Scientific Weight Loss Study: Green Mediterranean Diet Reduces Twice As Much Visceral Fat

Obesity Weight Loss

According to a study in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMC Medicine, the green Mediterranean diet significantly reduces visceral fat. In fact, it reduced visceral fat by twice as much as the regular Mediterranean diet.

The Green Mediterranean diet reduces twice as much visceral fat as the Mediterranean diet.

Reducing visceral fat is the true goal of weight loss.

The green Mediterranean diet (MED) significantly reduces visceral adipose tissue, a type of fat around internal organs that is much more dangerous than the extra “tire” around your waist. The green Mediterranean diet was pitted against the Mediterranean diet and a healthy diet in a large-scale clinical interventional trial- the DIRECT PLUS. Subsequent analysis found that the green Med diet reduced visceral fat by 14.1%, the Med diet by 6.0%, and the healthy diet by 4.2%. The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine.

The green-Mediterranean diet is a modified Mediterranean diet that is further enriched with dietary polyphenols (beneficial plant compounds with antioxidant properties) and lower in red/processed meat.

Reducing visceral fat is considered the true goal of weight loss as it is a more important indicator than a person’s weight or the circumference of their waist. Visceral fat aggregates over time between organs and produces hormones and poisons linked to heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and premature death.

The research was led by Prof. Iris Shai of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, an adjunct Professor from the Harvard School of Public Health, and an Honorary Professor, University of Leipzig, Germany, together with her doctoral student Dr. Hila Zelicha and Italian, German, and American colleagues.

The DIRECT-PLUS trial research team was the first to introduce the concept of the green-Mediterranean diet. This modified MED diet is further enriched with dietary polyphenols and lower in red/processed meat than the traditional healthy MED diet. On top of a daily intake of walnuts (28 grams), the participants consumed 3-4 cups of green tea/day and 100 grams (frozen cubes) of duckweed green shake/day. The aquatic green plant duckweed is high in bioavailable protein, iron, B12, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols and substituted meat intake.

Mediterranean Diet Food Portrait

The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the eating habits of people who live near the Mediterranean Sea. The core elements of this diet include proportionally high consumption of unprocessed cereals, legumes, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables, and moderate consumption of fish, dairy products (mostly cheese and yogurt), and meat products.

The team has shown in previous studies that the green MED diet has a variety of salutary effects ranging from the microbiome to age-related degenerative diseases.

Two hundred and ninety-four participants took part in the 18-month-long trial.

“A healthy lifestyle is a strong basis for any weight loss program. We learned from the results of our experiment that the quality of food is no less important than the number of calories consumed and the goal today is to understand the mechanisms of various nutrients, for example, positive ones such as the polyphenols, and negative ones such as empty carbohydrates and processed red meat, on the pace of fat cell differentiation and their aggregation in the viscera,” says Prof. Shai.

“A 14% reduction in visceral fat is a dramatic achievement for making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. Weight loss is an important goal only if it is accompanied by impressive results in reducing adipose tissue,” notes Dr. Hila Zelicha.

Reference: “The effect of high-polyphenol Mediterranean diet on visceral adiposity: the DIRECT PLUS randomized controlled trial” by Hila Zelicha, Nora Kloting, Alon Kaplan, Anat Yaskolka Meir, Ehud Rinott, Gal Tsaban, Yoash Chassidim, Matthias Bluher, Uta Ceglarek, Berend Isermann, Michael Stumvoll, Rita Nana Quayson, Martin von Bergen, Beatrice Engelmann, Ulrike E. Rolle-Kampczyk, Sven-Bastiaan Haange, Kieran M. Tuohy, Camilla Diotallevi, Ilan Shelef, Frank B. Hu, Meir J. Stampfer and Iris Shai, 30 September 2022, BMC Medicine.
DOI: 10.1186/s12916-022-02525-8

This work was funded by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – Project number 209933838- SFB 1052; the Rosetrees trust (grant A2623); Israel Ministry of Health grant 87472511; Israel Ministry of Science and Technology grant 3-13604; and the California Walnuts Commission.

None of the funding providers was involved in any stage of the design, conduct, or analysis of the study and they had no access to the study results before publication.

