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I think we all know by now that being overweight or obese contributes to poor health, and can even cost us our lives.
We all look to avoid that dreaded “spare tire,” better known as belly fat, or visceral fat.
But that spare tire doesn’t just keep you from bending over and tying your shoes.
Dangers are lurking inside visceral fat that you won’t find in the fat on, say, your thighs, or elsewhere.
Visceral fat is an invisible killer. It’s stored in your abdominal cavity but wraps around your organs and raises your risk of serious diseases including diabetes, dementia and of course heart problems.
But there’s one diet that can interrupt the deadly processes that happen unseen due to visceral fat…
What is the Green Mediterranean diet?
You’re probably already familiar with the traditional Mediterranean diet. It includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, olive oil, some eggs and dairy products, and poultry and fish (the pesco-mediterranean diet eliminates all meat and instead includes lots of fish).
But the green Mediterranean diet takes it a step further. Not only does it emphasize polyphenol-rich foods like leafy greens, but it includes these three daily components
- green tea
- a shake made with duckweed (an aquatic green plant that is high in protein, iron, vitamin B12, and polyphenols)
Study proves Green Mediterranean diet twice as effective
Here’s why visceral fat is deadly.
Over time, it aggregates, or collects, between organs and produces hormones and poisons that have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, dementia and premature death.
Professor Iris Shai of Ben-Gurion University in Israel led an 18-month trial with 294 participants ate one of three diets: a standard Mediterranean diet, a green Mediterranean diet, or a diet that followed generally accepted health guidelines.
The green Mediterranean diet reduced visceral fat by 14 percent over the 18-month period — double the 7 percent lost by people who ate the standard Mediterranean diet.
How to “go Green”
If you’re not already following a Mediterranean diet, take a look at this guide to getting started.
Then, start to tweak things gradually. Eliminate one portion of meat and substitute fish or a plant-based protein like nuts, seeds or legumes.
Fruits and veggies should make up the bulk of your diet. Don’t forget, whenever possible, raw is better for you.
Pile on whole grains (rich in heart-protective betaines) like brown rice, barley and buckwheat.
And don’t forget those healthy fats: olive oil, avocados, walnuts and almonds.
Find duckweed powder at your local health food store and start adding a bit into your smoothies. It has a mild taste, so it shouldn’t be long before you’re drinking a duckweed smoothie every day, and you’re on your way to “eating green.”
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What Is a Green Mediterranean Diet—and Is It Healthy? — Eating Well
The effect of high-polyphenol Mediterranean diet on visceral adiposity: the DIRECT PLUS randomized controlled trial — BMC (BioMed Central) Medicine