Winston-Salem, NC—New research suggests that a Mediterranean diet may help followers feel full on fewer calories. Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine reporting in the journalObesity found that nonhuman primates on a Mediterranean diet chose not to eat all the food available to them, and maintained a normal weight. By comparison, primates on a Western diet ate far more than they needed, and gained weight.

“What we found was that the group on the Mediterranean diet actually ate fewer calories, had lower body weight and had less body fat than those on the Western diet," Carol A. Shively, Ph.D., professor of pathology at Wake Forest, explained in a press release.

The animal subjects were randomized to either the Mediterranean or the Western diet, both of which had the same proportions of fats/carbohydrates/protein, but from different sources. They were allowed to eat as much as they wanted throughout the study, which lasted 38 months.

“The Western diet was developed and promoted by companies who want us to eat their food, so they make it hyper-palatable, meaning it hits all our buttons so we overconsume," Shively said in the release. "Eating a Mediterranean diet should allow people to enjoy their food and not overeat.”