Weight loss: New ‘green’ Mediterranean diet could be the key to shedding the pounds

Mediterranean diet: Dr Chris reveals new findings

Weight loss can be hard for many with so many diet plans on the market. The Mediterranean diet is a simple plan, requiring slimmers to eat foods such as vegetables, nuts, fruits, legumes. It is a diet inspired by the eating habits often seen in Spain, Italy and Greece in the 1960s. It’s been suggested a new version of the plan, which requires dieters to eat more greens, could help shed the pounds.

A Mediterranean diet has been followed by dieters for years and is known as one of the easiest diets to follow.

This is because you don’t necessarily have to cut your favourite foods out of your diet and it focuses more so on the foods you consume rather than the calories.

Those on the diet eat lots of healthy fats like fish and nuts. It involves swapping out saturated fat like butter for olive oil or canola oil.

However the new version of the diet, requires slimmers to eat more greens.

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Speaking exclusively to the Express.co.uk, Dr Deborah Lee – a doctor at Dr Fox Online – explained how duckweed has various different health benefits.

She said: “You may have heard of the Mediterranean diet (MD). But have you heard of the green Mediterranean diet (Green MD)?

“This is the MD – but instead of eating red meat, protein is obtained from green plant sources, such as green tea, and Mankai.

“Wolffia globosa Mankai – a type of duckweed – is an aquatic plant which can be used as a human food source.

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“It’s the world’s smallest flowering plant, found in freshwater ponds, lakes, and marsh areas, in Asia and some parts of America.

“The plant has a small oval shape and no roots, leaves, or stems. It grows in fronds in a large mat-like distribution.”

The expert explained that the properties found in the duckweed are of particular interest because it is extremely high in protein.

Dr Lee said: “It has an extremely high plant protein content and contains all 9, essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those which your body cannot make by itself and must take in through food.

“It is also rich in flavonoids and polyphenols and has powerful antioxidant effects.”

Protein is an essential nutrient for weight loss as it can help boost the metabolism and helps in reducing one’s appetite.

Those with a higher metabolism can burn more calories than those with a low.

According to Healthline, protein rich food can even help shed the harmful belly fat.

Dr Lee added: “Duckweed can also be grown sustainably. Compared to other foods such as soy or kale, for example. It requires relatively little water. It can also be grown all year round.”

This form of the Mediterranean diet is an extremely new one, with the expert explaining that the trial assessing the effects of the green diet were published just this year.

She said: “294 obese participants were randomly assigned on one of three groups. 1) a healthy dietary guidance group (HDG), 2) a calorie-restricted, Mediterranean diet plus physical exercise group, who also ate 28g walnuts per day, and 3) a third Green MD group, also calorie-restricted, asked to do the same amount of exercise and to eat 28g walnuts per day, but in addition, this group were asked to avoid red and processed meats, and to drink three to four cups of green tea per day, plus consume 100g/day Mankai – provided as a frozen cube and made into a plant-based shake.

“After six months, the largest weight loss was seen in the green MD group who lost an average of 14 pounds (6.3 Kg). This compared to the standard MD group who lost 12 pounds (5.4 Kg,) and the HDG group who lost three pounds (1.5 Kg).

“The green MD also lost the most in terms of waist circumference. They lost an average of 8.6 cm compared to the MD group and the HDG group, who lost 6.8 cm and 4.3 cm, respectively.”

Slimmers can also enjoy other foods on the plan including lean protein, vegetables including kale and olive oil too.

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