February 1, 2009 -- Question: What is the Mediterranean diet, how does it work, and how effective is it in reducing weight?
Answer: The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle approach, that's based on the way people eat in the Mediterranean part of the world. So it has a flavor of the French, Italian, Greek lifestyle approaches. It's a diet that increases the amount of fats but they are the monounsaturated types of fats in the diet. It turns out to be a moderate carbohydrate diet and it really hasn't been studied for weight loss.
The studies that we have about the Mediterranean diet are in regard to heart disease, and the Mediterranean diet has been shown in the Lyon diet heart study to reduce the recurrence of heart disease in patients with heart disease.
So it's not really a weight loss diet, per se, but if you calorie-restrict the Mediterranean diet, it will probably be a healthy way to go.