(HealthDay News) — A green Mediterranean diet, containing even more plant matter and very little red meat or poultry, may be even better for cardiometabolic health than the traditional Mediterranean diet, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in Heart.

Gal Tsaban, M.D., from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, and colleagues randomly assigned 294 individuals with abdominal obesity/dyslipidemia (1:1:1) into t3 diet groups: healthy dietary guidance (HDG), Mediterranean diet, and green Mediterranean diet (green tea and a Wolffia globosa [Mankai strain; 100 g/day] plant-based protein shake), all combined with physical activity.

The researchers found that both Mediterranean diets achieved similar weight loss (green Mediterranean, −6.2 kg; Mediterranean, −5.4 kg) versus the HDG group (−1.5 kg). The green Mediterranean diet group had a greater reduction in waist circumference (−8.6 cm) than either the Mediterranean diet (−6.8 cm) or HDG (−4.3 cm) groups. These differences were significant only among men. Compared with HDG, the green Mediterranean diet group achieved a greater decrease in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), diastolic blood pressure, and insulin resistance at 6 months. The green Mediterranean diet group also saw the greatest decline in the LDL-C/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.


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“The green Mediterranean diet, supplemented with walnuts, green tea, and Mankai, and lower in meat/poultry, may amplify the beneficial cardiometabolic effects of Mediterranean diet,” the authors write.

The study was funded in part by the California Walnut Commission.

Reference

Tsaban G, Yaskolka Meir A, Rinott E, et al. The effect of green Mediterranean diet on cardiometabolic risk; a randomised controlled trial. BMJ.