New version of Mediterranean diet reduces risk of cancer and heart disease
A new large-scale study has found that a modified version of the Mediterranean diet is more effective at reducing visceral fat that can surround and damage organs.
The so-called green Mediterranean diet doubled the benefit of the traditional” Mediterranean diet. Visceral fat has been linked to early mortality and a host of other serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
The study was conducted by the DIRECT-PLUS trial research team. It was led by Dr. Hila Zelicha at the University of California, Los Angeles, aided by colleagues from Italy and Germany.
Participants on the regular Mediterranean diet reduced red meat, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates (like white bread and sugary treats) and ate more healthy fats such as olive oil. The group lost 7% of visceral fat, on average, by the end of the 18-month study, compared to 4.5% fat loss in the general healthy diet group.
But the modified green Mediterranean diet was twice as effective, helping people lose 14% of their visceral fat. Those dieters drank four cups a day of green tea, in addition to cutting back on red meat and processed foods.
The advantage of the green Mediterranean diet, researchers theorized, is that it's rich is polyphenols, plant-based nutrients which evidence has linked to a protective effect against chronic disease
Both Mediterranean diets in the recent study also included a handful of walnuts per day. Once shunned on diets for being high in calories and fat, nuts are now considered one of the healthiest foods, packed with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as
The green Mediterranean diet included even more polyphenols and other antioxidants in the form of green tea, which evidence suggests can help reduce cholesterol and inflammation, and boost brain and heart health.