Is a diet low in meat and high in fruits and vegetables the key to your weight goals?
Need to lose some weight? The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating less meat, more fresh fruits and veggies, and even encourages a daily glass of red wine. Retired Miami police officer Roberto Baez followed his doctors orders to lose weight after being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
You must have three of the five components to have it: low HDL or good cholesterol, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, waist size of at least 35 inches for women, 40 for men.
Cardiologist Dr. Theodore Feldman says "the main focus of treatment of the metabolic syndrome is weight loss and exercise."
This new analysis of 50 studies finds the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of this common syndrome and patients improved like Roberto who is no longer pre-diabetic.
Patient Roberto Baez says "I eat less meat, more chicken, more salads. When it comes to desserts, yogurts..none of the cakes and the cookies and all of that stuff I used to eat."
Dr. Feldman says "Mediterranean diet is the diet we recommend for all the entire population and if you look at the new US Food Pyramid, it's very much a Mediterranean diet."
Using olive oil instead of butter, eating lots of poultry and fish, red meat only twice a month, plenty of fruits and vegetables, a handful of nuts, whole grains instead of white flour, and a daily glass of red wine. Dr. Ted Feldman's message to his patients:
Dr. Feldman says "that by doing that, they can dramatically improve their quality of life and quantity of life particularly as it relates to the reduction of the development of heart disease, diabetes, stroke."
Researchers believe it's the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of these foods that help prevent even reduce the components of metabolic syndrome.