Green Mediterranean Diet Burns Body Fat Fast: Study

  • A Mediterranean-style diet with added plant foods may help burn fat faster, according to a new study.
  • A nutrient-dense diet can help reduce a type of fat linked to a higher risk of disease.
  • Dieters cut out meat and processed foods in favor of olive oil, tea, nuts and leafy greens.

New research suggests that a Mediterranean diet with extra nutrients may help reduce a risky body fat linked to cancer and heart disease.

Known as the “green” Mediterranean diet, the eating plan is based on cuisines in regions where people have the longest and healthiest lifespans, and adding foods like green tea and protein-rich herbs can make it even healthier, according to research. September 30 BMC in Medicine.

A team led by researchers at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, Israel, examined data from 294 adults to compare the health benefits of the two types of Mediterranean diets with general healthy dietary recommendations for eating less fat and salt and more vegetables.

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The researchers wanted to see if the diets could help reduce visceral fat, a type of body fat that builds up around organs and increases the risk of dangerous diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Those who joined the regular Mediterranean diet cut down on red meat, processed foods and refined carbohydrates (like white bread and sugary foods) and ate healthier fats like olive oil. The group lost an average of 7% of visceral fat at the end of the 18-month study, compared to 4.5% fat loss in the overall healthy diet group.

But the modified green Mediterranean diet was twice as effective, helping people lose 14% of their visceral fat. Dieters drank four cups of green tea a day and a green shake made from a high-protein, vitamin-rich herb called duckweed, as well as cut back on red meat and processed foods. The green diet also led to slightly greater weight loss overall.

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Lead study author Hila Zelicha, a postdoctoral researcher at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, said the results were “a dramatic success for making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle.”

According to the study authors, the green Mediterranean diet may help reduce visceral fat, improve heart health and blood sugar control, and prevent chronic disease.

Foods like green tea, nuts, and leafy greens are high in beneficial nutrients called polyphenols.

The researchers theorize that the advantage of the green Mediterranean diet is that it is rich in polyphenols, plant-based nutrients with evidence of a protective effect against chronic diseases.

The traditional Mediterranean diet is already high in foods like olive oil and leafy green vegetables that contain polyphenols.

In the last study, both Mediterranean diets included a handful of walnuts per day. Nuts, once avoided in diets for being high in calories and fat, are considered one of the healthiest foods, packed with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

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The green Mediterranean diet contained even more polyphenols and other antioxidants in the form of green tea; This evidence suggests it may help reduce cholesterol and inflammation and boost brain and heart health. According to the researchers, the green shake included in the diet also added protein, as well as a certain type of B vitamin called folate, which can also help reduce visceral fat.

According to Iris Shai, senior author of the study and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the university, the study’s findings show how important what people eat in their diet can be. Shai said in a press release that research is ongoing to uncover which specific foods may uniquely help burn fat and protect against disease.

“A healthy lifestyle is a strong foundation for any weight loss program. From the results of our experiment, we learned that the quality of food is no less important than the number of calories consumed,” he said.

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