Why follow the Pioppi diet?

The Mediterranean diet focuses on healthy fats, unrefined carbohydrates, legumes, nuts and copious amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, very little sugar, and a small glass of red wine with your evening meal.

So why is this tipped as the diet to follow? Well, evidence has shown an abundance of health benefits. I generally don’t like the term diet, yet this approach towards a way of eating is more of a full lifestyle change, with no counting calories.

So why is this tipped as the diet to follow? Well, evidence has shown an abundance of health benefits. I generally don’t like the term diet, yet this approach towards a way of eating is more of a full lifestyle change, with no counting calories.

The Mediterranean diet will not leave you feeling hungry as you should eat until you’re satisfied. However, with the abundance of nourishing vegetables and healthy fats, it will be sure to fill you up for longer, as well as needing to eat less because the healthy fats and fibre will fill you up.

With the National Obesity Forum questioning the current nutritional guidelines which they fear has ‘underpinned the obesity epidemic over recent decades.” This refers to the eat well plate, which in my opinion is severely outdated, and does not acknowledge healthy fats, and drives heavily on refined carbohydrates.

So, what’s the evidence?

Weight Loss

Because the diet focuses on healthy fats and unrefined low GI carbohydrates this allows us to feel fuller for longer, meaning we snack less and have reduced cravings for foods high in sugar.

A study published in the Lancet last year showed participants who ate high levels of olive oil and nuts lost MORE weight than those on a low-fat controlled diet.

Heart Disease

Focusing on foods rich healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts and fatty fish, it provides our bodies with rich sources of unsaturated fat, and reduces your intake of red meat and refined sugars which has been linked to reduced cardiovascular events.

The PREDIMED study looked at 7,500 men and women free of heart disease and found after 5 years the more closely participants adhered to the Mediterranean diet, the lower their risk was for heart events like heart attack and stroke.

Diabetes

It steers away from sugar and refined carbohydrates which increase our insulin levels and lead to obesity. As well as driving obesity, insulin resistance is the number 1 risk factor for heart disease, a pre-cursor to type 2 diabetes and also is strongly linked to high blood pressure. It is also linked to many cancers and all of these chronic diseases are independent of body weight. Lead author of the book, The Pioppi diet, (which focuses on the Mediterranean lifestyle), cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra says “there’s no such thing as a healthy weight, only a healthy person” and the evidence strongly supports he’s right.

Skin Health

The Mediterranean diet is rich in omega 3, are powerful anti-inflammatory agents, helping reduce the inflammation behind skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis.

What to read more?

Dr Aseem Malhotra, a consultant cardiologist who works in the NHS and Harley Street in London, believes our diet can dramatically influence our health. His new book, The Pioppi Diet, is a 21-day lifestyle plan and draws inspiration from the best components of the Mediterranean diet. The Pioppi plan is based around avoiding added sugar and refined carbs, and instead building your diet around vegetables and fatty foods like oily fish and olive oil. I woke closely with Aseem, where we both believe sugar to be the main driver behind the rise in obesity and chronic disease.

Aseem’s book helps educate you from a scientific angle, unlike many other ‘health books’ which aren’t based of facts and science. As well as a multitude of endorsements from eminent doctors, scientists and dietitians the book is even having impact on the green benches at Westminster. A few weeks ago, Keith Vaz MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Diabetes group urged 100 MPs with the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes in their constancies to follow the plan. Real impact factor for a book which gives me hope that we can start to reverse Britain’s obesity and type 2 diabetes twin epidemics. Former secretary of state for health Andy Burnham has described the book as having “the power to make millions of people healthier and happier, and help sustain our NHS”. I couldn’t agree more.

 

Sarah Ann Macklin

Sarah Ann Macklin

Sarah Ann Macklin is a model and qualified nutritionist who gained first-hand experience of the importance of having a healthy balanced diet in the fashion industry.
Sarah Ann Macklin

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