We all know that the Mediterranean and the traditional Greek diet is a healthy diet that can protect from various chronic diseases but also lead to weight loss.
A new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln conducted by agricultural economists showed that if one shifts from an American westernized diet to a Greek one, they could potentially lose weight and drop their Body Mass Index (BMI) by 2.57 points.
We know that calories in-calories out is the most important factor in weight loss, but we also know that highly processed foods, particularly starches and grains, that are prominent in a westernized diet, can affect our body negatively and promote weight gain. Studies have also shown that the type of fat can affect fat accumulation in the body. Studies have shown that saturated fat can lead to more belly fat compared to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the ones found in olive oil, nuts and fatty fish). Therefore it is not only quantity but also quality of calories when it comes to weight loss.
In addition, the Greek diet in particular, based mainly on vegetables and olive oil, is not a high carbohydrate diet, but a moderate carbohydrate diet with moderate fat intake mostly in the form of monounsaturated fats.
The study also showed that one could save a good deal of money through saved healthcare costs but also environmental costs. But generally the Mediterranean diet is cheap. An older study published Journal of Environmental Nutrition showed that following a Mediterranean diet resulted in more than 50% savings on food spending. The study included 83 clients who were recruited from emergency food pantries and low-income housing sites in Rhode island.
According to the researchers not only did the study participants cut their food spending by more than 50%, but they also gained some health benefits; approximately half of all participants lost weight, which was not a study objective, and there was an overall decrease in body mass index.
More reasons to adopt a Mediterranean diet, it’s good for your body and your wallet.