The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diets to follow, but a “green” version of it could be even better for us. The original form of the diet is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, but a new study finds a version of it that swaps meat and fish for plant-based foods may be even more heart healthy and lead to more weight loss.
Thestudyof 294 moderately obese participants split them into three groups. The first was instructed on healthy eating and ways to increase physical activity, the second got the same information, but they were told to follow a Mediterranean diet and sub red meat for fish and poultry. And the third group was advised on physical activity and how to follow the green Mediterranean diet, swapping all meat for high-protein plant-based foods.
And at the end of the study, the folks on the green version shed close to 14 pounds - more than the nearly 12-pounds the poultry and fish group lost, and a lot more than the 3.3-pounds the healthy eaters dropped. The plant-based group also lost up to 3.4-inches from their waistlines, compared to 2.7-inches for the fish group and 1.7-inches from the healthy eaters. Plus, the folks on the green Mediterranean diet also saw bigger improvements in blood pressure and bigger decreases in LDL cholesterol.