New Trends in the Mediterranean Diet

Going "green" goes beyond being environmentally friendly! The Green Mediterranean diet is the latest trend in weight control and longevity.

But how does this enhanced diet compare to the classic Mediterranean diet and its recommendations? Check out whether you should consider trying the Green Mediterranean diet to improve your diabetes management and overall health.

What is the classic Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet (MED) has long received accolades for those seeking a heart-healthy and diabetes-friendly lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet consists of plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, olive oil, and seeds. It also includes high consumption of fish while keeping meats and dairy products to a minimum. When combined with caloric restriction, the Mediterranean diet can be an effective yet sustainable way to lose weight.

What makes the Green Mediterranean diet different?

The Green Mediterranean diet embraces similar dietary principles as the classic MED yet includes the daily consumption of 3 to 4 cups green tea and 100 grams of Mankai, a strain of duckweed. Green tea and Mankai possess healthful properties that can improve diabetes management. The Green MED also encourages an even lower intake of poultry and red meat. These additions in the Green Mediterranean diet provide a greater boost of plant-based polyphenols when compared to the traditional Mediterranean diet.1

What does science show about the Green MED?

Recent research compared the effects of 6-month adherence to either the Green MED or classic MED on various weight loss and health parameters among obese adults. Both diets showed improvements in weight loss, HDL cholesterol, and insulin sensitivity.1

However, research participants who followed the Green Mediterranean diet experienced a more significant decrease in waist circumference and blood pressure than those following the classic Mediterranean diet. The reduction of central obesity helps reduce the risk of common diabetes-related complications such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, and stroke.1

Higher fiber intake in the Green Meditteranean diet

The Green MED also resulted in a 4 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol and a 20 percent improvement in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation. These improvements are most likely due to a higher fiber intake from the increased plant-based ingredients and greater polyphenol content. Chronic inflammation is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular-related illnesses.1

What is the bottom line?

Following either version of the Mediterranean diet, either classic or Green has its health and weight benefits. But the Green MED includes stricter limitations on meat. It also contains green tea and Mankai, which resulted in more significant health benefits that may benefit people with diabetes.

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