63 Comments on "Scientific Weight Loss Study: Green Mediterranean Diet Reduces Twice As Much Visceral Fat"

  1. International Law applies to all | December 4, 2022 at 3:10 am | Reply


    • Stop the land grab by fabrication | January 24, 2023 at 9:17 am | Reply

      Palestine was freed in 1948 by the last indigenous people to rule the land, to this one. The land was freed from British occupation and prior to it, Ottoman occupation, and successive foreign occupiers since 73AD. The freeing of the land was undertaken under International Law (see San Remo Agreement, Balfour Declaration, UN Partition Plan, and UN recognition of Israel). The Arabs who have taken the identity of ancient Greek seafarers, the Philistines, twenty years after Israel was re-established and four years before faux-cupation (as this land was part of the Mandate intended for a Jewish state and illegally taken by Egypt and Jordan) arrived to this part of the Mid East thousands of years after the Jews ruled it. The only reason Arabs exist in this part of the Mid East is that they left the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century to conduct holy wars over the next four thousand years to conquer the natives in the rest of the Mid East, North Africa and parts of Europe (temporarily). They are not the occupied, but rather the occupiers. Anti-Zionism is land usurpation by fabrication.

  2. “Reducing visceral fat is the true goal of weight loss” …and yet the picture shows a larger WOMAN silhouette going to a more slender silhouette. Let’s see some men’s beer bellies. That’s a true problem of visceral fat.

  3. Kathy Stevenson | December 4, 2022 at 5:57 am | Reply

    What about people like me who are highly allergic to tree nuts and introducing something like duck weed would be scary to me because of all my other allergies, I would likely be allergic to it.

  4. I would love to try this diet. The problem is, where can you actually buy Duckweed? I’ve gone from site to site that says no longer available, not available for USA,etc..
    Duckweed seems to be a key ingredient in the green mediterranean diet for the best results. Nobody tells you a good source for it. I’d start this diet TODAY if I could actually find duckweed!! Frustrating.

  5. I’m anxious to try this way of eating! Someone I love has some Viseral belly fat and since I’m the cook and he’s a willing participant Jan will be our target month! We eat healthy most of the t Im me and he’s lost 25 lbs so far! Hoping this will be a jump start for further reduction! High blood pressure reduction is our aim so we can enjoy each other for n many years to come!!! This is a new relationship at ages 85 and 75 and we are excited!!

  6. Hi, do i have to go to a specsilist nutritionist to get onto this new eating plan?

  7. Barbara A.L. Woytowicz | December 4, 2022 at 5:36 pm | Reply

    Please provide source to obtain duckweed. It is repeatedly mentioned as necessary ingredient.
    Please be specific as to where and how to obtain. Thank you.

  8. Would love to start but the Duckweed is a main ingredient which seems almost impossible to get.Ive searched and searched. Dead ends.. help

  9. Can we find duck weed? I need this in my life.

  10. I am interested but I am allergic to shellfish and do not eat fish. Just like the previous comment asked, where can we find Duckweed? I am willing. I have Type Diabetes and I am trying to lower my cholesterol and fix multiple issues but my belly fat is most important. Please offer some help.

  11. Visceral fat comes from one of two sources, sugar (sucrose, fructose or high fructose corn syrup) and alcohol.


    Don’t believe me? Measure your waist and cut both. Measure once per week and watch the magic happen 😉

  12. Roberta Thompson | December 5, 2022 at 3:22 am | Reply

    I take high blood pressure meds that don’t allow me to drink green or black tea . What could I do ?

  13. It’s a good idea would like to try

  14. I believe vegetable lambs can be used in place of duckweed.

  15. I would love to try this diet. I feel like I’ve tried so many things that have not worked. Please let me know where I can find the ingredients needed to get started.

  16. To the folks who can’t find duckweed,it goes by multiple names globally. Wolffia globosa is one you can find in the U.S.

  17. Do you have to process duckweed in any particular way? I see it on ponds all over the place in Southwest Florida.

  18. Many in this comment section are confusing visceral fat with subcutaneous fat. You can be thin and still have unhealthy amounts of visceral fat. Visceral fat is not seen from the outside because it is located around the internal organs. If you see someone with a “beer belly” or “muffin top”, that is due to subcutaneous fat, not visceral. This diet would probably help with subcutaneous fat as well, but experts think visceral fat is the more dangerous of the two fat stores since it really ups the chance of having high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes, which is why this news is exciting. I wonder if they have data on subcutaneous fat loss from this diet as well.

