The “green” Mediterranean diet might be even healthier for you than the traditional Mediterranean diet.
This news comes from a new study published online in the journal Heart.
Researchers found that people who consumed more plant-based proteins and less red meat and poultry experienced greater health with increased cardiovascular and metabolic benefits.
The researchers randomly assigned 294 sedentary people with moderate obesity (defined as a BMI of 31) into three groups, mostly male with the average age 51.
The first group received counsel on increasing physical activity and basic guidelines for achieving a healthy diet.
The second group received the similar counsel plus guidance on following a calorie-restricted, traditional Mediterranean diet.
Their menu was low in simple carbohydrates, strong in vegetables, with poultry and fish replacing red meat.
The third group received all of the above, plus green tea and walnuts each day.
Their daily menu also included frozen Wolffia globosa cubes, a high protein.
The study authors findings suggest further limiting meat intake while increasing plant-based, protein-rich foods may benefit the cardiometabolic state even more.
Results show healthy promise
After 6 months, the “green Med” diet overtook the other two dietary plans in health benefits.
The Mediterranean diet is already known for its potential at reducing the risk of heart disease as well as stroke, diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers.
The traditional Med diet emphasizes fish and seafood as the primary animal protein source with a smaller role allotted to poultry, eggs, and dairy, and an even smaller role allotted to red meat.
The green Med diet appears to remove red meat completely and encourage the other animal protein sources as well as the plant-based proteins at the foundation of the diet (nuts, seeds, legumes) to take its place.