olive oil salad
The study reported in the Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ) found that concentrating more on "good nutrition" than "calorie restriction" was the best way to combat obesity.Dan/Flickr

A Mediterranean diet can help you remain in shape, according to a recent study.

The study, reported in the Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ), found that concentrating more on "good nutrition" than "calorie restriction" was the best way to combat obesity, BBC reported.

Researchers found that the Mediterranean diet was highly beneficial than a low-fat diet for losing weight continuously. It encourages consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, nuts and healthy fats along with olive oil and moderate levels of wine.

The diet, which also recommends minimalising consumption of red meat, sweets and processed food, has earlier proved its power in fighting diabetes, chronic kidney disease, peripheral artery disease and hypertension.

In the new study, researchers found that the diet lowered risk of death in heart attack survivors. Following a Mediterranean diet was found "three times as effective" as cholesterol lowering drugs called statins, according to BBC.

"What's more responsible is that we tell people to concentrate on eating nutritious foods," lead author of the study, cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, told BBC. "It's going to have an impact on their health very quickly. We know the traditional Mediterranean diet, which is higher in fat, proven from randomised controlled trials, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke even within months of implementation."

The findings come at a time when, nearly 2.1 billion people in the world, which is about 30% of the total population, are overweight.

The current research backs a study reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) in October. A team of researchers from Spain found that a Mediterranean diet was highly effective in lowering the risk of central obesity and hyperglycaemia in people at risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Why Should Mediterranean Diet be a Part of Your Daily Life?

Following are some additional health benefits associated with Mediterranean diet, as provided by experts at the Helpguide.org.:

  • Improves life expectancy
  • Keeps Parkinson's disease away
  • Lowers risk of Alzheimer's
  • Protects against the risk of muscle weakness at old age
  • Reduces risk of certain types of cancers