  19. Oh awesome, a diet extremely high in oxalates. Yeah you’ll lose weight but you’ll also be poisoning your body. For those who don’t believe me, look up oxalate poisoning and what the culprit foods are. Hint: many of them are part of this so called “green Mediterranean diet”. If you want to lose weight, and avoid or heal many health issues, eat a human species diet which should be mainly based on animal products. A high plant based and low fat diet is highly dangerous. Just look around you.

  20. nicholas Collins | December 5, 2022 at 9:28 am | Reply

    The person who wrote this article, sells duckweed.

  21. If as stated, none of the funding providers were involved in the study, how did the California Walnuts Commission come to fund this study?. Pure coincidence? I think not. Most of us who have done even a small amount of research into healthy eating habits know that a diet low in refined carbohydrates is the key to weight loss and good health. So I’ll stick with that instead of trying to find a water plant that is probably going to be marketed soon as the latest weight loss miracle, just like Hoodia and Raspberry Ketones were a while back, which by the way was a total scam for the public.

  22. So basically duckweed for life? How is this sustainable? That experiment was drastically different

  23. Duckweed is hard to find because it is an invasive plant and illegal in most U.S. states.

  24. I’m interested in this diet but I can’t imagine eating duckweed, I have it growing in my pond. 🤮

  25. I goggld the duck weed . I don’t think I want what the pets stores sell

  26. Duckweed can be bought in aquarium/pet shops.
    It’s grown in water and grows rapidly

  27. Katherine Mulligan | December 5, 2022 at 2:30 pm | Reply

    Every time I put in for one of those checks I never get it I make $1,000 a month and I still don’t get it because I don’t have a bank deposit a bank messed me up to get an account but still I never got one of those checks at all maybe one when they first came out get rejected so I don’t bother trying to get one anymore I guess only people that have bank accounts can have it so why do it if I can’t get it

  28. For everyone looking into duckweed, search for “water lentils”.

  29. Where can you buy duckweed?

  30. Where can one get recipies & ingredients list for this diet? Is there somewhere one can write to to get more information? Thanks very much.

  31. Duckweed is insanely easy to cultivate.
    It requires a baby wading pool, a tiny tiny water pump, a bucket of pond water with floating duckweed in it (grows like EVERYWHERE on fresh,still water think almost stagnant) and once a week skim off what’s needed ,rinse, and dry out, then blend in a coffee grinder, nutra bullet or blender into a fine powder. Add to smoothies,directly on foods or put in gelatin capsules to swallow. Google “How to GROW Duckweed”

  32. Enough with all the statistics, just get to the point and give the diet foods we need to eat !!

  33. You can get duckweed on Etsy or maybe eBay. Then you’ll want to start cultivating it in water, in buckets, wading pools etc. needs some sun.

  34. Look under Wolffia globosa for duckweed. This might help your search for it.

  35. Many people here are worried about the duckweed for this diet. An important part of the overall is cutting out animals based products and processed foods. If you start there and are creative with the colors of you vegetables you’ll be off to a great start. Keep it plant based. Protein derives from plants. Someone mentioned high blood pressure, add cinnamon and honey to make tea, add mint and lemon and make what’s called a medicine ball. Although best to buy as local, not just for carbon footprint, but less likely did it come from a distance that needs preservatives to keep it fresh and avoiding the meats meaning avoid animals that have received shots for hormones and antibiotics that pass on and make you resistant. Your body will thank you. Best wishes to all in their lifestyle journey

  36. Don’t get sidetracked: the duckweed isn’t the star of the diet. Reducing sources of saturated fat (like red meat) and eating additional plant foods is the star. The more different plant foods you eat, the more diverse your gut bacteria is. But bacteria produce SCFAs that are like keys turning the lock in our cells. Learn more about Short Chain Fatty Acids to understand more about the importance of humans eating plants and fiber. It doesn’t mean you have to be vegan. It’s just important to eat mostly plant foods.

