Can you be obese and healthy at the same time?

If you're obese, getting healthy without losing weight is like trying to swim without getting wet.

It's just not possible.

A new study of the effects of obesity tries to claim otherwise... sort of. It says you can reduce at least some (emphasis on "some") of the heart and stroke risk that comes with obesity if you just get control of three other major risk factors: blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

If you're obese and let these "Big Three" metabolic conditions get out of hand, your risk of heart disease jumps by 69 percent and your risk of stroke climbs by 47 percent, according to the study.

Get the Big Three under control, and your risk will still be higher than it should be -- it just won't be quite as high, with the risk of heart disease up by 39 percent and stroke by 14 percent.

But let's be realistic here. If you're obese and intent on remaining that way, you will almost certainly see the effects of obesity in your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels -- if not right now, then in the not-too-distant future.

And if you're determined not to lose weight, there aren't many ways to bring the Big Three under control without medication -- and I think that's what this effects of obesity study is really all about: Getting doctors to medicate the obese instead of getting the obese to lose weight.

It's the wrong approach.

The obvious answer here is to just lose some weight -- because if you switch to a healthier diet and get some regular movement, the pounds will almost certainly melt away.

And as your waistline gets smaller, so will your Big Three numbers. Over time, they'll end up right where they should be -- no meds necessary.

If you're sick feeling the effects of obesity and feel ready to make those changes yourself, don't switch to any old diet. Stick to the one proven to help you to lose weight and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke at the same time.

It's the Mediterranean diet, the delicious and healthy lifestyle shown to reduce the risk of major heart problems by almost a third and cut the risk of stroke in half -- and you can read more about it in this free report from my House Calls archives.

One of the staples of the Mediterranean diet is nuts -- and I've got more on that coming up next.