The Mediterranean diet has undeniably become popular in recent years due to its promised health benefits, sustainability and ease of use. But a new version of this healthy eating program is slowly rising and could overtake the original version in no time.

The Mediterranean diet is already a surefire way to get or stay healthy. After all, this plant-based eating plan already promotes consuming healthy grains, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, herbs and spices. The program also limits protein consumption and only recommends fish and seafood.

The OG Mediterranean diet puts emphasis on healthy fats and protein. And so far, it's doing a fine job in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality, based on research, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

What Makes The Green Mediterranean Diet Different?

The addition of the word “green” to the Mediterranean diet does not mean followers should limit their food consumption to just green fruits and vegetables.

Registered dietician Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, who was named an Emerging Leader in Women’s Health by the National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, explained in an article that “green” refers to the inclusion of other healthy components, such as Mankai duckweed, walnuts and green tea, in the diet.

Tweaking the Mediterranean diet by adding new components brings more health benefits, including helping with weight loss, Manaker said.

Arizona-based diet technician Sarah Garone added that while animal products are allowed in the green Mediterranean diet, the modified eating program underscores the plant-derived components of the diet.

“[It] takes a traditional Mediterranean diet and shifts it in a more plant-based direction,” Garone said before noting that “plant sources of protein — such as beans, legumes, quinoa and tofu — are more strongly encouraged.”

While the green Mediterranean diet promotes the consumption of healthy plants more, it also recommends practitioners eat a specific quantity of the three superfoods (Mankai, green tea and walnuts) to enjoy the full potential of the modified diet.

Research has shown that the three superfoods can reduce fat in the liver, reduce diabetes risk and improve brain health. When used as part of the diet, the eating program can also aid in eliminating abdominal fat and ensuring weight loss, as per Manaker.

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