Green Mediterranean Diet Burns Body Fat Fast: Study
- A Mediterranean diet with added plant-based foods may help burn fat faster, a new study suggests.
- A nutrient-rich eating plan can help reduce the type of fat associated with a higher risk of disease.
- Dieters cut back on meat and processed foods in favor of olive oil, tea, nuts and leafy greens.
AND Mediterranean diet with extra nutrients may help reduce the risky type of body fat linked to cancer and heart disease, new research suggests.
The diet plan — known as the “green” Mediterranean diet — is based on the cuisines of the regions where people live the longest and healthiest lifeand adding foods like green tea and protein-rich herbs could make it even healthier, according to a study published Sept. 30 in BMC Medicine.
A team led by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel looked at data from 294 adults to compare the health benefits of two types of Mediterranean diet with the general healthy diet recommendations to eat less fat and salt and more vegetables.
The researchers wanted to see if diet could help reduce it visceral fata type of body fat that accumulates around organs and increases the risk of dangerous diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Participants on a regular Mediterranean diet reduced red meat, processed foods and refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and sweet treats) and ate more healthy fats such as olive oil. The group lost an average of 7% visceral fat by the end of the 18-month study, compared to a 4.5% fat loss in the generally healthy group.
But a modified green Mediterranean diet was twice as effective, helping people lose 14% of their visceral fat. Dieters drank four cups a day of green tea and a green shake made from the high-protein and vitamin-rich water lentil plant, while cutting back on red meat and processed foods. The green diet also led to slightly greater overall weight loss.
The results are “a dramatic achievement for simple changes in your diet and lifestyle,” study lead author Hila Zelich, a postdoctoral fellow at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, said in a press release.
By helping to reduce visceral fat, a green Mediterranean diet could improve heart health and blood sugar control and prevent chronic disease, according to the study authors.
Foods like green tea, nuts and leafy greens are rich in beneficial nutrients called polyphenols.
The advantage of the green Mediterranean diet, researchers theorize, is that it is rich in polyphenols, plant nutrients that evidence it is associated with a protective effect against chronic diseases
The traditional Mediterranean diet is already rich in foods such as olive oil and leafy green vegetables that contain polyphenols.
Both Mediterranean diets in a recent study included a handful of walnuts a day. It used to be avoided on diets due to its high calorie and fat content, Today, walnuts are considered one of the healthiest foodsfull of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as
The green Mediterranean diet included even more polyphenols and other antioxidants in the form green tea, which evidence suggests may help lower cholesterol and inflammation and improve brain and heart health. The green shake included in the diet also added protein, as well as a specific type of B vitamin called folate, which may also have helped reduce visceral fat, according to the researchers.
According to Iris Shai, the study’s senior author and a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the university, the study’s findings suggest that what people eat on a diet may be just as important as how much. Research is continuing to discover which specific foods may be uniquely beneficial for burning fat and protecting against disease, Shai said in a press release.
“A healthy lifestyle is a solid 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,” she said.