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Mediterranean diet may be a better way of tackling obesity than calorie counting

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According to British experts, a Mediterranean diet may be a better way of tackling obesity than calorie counting.

Writing in the Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ), the doctors said a Mediterranean diet quickly reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

And they said it may be better than low-fat diets for sustained weight loss.

The PMJ editorial argues a focus on food intake is the best approach, but it warns crash dieting is harmful.

Signatories of the piece included the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Prof. Terence Stephenson, and Dr. Mahiben Maruthappu.

They criticize the weight-loss industry for focusing on calorie restriction rather than “good nutrition”.

And they make the case for a Mediterranean diet, including fruit and vegetables, nuts and olive oil, citing research suggesting it quickly reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and may be better than low-fat diets for sustained weight loss.


The lead author, cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra, says the scientific evidence is overwhelming.

Inspired by traditional cuisine of countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy, the Mediterranean diet has long been associated with good health and fit hearts.

Typically, it consists of an abundance of vegetables, fresh fruit, wholegrain cereals, olive oil and nuts, as well as poultry and fish, rather than lots of red meat and butter or animal fats.

The article also says adopting a Mediterranean diet after a heart attack is almost three times as effective at reducing deaths as taking cholesterol-lowering statin medication.