What is the Diet of the Atlantic? According to a Recent Study, it can Reduce Belly Fat and Cholesterol
Until next time, Mediterranean diet?
Not a lie, the traditional food of northwest Spain and northern Portugal, known as the Atlantic diet, is supposed to reduce belly fat and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
A large amount of fish and shellfish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, dried fruits (especially chestnuts), dairy products, cheese, and moderate amounts of meat and alcohol are all part of the diet.
More than two hundred households from the rural Spanish village of A Estrada were tracked from March 2014 to May 2015 by a study that was published this week in JAMA Network Open.
110 households stuck to their usual diet, whereas 121 were instructed to adopt the Atlantic diet.
During the course of three education sessions, Atlantic dieters were informed about their new eating plan. They also received food baskets, printed materials, and a cookery class as added support.
Data on the participants’ food intake, level of physical activity, use of medications, and other variables were gathered at the beginning of the trial and at the 6-month mark.
Additionally, their blood pressure, fasting glucose, triglyceride, HDL cholesterol, and waist circumference were assessed by Spanish researchers.
These are the five metabolic syndrome risk factors, which increase the chance of heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.
23 of the 457 participants who were not previously diagnosed with metabolic syndrome did so during the 6-month follow-up period. Of these, 17 (7.3%) continued on their usual diet, and 6 (2.7%) changed to the Atlantic diet.
Sixteen individuals in the control group (29.6%) and eighteen members of the Atlantic dieters (28.6%) out of the 117 participants who initially matched the criteria for metabolic syndrome did not carry the designation.
The Atlantic diet improved waist circumference and HDL cholesterol levels but “had no significant effect on high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, or high fasting serum glucose levels,” according to the researchers.
“The Atlantic Diet presents significant potential for enhancing health due to its emphasis on nutrient-dense foods and family-oriented eating habits,” Michelle Routhenstein, a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in heart disease at EntirelyNourished.com, told Healthline.
“By prioritizing wholesome ingredients and traditional cooking methods such as stewing, this diet enhances the bioavailability of nutrients, ensuring that the body can better absorb and utilize them,” she added.
The findings of the study are not shocking, according to California-based interventional cardiologist Dr. Cheng-Han Chen, “because the diet is very similar to the well-studied and beneficial Mediterranean diet.”
The Mediterranean diet avoids red meat, sweets, sugary drinks, and butter and places an emphasis on vegetables, fruit, beans, lentils, nuts, whole grains, and extra virgin olive oil. It also permits a modest quantity of fish, cheese, yogurt, and wine.
The Atlantic diet “shares similarities” with the Mediterranean diet, according to the Spanish experts.
“These types of dietary patterns (Atlantic and Mediterranean Diets) have the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke and even cognitive decline such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and improve [gastrointestinal] function and the gut microbiome,” Tracy Crane, a University of Miami associate professor, told Healthline.
Higher adherence to the Southern European Atlantic diet, commonly known as the Atlantic diet, was consistently linked to a lower risk of death, according to a study.
The authors of the new study note that there are certain limitations, including the possibility that the 6-month duration was insufficient to adequately evaluate metabolic changes. Participants’ follow-up over a period of years could improve our findings.