Is there any health trouble that the Mediterranean diet can’t fix? Full of vegetables, healthy fats, nuts, and oils, the centuries-old way of eating has been linked to improved memory, helps you run faster, fights acid reflux, and so much more. Now, the latest study shows that it can also help prevent overeating.
The study, published this month in the journal Obesity, took place over a period of 38 months, and compared the Mediterranean diet — which consists of mainly plant-based sources of nutrition — to the Western diet — which relies on animal sources for protein and fat.
“What we found was that the group on the Mediterranean diet actually ate fewer calories, had lower body weight and had less body fat than those on the Western diet,” says Carol A. Shively, the study’s lead author, in a press release. “By comparison, the animals on a Western diet ate far more than they needed and gained weight.”
The study participants included 38 middle-aged women, all of whom were assigned either a Western or Mediterranean diet to follow, and researchers were able to determine that those who stuck with a Mediterranean way of eating ate less, were less likely to be obese, and lowered their risk for developing prediabetes.
Since its full of healthy fats and grains that help you feel fuller without the need to keep eating, the Mediterranean diet actually works to curb your appetite, alerting your brain and body that it’s full.
When it comes to overeating, especially around high-calorie meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’ve all learned that simply slowing down can do wonders for overeating. But for everyday meals, just sticking to a Mediterranean meal plan might do the trick.
So if you’ve been contemplating switching over to the Mediterranean diet, let this latest study be the final tick in the “pro” column. And get going with these lamb skewers and puff pizzas from cookbook author, blogger, and fellow Mediterranean-diet-follower Leah Itsines.