A green Mediterranean (MED) diet rich in plant-based polyphenols reduces visceral adipose tissue (the fat that surrounds internal organs), according to a new study.
The MED diet is an excellent source of polyphenols, a category of plant compounds that provide various health benefits. However, the Green MED diet was fortified twice with dietary polyphenols and contained less red and processed meat. I set out to make a decision.
A total of 294 people participated in the randomized controlled trial over 18 months. Participants were divided into three groups: (1) healthy eating guidelines (HDG), (2) MED diet, or (3) green MED diet. In both her MED groups, participants consumed 28 g of walnuts per day and 440 mg of polyphenols per day. In addition, the Green MED group consumed 3–4 cups of green tea, duckweed plant green shakes (100 g frozen cubes/day), polyphenols 800 mg/day, and reduced meat intake.
Using MRI to quantify abdominal adipose tissue, researchers found that green MED dieters (14.1%) compared participants in the other two groups (MED = 6.0%, HDG, 4.2%) found that there was twice as much visceral adipose tissue loss in Researchers saw similar weight loss and waist circumference in both the MED and Green MED groups.
The authors noted some limitations, including the low proportion of women participating in the study. The general findings in women were limited because all three groups had different percentages of visceral adipose tissue at baseline. were unable to identify the exact component responsible for the dietary effect.
“The Green MED diet, which is rich in polyphenols and reduces red meat consumption, may serve as an improved version of the targeted MED diet. [visceral adipose tissue] reduction,” the researchers concluded. “Future studies are needed to investigate the precise mechanisms by which specific polyphenol-rich foods affect visceral adiposity.”
Zelicha H, Kloting N, Kaplan A, et al. Effect of a high-polyphenol Mediterranean diet on visceral fat: the DIRECT PLUS randomized controlled trial. BMC Med. Published online September 30, 2022. doi:10.1186/s12916-022-02525-8