Eat as much as you need and not gain weight? Sounds too good to be true.
But in a study published in the April 23 issue of the journal Obesity, researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine found that nonhuman primates on a Mediterranean diet chose not to eat all the food available to them and maintained a normal weight.
"By comparison, the animals on a Western diet ate far more than they needed and gained weight," said the study's principal investigator, Carol A. Shively, Ph.D., professor of pathology at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
This is the first preclinical trial to measure the effects of long-term consumption of a Western versus Mediterranean diet on obesity-related diseases under controlled experimental conditions, Shively said.
Past research on the impacts of diet type on caloric intake was to a great extent dependent on human population studies that depended on self-detailed food intake, which is often unreliable, or rodent studies with nonhuman-type diets.
The Wake Forest School of Medicine study was a 38-month (proportionate to around 9 years for people) counteractive action preliminary. The eating regimens were defined to intently reflect human weight control plans with protein and fat got to a great extent from animal sources in the Western diet and primarily from plant sources in the Mediterranean diet. However, the two diets contained comparable proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrates.
There were 38 moderately aged females in the study which were randomized to either the Mediterranean or Western diet. The two gatherings were coordinated on their benchmark weight and body fat and were allowed to eat as much as they wanted throughout the study.
"What we found was that the group on the Mediterranean diet actually ate fewer calories, had lower body weight and had less body fat than those on the Western diet," Shively said.
The discoveries give the main exploratory proof that a Mediterranean eating protected against increases in consumption, obesity and prediabetes compared to a Western diet.
The Mediterranean diet also protected against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, known as NAFLD. NAFLD can cause cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer,growth, and require a transplant. Obesit is a noteworthy reason for NAFLD. By 2030, one-third of grown-ups in this nation are relied upon to have the disease, and it is the fastest growing reason for liver transplants in young adults in the United States.
"Diet composition is a critically important contributor to the U.S. public health, and unfortunately those at the greatest risk for obesity and related costly chronic diseases also have the poorest quality diets," Shively said.
"The Western diet was developed and promoted by companies who want us to eat their food, so they make it hyper-palatable, meaning it hits all our buttons so we overconsume. Eating a Mediterranean diet should allow people to enjoy their food and not overeat, which is such a problem in this country.
"We hope our findings will encourage people to eat healthier foods that are also enjoyable, and improve human health."
A weakness of the study was the modest sample size.