A new study, published in the journal Obesity has found that a Mediterranean-style diet – which is based on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts and oily fish – may deter people from eating more than they need.
The study measured the effects of long-term consumption of a Western versus Mediterranean diet with nonhuman primates, over a 38-month period (equivalent to about 9 years for humans) and found that those 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.
The findings provide the first experimental evidence that a Mediterranean diet protected against increases in consumption, obesity and pre-diabetes compared to a Western diet.
Plant sources provided the protein and fat in the Mediterranean diet, and animal sources provided the nutrients in the Western diet.
What to eat a more Med-style diet?
Start by switching some of your animal based sources of fats and protein, for plant-based sources
The best plant sources of protein
Tofu and tempe
Lentils and chickpeas
Peanuts and almonds
The best plant sources of healthy fats:
Nuts: walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews
Seeds: chia, sunflower