A recently ended study is showing that natural vegetable fats may have a healthy effect on the human body. Vegetable fats are present in olive oil, fish, and nuts. These foods are all part of various Mediterranean diets. Also, olive oil, fish, and nuts are all well known for having significant health benefits.
The study took place in Spain and gathered data over a five-year span. It surveyed 7,400 men and women, of ages ranging from 55 to 80. The people enlisted in the study all had either type 2 diabetes or a high heart risk. 90 percent of its members were obese at the beginning of the survey.
The study imposed one of three potential diets:
- An unrestricted-calorie Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil;
- An unrestricted-calorie Mediterranean diet rich in nuts;
- A low-fat diet as prescribed by authorized dietitians.
After its five-year duration, the research data gathered from the study’s surveys had the following conclusions:
Mediterranean diets and low-fat diets have had similar end-result values in regards to body weight and waist circumference. The Mediterranean diets, however, are abundant in vegetable fats and have several increased health benefits.
The olive oil-based diet increased the fat intake to 42 percent from 40 percent. The average lost body weight was approximately 2 pounds. Waist circumference increased by one-third of an inch.
The nuts-based diet increased the fat intake to 42 percent as well. The average lost body weight was close to 0.9 pounds. Waist circumference increased by one-seventh of an inch.
Finally, the low-fat diet’s fat intake decreased to 37 percent. The average lost body weight was nearly 1.3 pounds. Waist circumference increased by one-half of an inch.
The studies’ researchers firmly believe that the current popular fearful attitude towards vegetable (healthy) fats is one of the reasons why the ongoing 4-decade-long battle against obesity did not yield positive results. The rate of obesity has unfortunately risen.
Low-fat diets did not prove to be an efficient lifestyle. In situations where they were employed, the health status of those individuals was confirmed to decline slowly, even though they lost weight.
People wishing to stay healthy and lose weight in a healthy way are advised to avoid foods rich in starch, sugar, salt of trans-fat. To be avoided are also the primary sources of unhealthy fats such as butter, processed meat, sweetened beverages, desserts and fast food.
The modern scientific evidence is supporting the moderate gain of calories from fruits, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, vegetables, beans, and fish. Many of these foods are part of several Mediterranean diets.
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