Wake Forest University College of Medicine has set up an interesting experiment with monkeys and noticed that eating a regular Mediterranean diet helps prevent problems like overeating. The head of the pilot project was Carol Shaivley, and the results were published on the pages of Obesity magazine.
Previous studies examining the influence of dietary characteristics on calorie needs of an organism were based on information obtained by comparing the corresponding data in rodents or humans. In rodents, the food ration has practically nothing to do with the human one, and the information taken from a survey of human volunteers often has considerable subjectivity. In their new project, experts emphasized the study of the effect on monkeys while observing the principles of the Mediterranean diet.
The study lasted quite a long time - for three whole years: physiologically, this time period in primates is approximately equal to nine years of a person's life. The experiment involved 38 monkey females of the middle-aged category, which were divided into groups taking into account their body weight and the average percentage of adipose tissue in the body. The first group of animals was fed foods that included a lot of animal protein and fat - following the example of a Western diet. The second group was mainly offered herbal products, like the so-called Mediterranean diet. In general, the proportional content of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the diet in both groups was approximately the same.
The monkeys were not limited in food and ate as much as they considered necessary. Three years later, experts evaluated the animal's health status and found that the monkeys who adhered to the Mediterranean diet consumed a smaller daily amount of calories and looked slimmer, and the amount of adipose tissue in their bodies was less.
According to the results of the experiment, specialists for the first time were able to confirm the fact that nutrition according to the Mediterranean diet successfully prevents overeating, can serve as a prevention of obesity and even a prediabetic state - which is much more effective than western type nutrition.
Among other things, regular consumption of plant foods significantly reduced the risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in monkeys. Researchers are sure: nutrition is one of the most significant factors that directly affect health. At the same time, scientists recommend the Mediterranean diet as the best option for a healthy diet.
Research materials are presented in Obesity, as well as in the article onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.22436