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Researchers Find Ways to Benefit From Eating High-Fat Mediterranean Diet

Update Date: Jul 20, 2016 07:30 AM EDT
Aspects Of The Mediterranean Diet
NETANYA, ISRAEL - FEBRUARY 22: Various types of olives are displayed for sale at a delicatessen in the local produce market February 22, 2006 in Netanya in central Israel. Olives and olive oil, a source of monounsaturated fat, which is protective against heart disease, and also a source of antioxidants including vitamin E, are staple foods in Mediterranean countries. The Mediterranean diet, a term used to broadly describe the eating habits of the people of the region, is widely believed to be responsible for the low rates of chronic heart disease in the populations of the 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. (Photo : Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

Healthy diets can now include non-restricted, high fat but only if it is a healthy, Mediterranean one, researchers claimed in a recent study. Published in Annals of Internal Medicine, the study finds that people need not curb any high-fat intake if they consumed Mediterranean diet.

Primarily based on approximately 56 different studies that examined the relationships between diet and diseases, the study concludes that people who ate the Mediterranean diet have shown a significant decrease in terms of risk on various chronic illnesses.

“Limited evidence suggests that a Mediterranean diet with no restriction on fat intake may reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes mellitus but may not affect all-cause mortality,” researchers said in the paper published on Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study highlighted its limitations in its methodology to reach its theory, pointing out having had just “few trials,” and “low or insufficient strength of evidence for outcomes,” the researchers expressed confidence that high fat intake of Mediterranean diet can be good for the body.

“The evidence that we reviewed from the past 50 years or so showed that people who consumed a Mediterranean diet with no restriction on fat intake have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes,” the lead author of the study, Dr. Hanna Bloomfield, explains in a video.
What then is Mediterranean diet?

Researchers explain that Mediterranean diet consists of monounsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio. It also involves eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, legumes, grains and fish in daily meals. Anyone can also enjoy a bit of red wine, combined with meat and dairy products in moderation.

The recent findings also debunk decades' long perception on fat intake, particularly in the United States.
“Healthy diets can include a lot of fat, especially if it’s healthy fat, and the emphasis in the United States at least for the past thirty years has been it’s important to reduce fat, fat of all kind, fat’s the bad thing. It turns out that the obesity epidemic in this country is probably more due to our increased consumption of refined grains and added sugar,” experts claimed, according to Medical Daily.

Researchers maintain, however, that while one benefit from high-fat, Mediterranean diet, the consumers should still take into consideration the individual’s body type and metabolism.

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