green Mediterranean diet

The green Mediterranean diet is better than Mediterranean diet and healthy diet in reducing visceral fat, says a new study from Israel.

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The green Mediterranean diet

People try to lose weight and as measurements they use their weight and waist circumference. But what is more important is the reduction in visceral fat. This is the fat that accumulates around body organs. It releases toxins and hormones that are the root cause of diabetes, heart diseases, degenerative diseases, dementia and early deaths.

green Mediterranean diet
The green Mediterranean diet (Source: Pinterest)

The green Mediterranean diet is a modified Mediterranean diet that the DIRECT-PLUS trial research team first introduced. This research team included Prof. Iris Shai from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, Harvard School of Public Health, and University of Leipzig, Germany, her doctoral student Dr. Hila Zelicha and their Italian, German, and American colleagues.

The new diet is a Mediterranean diet that has added dietary polyphenols. And it is lower in red/processed meat compared to the traditional healthy Mediterranean (MED) diet.

The Israeli study

294 recruits formed the study group. It was a 18 month long trial. The recruits had 28 grams walnuts, 3-4 cups of green tea and 100 grams of frozen cubes of duckweed green shake every day. The aquatic green plant duckweed is rich in protein, iron, B12, vitamins, minerals, and also polyphenols. Meat intake was substituted.

Earlier studies of the same team have shown that the green MED diet has positive effects on gut microbiome and in reducing degenerative diseases.

green Mediterranean diet
The green Mediterranean diet (Source: Eating well)

This large scale interventional clinical trial of high polyphenol MED diet on visceral adiposity was published in BMC Medicine. Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), the Rosetrees trust, Israel Ministry of Health grant, Israel Ministry of Science and Technology grant, and the California Walnuts Commission had provided funds for this study. But none of these organizations had any part in the concept design, study conduct , or analysis. They were unaware of the findings of the study until after publication.

Findings of the study

The analysis of this study showed the positive impact of the high polyphenol diet on reduction of the dangerous visceral fat. Its analysis revealed that the green Med diet caused a reduction in visceral fat of 14%. Whereas the Mediterranean diet reduced it by 7%. And the regular healthy diet lowered it by 4.5%. Dr. Iris states:

“A healthy lifestyle is a strong basis for any weight loss program. We learned from the results of our experiment that the quality of food is no less important than the number of calories consumed. And the goal today is to understand the mechanisms of various nutrients. For example, positive ones such as the polyphenols, and negative ones such as empty carbohydrates and processed red meat, on the pace of fat cell differentiation and their aggregation in the viscera,”

green Mediterranean diet
The green Mediterranean diet (Source: Today)

Also, read No evidence to show that a Mediterranean diet can reduce dementia risk!

Dr. Hila added:

A 14% reduction in visceral fat is a dramatic achievement for making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. Weight loss is an important goal only if it is accompanied by impressive results in reducing adipose tissue,”