June 7, 2016
High-Fat Mediterranean Diet Does Not Promote Weight Gain
By Amy Orciari Herman
Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD
A high-fat Mediterranean diet doesn't lead to weight gain — rather, it might help with weight loss — according to a subanalysis from the PREDIMED study published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
Roughly 7500 older men and women in Spain were randomized to follow a high-fat Mediterranean diet supplemented with either nuts or extra-virgin olive oil, or a lower-fat control diet. The Mediterranean diets aimed to increase fat intake to more than 40% of daily calories, while the control diet aimed to reduce fat intake to less than 30% of calories.
During 5 years' follow-up, participants following the olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet lost significantly more weight than the control group (about half a kilogram more). In addition, waist circumference was lower with the two Mediterranean diets than with the control diet.
A commentator writes: "Dietary guidelines should be revised to lay to rest the outdated, arbitrary limits on total fat consumption. ... We must abandon the myth that lower-fat, lower-calorie products lead to less weight gain."
Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology article (Free abstract)