Scientists from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev found the green Mediterranean diet could strongly reduce liver fat and cut the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The research is published in Gut and was conducted by Anat Yaskolka Meir et al.
Following a Mediterranean eating pattern means including vegetables, fruit, whole grains, pulses, nuts, and olive oil in your daily diet. Limit red meat to three meals a week.
The green Mediterranean diet limits meat even further, getting more protein from beans, lentils, and nuts.
Researchers so far have roughly defined the green Mediterranean diet as an eating pattern that centers on plant-based foods, with special emphasis on walnuts, green tea, and protein-rich duckweed.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the health benefits of the green Mediterranean diet, which is further restricted in red and processed meat and enriched with green plants on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
NAFLD is the accumulation of liver fat in people who drink little or no alcohol.
The researcher assigned 294 obese participants into weight-loss diet groups, including a diet following healthy dietary guidelines (HDG), the Mediterranean diet, and the green Mediterranean diet.
Both Mediterranean diet groups consumed 28 g/day of walnuts. The green-MED group further consumed green tea and Mankai green shake for plant protein.
After 18 months, the team found that in the green Mediterranean diet group, the risk of NAFLD decreased by about 70%; in the Mediterranean diet group, the risk of NAFLD decreased by about 52%.
Despite similar weight loss in both Mediterranean diet groups, the green Mediterranean diet group achieved almost double liver fat loss compared to the other two diets.
The researchers also found that the greater liver fat loss was linked to increased plant protein and walnut intake, decreased red/processed meat eating, improved folate level in the body and blood fat biomarkers, and changes in gut health.
Based on the results, the team concluded that the green-Mediterranean diet, which included green plant-based proteins, green tea, and walnuts, and is restricted to red/processed meat, can double liver fat loss and strongly cut fatty liver disease risk.
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