Unless you are someone who is not into healthy eating, then you probably have heard of the traditional Mediterranean diet which is where an eating plan of healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and legumes are consumed by people who want to reap the health benefits of these foods.
Eating this type of foods limits sugar intake, processed foods, and red meat intake which can cause heart disease and weight gain.
The traditional Mediterranean diet has been named the best plant-based diet, heart-healthy diet, and one of the easiest and best diets to follow as of 2021.
However, even though the traditional Mediterranean diet may be seen as the best, there is a newer version in town called the green Mediterranean diet that incorporates traditional and plant-based foods, turning more away from meat and fish products and focusing on how plant foods can provide exactly what people need.
Today we will discuss the green med diet compared with the classic Mediterranean diet and see what benefits the green Mediterranean diet can offer people, and if it truly is the best version of the Mediterranean diet currently available.
The Green Mediterranean Diet vs The Traditional Mediterranean Diet
To get started, let’s look into how the diets compare and differ from each other.
Standard Mediterranean Diet
This dietary pattern follows how traditional Mediterranean cultures eat.
Those who follow this particular diet will eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, spices, herbs, nuts, beans, and will use olive oil for a variety of dishes.
Twice a week fish and seafood are incorporated into meals with some dairy foods as well as eggs and poultry.
This diet means cutting out the intake of red meat as well as sweets and processed foods that are packed with a lot of salt and unhealthy fats which can be detrimental to the body in the long run.
You can also partake in alcohol, but only one glass of red wine as it has been known to have antioxidants, however, if you do not already drink then you do not have to start for the sake of this diet.
Green Mediterranean Diet
This diet is staunchly against any red meat intake or processed meats at all, instead, the focus is on plant-based foods with whole grains and fresh produce.
There are also some other additions that are part of the green Mediterranean diet that people will need to follow to get the full benefit.
- Three to four cups of green tea
- One ounce of walnuts
- 100g of Mankai duckweed shake (a protein-rich aquatic plant)
The three to four cups of green tea should be easy for people to follow as well as the walnuts, but the duckweed could be hard to come by, so you will need to check health food stores and online to see where it would be best to obtain it.
Why is This Diet Different?
Whilst the traditional Mediterranean diet is incredibly beneficial to the body, as well as supporting metabolic health and gut health, the green Mediterranean diet group, which also has these assets, makes these changes to put emphasis on the benefits of foods that are rich in polyphenols and the reduction in meat products.
What Are The Benefits of The Green Mediterranean Diet?
Some of the benefits of the green Mediterranean diet overlap with the classic Mediterranean diet, but there are some added benefits that can help individuals achieve their goals for a healthier lifestyle, from weight loss to their overall physical and mental health.
Reduction of Bad Cholesterol Levels (LDL)
After studies were conducted on people who adopted the green Mediterranean diet for a period of time, there was a significant reduction in their LDL levels, as well as an improvement in their cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Their scores of falling cholesterol were even lower than the traditional med diet, showing that the green med diet group was reaping more benefits by focusing mainly on a plant-based diet.
Less Fat in The Liver
Another huge benefit to the green Mediterranean diet was that dieters were also experiencing a reduction in liver fat which can lead to diabetes if not properly dealt with.
This was done in comparison with other healthy diets that have multiple benefits and the green Mediterranean diet still came out on top.
There was another study administered that took the green Mediterranean diet and saw how it affected brain health in people.
It provided results that showed how this diet slowed the shrinking of the Hippocampus, as well as offering the highest amount of protection against brain atrophy which can lower the risk of cognitive diseases such as Dementia.
It should be obvious that the green Mediterranean diet helps people achieve their weight loss goals by taking out foods that could be hindering them, and providing them with food that has all the nutrients as well as micro and macronutrients that make up their daily allowance through plant-based foods.
Even with studies comparing the classic Mediterranean diet and the green Mediterranean diet, participants lost a little bit more weight on the green side than they did the traditional, it may have only been a 2-pound difference, but it was still a difference that is important.
Belly fat in men was reduced too, which is incredibly important as high belly fat can cause heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke in men according to the CDC (Center For Disease Control).
What Foods Should Be Eaten on The Green Mediterranean Diet
Below we will list what foods you should be incorporating into your green Mediterranean diet as well as a snippet of what their benefits are so you can see why you should contemplate taking on this diet for the health of your body.
Green tea helps control bleeding, heal wounds, aid digestion, improve heart health and mental health, as well as regulate body temperature, plus it may have positive effects on weight loss, liver disorders, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
This plant has a high protein content, and if grown under the right conditions, it can contain up to 40% protein which is perfect for your muscle health.
It is also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
Greens have a high level of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, and calcium, so you can get a lot of your vitamins and minerals when you consume these types of foods – spinach, kale, etc.
Fresh fruit, and frozen, is rich in a lot of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folate, potassium, and fiber.
They can help with any digestion issues and aid you in maintaining a healthy gut.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, prevents strokes, protects against heart disease, and provides many other benefits as long as it is consumed in the right amounts and not overused as any oil can be too much fat for people in large quantities.
Some Other Foods to Check Out
- Cottage Cheese
- Almonds and Walnuts
You can find recipes and meal ideas online that will help you put together a whole range of food ideas that you can use daily so you won’t get bored with what you are eating.
So, have we answered your question – “What is the green Mediterranean diet?”
Hopefully, we have been able to and you feel like you are a lot more in the know about what you should be eating and how it will benefit you throughout your health.
It is not easy to start a new diet or change your eating patterns, especially if you have been doing them for so long, but if you are adamant about changing your health and being the best version of yourself, then it is worth giving it a shot to ensure that you keep on going for years and years to come.