If you want to avoid being categorized as obese when you are old, take to Mediterranean diet today! A new Spanish study says the diet, rich in fish, often helps dodge those extra pounds of flesh as you age.

Researchers aren’t quite sure what exactly helped people in maintaining their weight.

The diet is also rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals; and low in red meats and dairy. Earlier studies suggest that Mediterranean diet often provides protection from heart diseases and diabetes, as well as weight loss.
However, researchers are still doubtful how olive oil, which is rich in fat and is largely found in Mediterranean diet.

Beunza told Reuters Health in an e-mail, that they are analyzing what’s the effect of the Mediterranean dietary pattern among young, non-obese, healthy people.

They studied the dietary patterns of more than 10,000 Spanish university graduates, averaging 38 years old, and followed them over six years later. During the study, an average participant gained half a pound every year.

Researchers noted that those who followed the Mediterranean diet didn’t gain as much weight as those who didn’t follow the diet.

Those who were stricter with their diet patterns were 10 per cent less likely to get obese. In fact, those who followed this kind of food habits often felt more satiated.

"This study suggests that adherence to healthy dietary patterns are the key factor for avoiding the natural long-term yearly weight gain occurring during adulthood," Shai, who was not involved in the new study, told Reuters Health in an e-mail.

"This is extremely important in light of the critical issues raised by some fans of other dietary profiles who say that the Mediterranean diet, because of its high content of complex carbohydrates, could bring weight gain," Francesco Sofi of the University of Florence, Italy, added in an e-mail to Reuters Health.

However researchers are afraid the results of the study might not be applicable to the broader population.

"The Mediterranean dietary pattern is a good user-friendly option to avoid falling into the obesity epidemic and all its unhealthy consequences," said Beunza.

"The more we study it," he added, "the more we learn about its benefits on health."