Weight loss: Two things to consider before starting Mediterranean diet – ‘it’s not clear!’

This Morning: Dr Sara debunks Mediterranean diet claims

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The method has long been celebrated as a weight loss hero and has become one of the most popular weight loss diets, with millions of people turning to a Mediterranean way of living. It is currently the second most popular diet online, receiving 610,000 global monthly searches worldwide.

The method has been hailed for its numerous benefits by the likes of Dr Michael Mosley among other nutritionists, but one expert revealed there are two things to be aware of.

While nutritionist Anthony O’Reilly from BarBend, revealed it is indeed a favourable, healthy diet to follow, he explained are things people need to consider.

He said: “As the name suggests, the Mediterranean diet is inspired by the eating habits of people who live near the Mediterranean Sea, for instance, Greece, Italy, Spain etc.

“[These] have some of the longest life expectancies in the world.”

Anthony continued: “The advantages of the Mediterranean diet are that it leads to weight loss.

“It’s an easy diet for people to adhere to when compared to intermittent fasting and the paleo diet and when adhered to [properly], the diet has also been found to reverse symptoms of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”

He went on to outline the disadvantages compared to other methods.

“The Mediterranean diet does not have clear calorie guidelines,” he said. “And some of the foods are costly.”

The Mediterranean diet focuses more on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, lean proteins from fish and poultry, good fats from olive oil, and some dairy, while limiting consumption of sweets and red meats.

People can eat foods such as:









Oil and fat

Extra-virgin olive oil

Avocados and avocado oil


Canola oil

Fruits and veg

Nonstarchy veggies, (zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, artichokes, and dark greens)

Starchy veggies (sweet potatoes, potatoes, and root vegetables)

All fruits (peaches, cherries, apricots, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries)

Nuts and seeds





Cashews (and all other unsweetened nuts)


Whole-grain bread (look for whole-wheat flour as the first ingredient)

Whole grains (farro, bulgur wheat, barley, and quinoa)

Oatmeal (steel-cut or old-fashioned)

Pasta (choose whole-wheat pasta whenever possible)


Whole-grain crackers


All-bran cereals


Plain Greek yogurt

Plain ricotta and cottage cheese


Brie, feta, or goat cheese (plus other cheeses that you enjoy)

WebMD recommend sticking to the diet for more than six months alongside regular exercise to see big results.

Studies have found that it can help to reduce the accumulation of belly fat specifically, which in excess can be more harmful to health than fat stored in the hips or thighs, raising the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

A meta-analysis of 16 randomised controlled trials involving over 3,000 people concluded that the dieting technique could help lower body weight, particularly when diet is energy-restricted and associated with physical activity.

And a meta-analysis of 11 trials found that, compared to a control diet, a Mediterranean diet had a “beneficial effect” on waist circumference.

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