The New Green Mediterranean Diet

by Lisa Breitenwischer

May 06, 2022

The New Green Mediterranean Diet

Researchers are saying the new “Green” Mediterranean Diet is healthier for you than even the traditional Mediterranean Diet. That’s according to a new study published online in the journal Heart.  Those on the Green Mediterranean Diet experienced increased cardiovascular and metabolic benefits and saw a waist reduction average of almost 3.5 inches.   

The researchers randomly assigned 294 sedentary people with moderate obesity (defined as a BMI of 31) into three dietary groups: healthy dietary regimen, Mediterranean diet, and Green Mediterranean diet. After 6 months, the “green Med” diet surpassed the other two dietary plans in associated health benefits.

The results showed that every diet led to fatty liver improvement. The greatest reduction of liver fat, however, was achieved through the Green Mediterranean diet. This group dropped an average of 39 percent of hepatic fat compared to a 20 percent reduction with the traditional Mediterranean diet, and a 12 percent reduction in liver fat with the more general healthy guidelines

The “green” MED diet suggests eliminating red meat completely and encourages eating other animal protein sources like fish and poultry, as well as the plant-based proteins at the foundation of the diet (nuts, seeds, legumes) to take its place.

In addition, the green MED diet includes the daily consumption of vegetables, walnuts, and green tea. The diet also includes an aquatic green plant called Mankai, which is rich in protein, iron, B12, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. Mankai can be purchased frozen, online at https://eatmankai.com.

What is the Green Mediterranean Diet?

Although the thought of as a diet plan, the Green Mediterranean Diet is actually becoming more of a lifestyle due to its focus not only on the foods individuals can consume, but the amount of physical activity people following the program should incorporate into their daily lives. This includes both cardio and resistance exercises as well. You don’t need to run a marathon either, as a daily 30-minute brisk walk or bike ride can help!

Based on the following guidelines the Green Mediterranean diet allows users to eat three meals a day, that are nutritionally balanced and satiating

Foods to Eat

    • Whole Grains: 1-2 servings per meal.
    • Vegetables: 2-6 servings per day.
    • Fish/shellfish: 2-3 servings per week.
    • Eggs: up to 4 servings per week (1 egg=1 serving).
    • Legumes: 4+ servings per week.Poultry: Chicken, Turkey (in place of red meat).
    • 3 to 4 cups of green tea a day.
    • 1 oz walnuts per day (14 halves) or ¼-1/2 cup sunflower seeds.
    • 1 Green Protein Shake: 3 frozen cubes a day of Mankai blended into a plant-based protein shake.
    • Fruit: 2-6 servings
    • Dairy or Alternative Milk Dairy. 
    • Water: 1.5 -2 liters daily.
    • Red wine: 1 glass with dinner. (some may need to avoid)
    • Exercise 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.

 

Foods to Avoid

    • Red meats like beef and lamb.
    • Processed meats (think: bacon, sausage, ham, deli meats).
    • Processed Vegan products.
    • Sweets and added sugars in general.
    • Saturated fats, such as butter.
    • Alcohol.

 

As always, any change in our diet can be challenging. If you’re interested in experimenting with the Green Mediterranean diet, choose foods from the “Foods To Eat” list. Add one fish and one plant-based protein (beans or lentils) to your weekly meal plan. Start walking. If 30 minutes is too much, break it down into five-6 minute short walks, throughout the day. Finally, as I tell all my clients, “increase your water intake to half your body weight in ounces”.

If you would like one-on-one support with your diet, email Lisa at support@behealthyoga.com.

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