Researchers found that people whose diets were rich in olive oil and nuts lost more weight than those on low-fat regime The Mediterranean diet, with a high fat content from olive oil and nuts, does not cause people to gain weight, a major study has found.
Fear of fat is misplaced and guidelines that restrict it in our diets are wrong, say the Spanish researchers who have followed more than 7,000 people, some eating 30g of nuts or 50ml of extra virgin olive oil a day while others were put on a standard low-fat diet. Their research, they say, should put healthy fats – from vegetables and fish – back on the menu, changing attitudes and the way we eat.
The publication of data on fats and weight loss from the respected Predimed randomised controlled trial, comes in the wake of a furore over a paper published by the UK’s National Obesity Forum. The campaigning document attacked Public Health England’s guidance on diet, claiming that eating saturated fats including butter and meat would enable people to lose weight. A damning response from Public Health England said this was “irresponsible and misleads the public”. Four members of the NOF resigned, saying they did not support publication of the paper.
The Mediterranean diet in the Predimed study, however, though high in fats does not include red meat or butter. Participants ate fish, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. “It does not include many foods and beverages that have been associated with long-term weight gain, such as fast foods, sweets and desserts, butter, red meat and processed meat, and sugar sweetened beverages,” write the authors in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal.