The Mediterranean diet is not only good for people’s health and well-being, but it can also lead to long-term weight loss. Dr Poole explained how the diet can help thin people maintain their ideal weight long after losing weight.
Dr Poole spoke to Express.co.uk about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, saying: “What the Mediterranean diet does is help you get to a normal weight gradually – but gently.
“But what it also does, at the same time, is protect you against stroke, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and inflammatory conditions.
“And there’s even research that says it’s associated with lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
“So it’s really a wellness recipe beyond just dieting that will help you lose weight or get to a normal weight.
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“And that, for me as a doctor, is the absolute key.”
Dr Poole noted that there are certain diets “that will help you lose weight, but can also potentially increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke”.
This is why the Mediterranean diet is different. According to the expert, it “sits beautifully in a position where it helps you lose weight, helps you maintain normal weight, but also protects you from chronic diseases as you age.”
So what’s so special about the Mediterranean diet – and how can thin people incorporate it into their daily routine?
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The secret to the Mediterranean diet, according to Dr. Poole, is that “processed foods are very limited in the diet and full of low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates, which is really good.”
“When people talk about low carb diets, they’re really talking about low GI carbs,” the doctor explained.
The GI rates carbohydrates by how quickly they raise blood glucose levels.
Low GI foods prolong digestion due to their slow breakdown, which may help people feel full longer and, therefore, lose weight.
Examples of low-GI ingredients include soy products, beans, fruits, vegetables, milk, pasta, porridge, lentils and, Dr Poole explained, whole grains, such as brown bread and brown rice.
These foods are all part of the Mediterranean diet, along with “fats, which are good fats, and, in particular, extra virgin olive oil.”
According to Dr. Poole, extra virgin olive oil is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet and can be easily added to an individual’s diet.
The doctor explained, “Extra virgin olive oil itself, as a monosaturated fat, is not associated with weight gain.”
Dr Poole recommended putting a little extra virgin oil on carbs as it “lowers their glycemic rise”.
“If you have a plate of bread or pasta in the Middle East or Italy, they wouldn’t dream of serving it without dousing it in the ubiquitous extra virgin olive oil,” he said.
Dr Poole added: “There is evidence that it lowers the rise in blood sugar, lowers the rise in sugar, so you avoid those spikes and spikes and dips in sugar that are associated with weight gain. .”
Combining vegetables with olive oil “also increases insulin sensitivity, and thus reduces progression to obesity and diabetes.”
The Mediterranean diet is one of the best diets for beginners to incorporate into their routines because “it’s a really enjoyable diet,” Dr. Poole says.
The expert explains: “Several studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet is a diet that helps to lose weight slowly over time, but that it is much more sustained than other diets.
“And part of the reason is that people are much more likely to stick with it.
“I think most of the time the diet in the western world means Dare I Eat That.
“But in fact, diet comes from the ancient Greek word diata, which means way of life.
“And so, the Mediterranean diet is about food, but it’s also about lifestyle – it’s about eating in company.
“And even if you’re with a small family, at the table, without a television, you consume fewer calories because you eat slowly and enjoy your food.”
Dr Poole added: “The Mediterranean diet is a diet of positive nutrition – you don’t so much exclude foods as you enjoy them.”
For more information on the Mediterranean diet and recipes to follow using Mediterranean ingredients, Dr. Poole’s new book, The Real Mediterranean Diet, is now available online and in bookstores.