Posted by Womomma on 12:02 PM

A mediterranean diet may be as good at Low Fat and Low Carb Diets. Most weight loss trials are plauged by the fact that participants drop out and the study doesn't have enough participants. This study, led by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel and is published in the 17th July issue (2008) of the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM had good number of participants. Other members of the study team came from Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, Israel, Harvard University, Boston, US, The University of Leipzig, Germany and the University of Western Ontario, Canada. For this 2 year trial, they intensively monitored 322 moderately obese adults of mean age 52 years, and mean BMI (body mass index) of 31 that had been randomly assigned to one of three diets: low-fat, restricted-calorie; Mediterranean, restricted-calorie; or low-carbohydrate, non-restricted-calorie. 86 per cent of the participants were men. Remarkably, 85% were still sticking with their plan at the end of two years.

The results showed that:
· 95.4 per cent of the participants stuck to their diets for at least 1 year and 84.6 per cent for the whole 2 years.
· The group on the Mediterranean diet consumed the most dietary fiber and had the highest ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat intake.
· The low carbohydrate group ate the least carbohydrates and the most fat, protein and cholesterol and had the highest proportion of members with ketones in their urine.
· The average weight loss was: 2.9 kg (6.4 lbs) in the low fat diet group; 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs) in the Mediterranean diet group; and 4.7 kg (10.4 lbs) in the low carbohydrate group.
· The average weight loss was greater among the 272 participants who kept to the diets for the whole 2 years: 3.3 kg (7.3 lbs) in the low fat, 4.6 kg (10.1 lbs) in the Mediterranean, and 5.5 kg (12.1 lbs) in the low carbohydrate groups.
· The relative reduction in total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the so called "good" cholesterol) ratio was 20 per cent in the low carbohydrate group and 12 per cent in the low fat group.
· Among the 36 participants with diabetes, more favorable levels in fasting plasma glucose and insulin were reached by those on the Mediterranean diet than those on the low fat diet.
· Liver function and inflammatory biomarkers improved in all three diets.

Maxim weight loss was achieved by six months, but benefits continued for the 24 months of the study. Authors conluded that the mediterranean die and the low carb diets may effective alternatives to the low-fat diet. Check out the report.