According to a new German study, you can follow a modified Mediterranean diet and still enjoy good health benefits.
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most popular and effective types of diet in the world. Numerous studies have cited its ability to reduce cardiovascular disease and hypertension risk by adopting a diet that is high in fiber and monounsaturated fat (good fat), both of which can prevent the buildup of bad cholesterol. Too much bad cholesterol can lead to the formation of plaque deposits in arteries and veins, blocking blood supply and increasing blood pressure.
The diet, which is popular in such as Italy, Spain, and Greece, mainly consists of extensive amount of fruits and vegetables, some healthy fat, legumes, seafood, and lean poultry. Meat is allowed but only for about 2 times per week and in controlled amounts. Small amounts of red wine are allowed.
Now, a new German study suggests it is possible to use more local ingredients and still lose weight and decrease the risk of mortality. This type of plan is then called a modified Mediterranean diet.
Under the modified Mediterranean diet, a person may consume canola oil or walnut oil other than olive oil, which is a trademark of the traditional diet. He or she may also eat two sweets each day provided they are portion controlled.
The basic idea of modifying the Mediterranean diet is to make it much easier for a person to stick to the plan since ingredients are more convenient to find.
True enough, in the German study, about 72% of those who followed the diet for 12 weeks lost about 11 pounds and half of them kept 9 pounds off their original weight as they were able to continue with the plan the entire year. Aside from significant weight loss, their cholesterol levels also went down.