What Is The Green Mediterranean Diet & Why It’s Good For Environment

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Morocco Gold Is The Best Olive Oil Fit For For Planet and Human Health

Updated March 24th 2022

Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil Green Mediterranean Diet
Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil Green Mediterranean Diet

Did you know that The Green Mediterranean Diet, which includes extra virgin olive oil as a key fat source – as well as having many major health benefits – is also good for the environment?

According to research reported in Medical News Today, a “Green” Mediterranean diet – avoiding all meat and providing extra greens – could have major benefits for planetary health as well as human health.

Medical News Today refers to Research stating that global production of animal-based foods — including livestock feed — accounts for 57% of total greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.  In comparison, production of plant-based foods –including extra virgin olive oil – accounts for only 29%.

Another study estimates that if everyone became vegan, this would reduce the amount of land worldwide that farmers need to grow food by 3.1 billion hectares or 76%.

In addition to cutting emissions from food production, says this study, rewilding the freed-up land would remove around 8.1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year for the next 100 years. 

“[E]liminating meat intake — beef, pork, lamb — is by far the most important single way to reduce the carbon footprint from diet,” said Dr. Meir Stampfer, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and one of the authors of the green Med studies.

“The contribution of meat to greenhouse gas emissions is enormous compared with other foods”

Dr. Meir Stampfer, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and nutrition

This research is hard to ignore but how, specifically, can consumption of the best extra virgin olive oil as part of  Mediterranean Green Diet contribute to this environmental cause?

What Is A Green Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean Diet has now been so well established in the minds of nutritionists and food lovers around the world that a new green ‘offshoot’ has grown up in its shadow.  But just what is the Green Mediterranean Diet and where does a quality extra virgin olive oil fit in?

In essence, The Mediterranean Diet is very similar to the traditional Mediterranean diet with a few small alterations to increase its eco-friendly status and make it potentially even healthier too.

Where the Mediterranean Diet advocates limited amounts of red meat, the Green Mediterranean Diet cuts out red and processed meat completely.  In addition it promotes inclusion of green tea and a specific type of green shake containing a plant called Wollfia globose (aka Asian watermeal or duckweed).

According to livestrong.com, poultry and fish replace beef and lamb and also calls for a few cups of green tea each day, a small handful of walnuts.

The emphasis, from a health point of view, on a high intake of polyphenols makes it the perfect fit for inclusion of a quality extra virgin olive oil.  Morocco Gold is bursting with polyphenols (or antioxidants) which bring a whole host of health benefits, including fighting infection, lowering cholesterol and fighting inflammation.

PolyphenolsIn Extra Virgin Olive Oil : How Green Does Good!

Polyphenol rich olive oil is receiving the attention of scientific and health community lately because of their benefits for human body. Polyphenols are chemical compounds that are present in many natural foods. Polyphenol is also used as dietary supplements and can be taken as prescribed medicine.

The latest (2021) harvest of Morocco Gold has the highest ever levels of polyphenols at 644mg/kg.

Polyphenols are phytochemicals that occur in plants and render the colour to plants. Sources of polyphenols include peaches, pomegranate, grapes, oranges, cocoa powder and dark chocolate. However, one of the most important sources of polyphenols is extra virgin olive oil. It is important that this is genuine, unprocessed extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold that will still have its polyphenols intact. Processed or refined olive oils usually have their polyphenols extracted from the oil during filtration and refining.

Research has shown that polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil have a massive and positive impact on health and doctors recommend high consumption of polyphenol sources.

What Foods Can You Eat on the Green Mediterranean Diet?

Olive Oil And The Green Mediterranean Diet
Olive Oil And The Green Mediterranean Diet

Foods to Eat

  • Olive oil as a leading source of fat (we recommend a high quality extra virgin olive oil such as Morocco Gold)
  • 3 to 4 cups green tea a day
  • 28 grams walnuts per day
  • 100 grams a day of frozen cubes Wolffia globose blended into a plant-based protein shake
  • Lots of vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Fruit
  • Olive oil as a leading source of fat

What Foods Should You Avoid On The Mediterranean Diet?

  • Red meats like beef and lamb
  • Processed meats (think: bacon, sausage, ham, deli meats)
  • Sweets and added sugars in general
  • Saturated fats, such as butter

How Does The Green Mediterranean Diet Work?

A recent article from Everydayhealth.com  neatly summarises the building blocks behind the new version of our popular favourite. 

The Green Mediterranean Diet is low in calories and carbohydrates, and high in protein. A sample day, according to the authors of the Heart study, might aim for 1,500 calories per day for men and 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day for women, which includes 40 g of carbs and 100 g of protein. (After two months, carbohydrate intake increases to 80 g per day.) Exercise, reaching up to five days a week, is also encouraged.

Based on prior clinical trials, researchers identified an X-factor in what made other diets especially healthy: antioxidant-rich plant compounds called polyphenols, says Heart study author Iris Shai, PhD, adjunct professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. For that reason, in the green Mediterranean diet, there’s an emphasis on several high-polyphenol foods, including Mankai (duckweed), green tea, olive oil, almonds, red onion, and broccoli. Duckweed is particularly rich in protein, iron, and vitamin B12, which makes it a good meat substitute, she says.

What Are The Benefits Of The Green Mediterranean Diet?

A number of studies have shown that ‘going green’ on the Mediterranean Diet brings many added benefits.  According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, followers of The Green Mediterranean Diet have improved blood pressure is better, a lower risk of heart disease and some cancers and they weigh less.  According to a January 2021 study in ​Gut​, followers of the Mediterranean Diet also lowered their risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) more so than both traditional Mediterranean diet followers and also healthy diet guideline followers.

Should I Try The Green Mediterranean Diet?

As explained in Livestrong.com, because the green Mediterranean diet is a version of a vegetarian diet, it’s healthy for just about anyone, and there are research-backed benefits for your waistline, heart and liver. As with any diet, though, be sure to talk to your doctor to make sure it’s right for you based on your personal health history and goals.