mediterranean style diet can help to curb weight gain, improve health and boost your weight loss efforts.

Alarming Study Projects 42% Obesity Rate by 2050
Researchers have been encouraged that the obesity rate has stabilized at 34% over the past 5 years. The number of overweight and obese individuals has also remained steady at just under 70% for the same period. New research released in the journal PLoS Computational Biology uses statistical projections from the Framingham Heart Study to suggest that the upward trend will continue over the next 40 years to peak at 42% of men, women and children registering as clinically obese.

Obesity Explodes Over the Past Century
In the early 1900`s 1 in 150 people were obese. By 1971 the obesity rate climbed to 14%. 40 years later that number has jumped to 34%. Something has changed during this time period to create such an explosion in body fat accumulation. We are still the same genetically diverse people we were 100 years ago, yet our metabolism has been dramatically altered toward fat storage. While physical activity may play a small role in the increase, there is one much more compelling reason we`re exposed to every day.

Understanding the Real Cause of Obesity
Our diet has been altered considerably over the past 100 years. Natural foods eaten raw or minimally processed have given way to fast convenience items scientifically altered in a lab to appeal to our innate taste for sugar, fat and salt. Fast releasing carbs cause blood sugar to remain high most of the day. Eventually insulin becomes resistant to excess glucose and is no longer able to effectively usher sugar from the blood and into cells. Our grandparents didn`t have this problem, and while they did put on small amounts of weight as they aged it didn’t lead to early onset obesity commonly seen today.

Mediterranean Diet Could Hold the Key to Controlling Weight
The results of new research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that a Mediterranean style diet can help to keep unnatural weight gain in check. Study participants that adhered closest to a diet consisting largely of vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, seeds and monounsaturated fats such as olive oil were 10% less likely to become overweight or obese and had 26% lower odds of packing on more than 11 pounds over the course of 4 years. This is because the Mediterranean diet is much higher in fiber and provides a feeling of satiety while eliminating sugary junk foods that raise blood sugar and cause dangerous belly fat.

Overweight and obesity is one of the leading preventable causes of chronic disease and death. The past century has seen the problem grow to the point where it will threaten nearly half of the adult population. The solution is a low sugar and carbohydrate diet based on the Mediterranean way of eating, monitoring calories and ensuring adequate physical activity. Small changes to diet and lifestyle today will result in many healthy years later in life.


Anonymous said...

Relative risk does not provide sufficient information to know anything. Without knowing absolute risk and the range, there is little information. And does anybody really know what a Mediterranean diet is?

hyperhydrosis said...

Health and therapeutic benefits of olive oil is first mentioned by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. For centuries, the nutritional benefits, olive oil cosmetics and medicines have been recognized by the peoples of the Mediterranean.