If you are a fan of a plant-based diet, you will be happy to know that the new green Mediterranean diet can be better than the regular Mediterranean diet. A new study published in the journal Heart says that this new variant of the Mediterranean diet uses plant-based proteins instead of red meat and dairy, making it better for cardiovascular patients.
This study analyzed 294 participants (mostly male) with a sedentary lifestyle and moderate obesity. They were divided into three groups. One of these groups was given basic guidelines on improving physical health through physical activity and a healthy diet. The second group was given a low-calorie diet with the same guidelines on physical activity. This low-calorie diet contained veggies, dishes and poultry, and no red meat.
The last group was given a controlled diet and physical guidelines along with up to four cups of green tea and 28g nuts (mainly walnuts) daily. They were also given 100g mankai cubes, which are a high protein plant source. These cubes were added as a replacement for plant-based proteins and used in protein shakes.
This new study suggests that replacing meat with plant-based protein can satisfy the daily dietary requirements of a person, with no animal fat. This version of the Mediterranean diet is called the green Mediterranean diet and is highly beneficial for heart patients, diabetic, and metabolic disorder patients.
The final results were collected after six months and the individuals following the green Mediterranean diet showed better health as compared to the other two groups. They lost much more weight than people from other groups. On average, they lost 6.2 kg weight, the traditional Mediterranean diet followers lost 5.4 kg weight and those who were following a healthy diet lost only 1.5 kgs.
They also experienced a difference in their waist size, which reduced by 8.6 cm on average. The traditional Mediterranean diet group experienced 6.8 cm waist loss and the healthy diet group experienced only 4.3 cm of waist decrease.
People following the green Mediterranean group also experienced a huge difference in their LDL cholesterol levels, which are termed as bad cholesterol. On the other side, it also improved the levels of HDL to LDL cholesterol ratio, ensuring a healthy lipids profile.
There is plenty of scientific evidence, suggesting the medicinal and health benefits of the standard Mediterranean diet especially lowering the risk of heart diseases, obesity, stroke and some types of cancer.
But the green Mediterranean diet is showing even more benefits than this, which means it can benefit people with a high risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Health experts believe that the high phenol content in a green variant of this diet is responsible for all these benefits.
They also suggest people change their protein sources and methods. In the regular Mediterranean style diet, protein sources are mainly seafood and some amount of dairy, red meat, and eggs.
The green Mediterranean diet completely eliminates these animal-based protein sources and encourages people to take plant-based proteins in their place. These plant sources include nuts, legumes, and some seeds.