Thank God for Mediterranean diets, as it is because of them that we no longer need to suffer the burden of difficult, unpalatable and unsustainable low-fat diets.
The main characteristic of these diets is high consumption of fat, up to 40 per cent of the caloric intake. This is in contrast to the recommended intake of less than 20 per cent fat in most diets. These diets symbolise the importance of the quality of fats rather than amounts.
Good fats present in nuts, seeds, fatty fish, cold pressed oils and dairy in the diet have a positive impact on health, well-being and disease prevention. Nuts and seeds are cholesterol fighters and play a vital role in weight management. On the other hand, toxic fats like hydrogenated fats, margarines and trans-fat laden fried foods can increase the risk of heart disease and be detrimental to health.
In fact, high-fat diets are more effective with regard to compliance and sustainability when compared to low-fat diets. Mediterranean diets have been reported to be associated with favourable health outcomes, better quality of life and longevity. Studies on Mediterranean diets have reported a reduced risk of major chronic degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity and heart disease.
In fact, a low-fat diet works out to be high on carbohydrates which is unsuitable, specially for the Indian population, which is genetically predisposed to obesity, diabetes and belly fat. So, don’t ditch the fat if you are trying to lose weight or improve heart health. Just ensure you take high quality unprocessed fats and limit carbohydrates, specially refined foods and sugar.