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Mediterranean Diet Beats Low-Fat Diet

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I was pleased to see the latest headlines making the rounds in the new cycle today: Mediterranean Diet beats Low-Fat diet.


This particular passage caught my eye:

"The study's findings, released Monday by the New England Journal of Medicine, also add to mounting evidence contradicting a long-held tenet of dieting to improve health: that all calories are equal."

Hurray! Calorie is not a calorie.

Back in the 80s we were told not to eat eggs. Then experts changed their minds and said eggs were ok. Nuts are looking to be the new 'eggs'. No more counting out exactly 14 peanuts lest you go over your fat grams!

The diet in this study emphasized olive oils and nuts. They were not limited on calories. They were told to limit their red meat consumption.

Olive oil is my main oil for cooking, and even though I no longer follow a low fat diet, I still choose to eat leaner cuts of meat.

Why? Because when cows are fed their natural diet and are pasture raised, they are very lean. Modern cows are only heavily fatty because they are fed corn to make them that way. They are obese. The only animals that are naturally fatty when healthy are whales, seals and salmon. So I choose lean cuts of meats because there is something unnatural about the heavily marbled meats. Maybe I'll enjoy a ribeye occasionally, but I prefer NY strip if I'm going to have steak. I prefer more protein over more fat.

As a general rule, I don't avoid fats as they naturally come. Eggs and nuts are staple snacks for me. It's a shame they were maligned for so long.

I would be wary of the nut butters, though. Those mixed with hydrogenated oils or palm oils are introduced as stabilizers so the oil doesn't separate. I check the ingredient lists. It should have exactly one ingredient: the nut. Peanut butter should have peanuts, nothing else. Mixing the separated oil before using is not churning butter; it's not hard or time consuming.

I'm glad that conventional wisdom is starting to get wise.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I started making my own almond butter in our food processor. The ONLY ingredient is almonds. Delicious! Also, anything other than natural peanut butter tastes gross! I can taste the fake in the others. Barfy.
    1932 days ago
    I've been tracking lately, and find that my fat % is higher than used to be recommended w/ a "low fat"diet, but is more in line with the Mediterranean diet. And that's the way I really enjoy eating, and feel good eating that way too. It's great that it has been validated by study as well.
    1935 days ago
    Another great blog!
    1935 days ago
    I should have noted that I use extra light olive oil (ELOO) for cooking, as it has a high smoke point. Extra virgin (EVOO) can be used for cooking ONLY if it is a very fine quality, but then it is very expensive and I wouldn't use it for cooking! Most supermarket EVOO has a very low smoke point, and should only be used for non cooking purposes, like salad dressing.

    I also use coconut oil, but only for certain types of meals like Thai food, where the coconut flavor is complimentary. Avocado oils I love for salad dressing, but they are prohibitively expensive, so I only buy if they happen to go on sale! Which isn't very often, unfortunately. Avocado oil also has an extremely high smoke point for cooking, but I prefer the mild flavor of the ELOO.
    1935 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/28/2013 10:09:01 AM
    Bravo! We're finally beginning to get daring folks who are willing to come forward with the truth...and intelligent people who want that truth and recognize it when they hear it (like yourself).

    Olive oil is one of the few really good oils. Coconut oil is touted as the best, along with palm kernel oil. Avocado or macadamia oils are good too, if you can bear the sticker shock! LOL The only thing about olive oil is that its bonds break under cooking heat, so I limit that to mostly dressings and drizzles on already cooked foods. Delicious. Great in marinades, too!

    Grass-raised and -finished meat is fine for the fatty cuts. The ones that pose the health threats are those raised or finished in feedlots where they're fed as much grain as they can consume. That gets stored in their fat, and when we eat that, we're getting all their bad nutrition. Actually, animal fats from naturally raised animals are very good for you. I love a good ribeye! The more marbled, the better.

    I love nut butters! of course, peanuts are not nuts, so that doesn't count. But it's such a simple matter to make your own nut butters -- and you know exactly what's gone into them! yum

    I so hope this good information trickles down to the general populace...and quickly! It's about time they gave us some *good* news.

    1936 days ago
    It's been on our TV and in our newspapers out here on the West coast the past few days too... Good news... I just heard this morning that "low fat low calorie diets are NOT the answer" to obesity!!
    1936 days ago
    Yeah, I read the same article in the NY Times earlier this week.

    Of course to take the diet to its fullest extent, I feel obligated to rent a villa on coastal Italy or the southern shores of Turkey...I'd have to have a boat so I could go fishing every day....and probably my own olive grove and vineyard....and maybe even have to look up Sophia Loren and have her come visit on the weekends!
    1936 days ago
    emoticon You were ahead of the mainstream on this. You were right on.
    1936 days ago
    Love a Mediterranean diet...would love it even more if in the Med!!
    1936 days ago
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