Mediterranean, fasting and paleo diets could boost weight loss

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Scientists from the University of Otago found there were some weight loss and health benefits for overweight adults who followed the Mediterranean, Intermittent Fasting, and Paleo diets.

The research is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and was conducted by Dr. Melyssa Roy et al.

In this study, people were given dietary guidelines at the start and then continued with their diets in the real world while living normally.

Most of the 250 participants (54 percent) chose the fasting diet, while 27 percent chose the Mediterranean and 18 percent the paleo.

After 12 months, the Mediterranean diet had the best retention rate with 57 percent of participants continuing, 54 percent still fasting and 35 percent still on the paleo diet.

After 12 months, the average weight loss was 4.0kg for those choosing the fasting diet, 2.8kg for the Mediterranean diet, and 1.8kg for the paleo diet.

Reduced systolic blood pressure was found among those participating in the fasting and Mediterranean diets, together with reduced blood sugar levels in the Mediterranean diet.

The team says the amount of weight loss was modest—on average two to four kilograms for the 250 participants, but for those choosing the fasting or Mediterranean diets, clinically big improvements in blood pressure were also seen.

The evidence shows that for some people the Mediterranean, fasting, or paleo (Paleolithic) diets can be “healthful, beneficial ways to eat”.

This work supports the idea that there isn’t a single ‘right’ diet—there is a range of options that may suit different people and be effective.

The team says like the Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting, and paleo diets can also be valid healthy eating approaches—the best diet is the one that includes healthy foods and suits the individual.

The Mediterranean diet encouraged the consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole-grain bread and cereals, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil with moderate amounts of fish, chicken, eggs, and dairy and red meat once a week or less.

The paleo diet consists of mostly less-processed foods with an emphasis on eating fruit and vegetables, animal proteins, nuts, coconut products, and extra-virgin olive oil.

While “original” Paleo diets strictly exclude all legumes, dairy, and grains, this study used a modified version including some dairy as well as up to one serving daily of legumes and grain-based food.

If you care about weight loss, please read studies that daily avocado may help reduce inflammation in overweight people, and this green diet could boost weight loss, and protect heart.

For more information about weight loss, please see recent studies about weight loss food myths you need to know, and results showing why diet drinks make you gain more weight.

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