    I have sustained weight loss for 14+ years by following a modified Starch Solution plan. I eat more fat in the form of nuts and avocado than the plan calls for. I also eat seafood periodically. Most importantly, I focus on eating a wide range of plant foods. So rather than always eating broccoli as my veggie, I eat a variety.

  37. To all other commented who are having trouble finding duckweed, some light research tells me itxs available at pet stores as feed for aquatic animals and easy to grow at home with very little in the way of supplies. I’ve just ordered some fresh from WalMart and am planning to attempt to grow my own.

  38. Again where do you get the exact diet and where can I find duckweed?

    • See my comment directly above re duckweed. The article implies they took the standard Mediterreanean diet, reduced red meat intake, added 100g duckweed/day, 28g walnuts/day and 3-4 cups green tea/day.

  39. You could substitute the frozen duckweed with a Smoothie of 1 scoop Innotech Nutrition Plant Based protein powder, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup frozen kale, 1 tablespoon chia seed, 1/2 cup ice, 10 grams walnuts.

    Add sea salt to the walnut for a snack.

    Have 3 to 4 servings of FASTING DAYS powder in your water bottle during your day.

  40. Don’t be fooled by a special diet with magical duckweed. There are no magical foods that cause you to burn more fat than others. The goal of fat loss is losing both visceral, and subcutaneous fat, and while you may lose both at different rates depending on your diet and activity, in the long-run it’s totally irrelevant to not being fat. Eat in a caloric deficit, and you will lose both kinds of fat, I guarantee it.

  41. I am 53 and have clearly cut abs. At age 50 I was 23+% body fat and was looking like Santa Claus. No duckweed was ingested. All it took was making a few permanent changes to my life.
    1. I stopped consuming more calories than I needed. I didn’t go on a “diet”, I made permanent changes to my consumption habits.
    2. I started exercising daily, seven days per week. (doesn’t matter what you do, but if you slack, you’re only hurting yourself).

    Simple isn’t it? Do those two simple things earnestly, and don’t lie to yourself regarding compliance, and you will have the body of your dreams within a few years. Or, continue doing what you’re doing; the choice is yours.

  42. Duckweed can be found in many forms on Amazon

  43. Typically when you remove red meats you remove calories. Was this the case with this study? To be put simply, less calories equal more fat loss, is that what happened here?

  44. Another modification of the Mediterranean diet was suggested by reducing any added oils.

  45. Beware! There are multiple types of duckweed, and not all are fit for human consumption. The stuff sold by aquatic supply companies (Lemna) isn’t necessarily fit for human consumption, as it contains relatively high levels of Calcium Oxilate, which can be dangerous to humans in large quantities.

  46. Kimberly Bartlett-Vincent | December 6, 2022 at 1:56 pm | Reply

    Where can we get the products for it?

  47. I found loads of duckweed on Amazon and Walmart

  48. Tiney Panteleoy | December 6, 2022 at 4:39 pm | Reply

    Yes I’m also having a difficult time finding duckweed. The only place I can find is from supplier in China, but don’t know how safe and reliable that is.

  49. I am interested, please help me.

  50. I have also researched extensively and cannot find duckweed.

  51. I would really love to try this diet but just like the rest I cannot find Duckweed and would really appreciate if you can tell me where I can find that and also if there is a meal plan I can start with?

  52. Google Duckweed You Can Buy it NUMEROUS places! Walmart, Amazon, Just to name a few Good luck on ur Search 👍🏻 😉 😀

  53. Duckweed grows wild in freshwater canals in Highlands County, FL, it’s actually a nuisance and grows very thick. I wonder if it could be an new agricultural product?

  54. Where can a person find the The Green MED as well as the Weed?

  55. How about giving us specifics on the diet, and instructions on how to follow it? That would be most helpful.

  56. I consume green tea every day and evening. I have for years. I love walnuts and can easily add more of those into my diet. But this duckweed ? Where to find and exactly how do you take these ‘ cubes ‘? Also, there has to be a better meal plan examples other than tea and walnuts and duckweed wouldn’t you think?

  57. Duckweed…seriously educate yourselves people. You are willing to stick anything in your mouth to lose weight…the best diet is the shut your mouth diet along with the one and only Mediterranean diet. No wonder the weight loss industry is a billion dollar one.

  58. How can I become one of your study persons

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