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Here Is What a Hypocaloric Mediterranean Diet and Exercise Can Do for You

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

A trial following more than 600 patients for a year has demonstrated that daily exercise combined with a Mediterranean diet that’s low in calories can help you reduce both body weight and cardiovascular risk, URVACTIV reports. The patients also showed improvement with glucose metabolism and certain inflammatory measures.

A number of studies have confirmed the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, and most of these benefits stem from the fact this diet is low in sugars, moderate in protein and high in fresh fruits and vegetables, along with healthy fats. To that end, eating a Mediterranean-style diet has been linked to a number of health benefits, not the least of which are improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk for stroke.

If you’re thinking of adopting a Mediterranean diet, however, you first need to know that, contrary to popular belief, there’s actually no single “Mediterranean diet.” Rather, its hallmark is simply a focus on whole, minimally processed foods. The emphasis on fresh vegetables alone makes it far healthier than the standard American diet, which is very high in processed foods.

Within those parameters, one of the most important points is the focus on healthy fats, such as those found in seafood like fish and krill oil. That said, it's important to choose your seafood wisely. What you're looking for are fish high in healthy fats, such as omega-3, while also being low in mercury and other environmental pollutants. Good choices include wild-caught Alaskan salmon and smaller fatty fish like sardines, anchovies and herring.

Equally important is the emphasis on avoiding sugars and processed grains, which is something I talk about in my book, “Fat for Fuel,” and my latest book, “Superfuel,” which explain the ins and outs of the ketogenic diet, and what fats are good, which ones are bad and how to tell the difference.

If you’ve become discouraged as you find yourself still struggling to lose weight, still fighting glucose numbers and still suffering from autoimmune, inflammatory disorders — even when you’ve diligently avoided animal fats on a so-called “recommended” low-fat diet — I urge you to take a look at the keto way of life. Coupled with intermittent fasting, a ketogenic diet can help you lose weight, maintain that weight loss and gain your health back. I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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