Green Med: the "green" Mediterranean diet promoted with flying colors by scientists

According to a study, the "green" Mediterranean diet in which red meat is completely replaced with vegetable proteins offers more benefits

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An international research team argues that a "green" Mediterranean diet would be healthier than the traditional Mediterranean diet. What changes in practice? Red meat is completely eliminated by replacing it with vegetable proteins. The cardiovascular system benefits above all.

The traditional Mediterranean diet allows you to consume minimal amounts of red meat but some scientists, who published the results of their study in the journal Heart, argue that replacing even this small amount with plant-based proteins would guarantee additional health benefits.

The research was carried out on a sample of 294 sedentary and moderately obese people (mainly men, with an average age of 51 years) who were randomly assigned one of the three reference groups:

  • The first group received guidance on how to boost physical activity and basic guidelines for achieving a healthy diet.
  • The second group received the same physical activity guide plus advice on how to follow a traditional low-calorie Mediterranean diet. Their menu was low in simple carbohydrates, high in vegetables, and with poultry and fish replacing red meat.
  • The third group received all of the above, plus 3-4 cups of green tea and 28 grams of nuts per day. Their daily menu also included 100 grams of frozen cubes of Wolffia globosa (cultivated Mankai), a high-protein form of duckweed. The cubes were taken in the form of a green vegetable protein shake as a partial substitute for animal protein.

The researchers found that people who consumed higher amounts of plant protein and less red meat and poultry experienced greater cardiovascular and metabolic benefits. Their findings, according to the authors themselves, suggest further limiting the intake of meat while increasing protein-rich, plant-based foods can reduce cardiovascular risk.

After 6 months, the diet “Green Med” she had outperformed the other two diet plans in terms of associated health benefits and had also enabled the group that followed her to lose more weight. The “Green Mediterranean Diet” group lost a total of 6,2 kilograms, the traditional Mediterranean diet group lost 5,4 kilograms and the healthy diet group lost 1,5 kilograms.

Waist circumference shrank by an average of 8,6cm among those following the Green Med diet compared to 6,8cm for those following the Mediterranean diet and 4,3cm for the healthy diet.

The Green Med Group also saw the greatest reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol with a decrease of almost 4%.

In short, the conclusions were clear. The authors write:

"The Green MED diet, supplemented with nuts, green tea and Mankai and with a lower meat / poultry content, can amplify the beneficial cardiometabolic effects of the Mediterranean diet".

Fonte: Heart

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  • The Mediterranean diet (also) saves the heart and makes you lose weight
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