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TheDailyBeast: Most Effective Diets for 2012

6 of 10

4. Mediterranean Diet

The Trick: A lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts and olive oil with very little red meat

A calorie-restrictive, Mediterranean diet with a target of 35 percent of calories from fat, primarily from olive oil and nuts, produced one of the lowest attrition rates in a 2008 study among the clinical studies that were compared for this list. The diet was based on guidelines presented in "Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy," written by the chairman of Harvard's Department of Nutrition, Walter Willett, and published in 2001, one of many books built around the Mediterranean diet pyramid that espouses a fruits, vegetables, olive oil, beans and nuts (which contain mono-unsaturated fats) as a nutritional base. The diet gained mass popularity thanks to the diet book "The Sonoma Diet," which landed on bestseller lists in 2006. Author Dr. Connie Guttersen says, "Fats like olive oil, nut butters, nuts are protective of Alzheimer's and reduce risk factors associated with gaining weight around the waist… and from a culinary standpoint, using flavorful fats means you eat more vegetables."

6-month attrition rate (2%)
6-month mean weight loss (10.1 lbs.)
12-month attrition rate (4%)
12-month mean weight loss (10.4 lbs.)
12-month BMI decrease (1.5)
Nutrition score (n/a)

Clinical study ( The New England Journal of Medicine, July 2008)

See the Full Story at The Daily Beast

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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