What is Green MED, the modified Mediterranean Diet – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay


The modified Mediterranean diet, also called Green Med, is the latest version of the Mediterranean diet. In recent years, this new nutritional model has been at the center of several studies, which investigate how changes to the diet considered the healthiest in the world can further lower the risk of incurring disorders and diseases and contribute to good health. The conclusion reached by the scientists is that the green Mediterranean diet is even more effective than the “traditional” version for lowering the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and for contributing to longevity. To find out more about the modified Mediterranean diet, we asked the nutritionist some questions Lucia Bacciottinispecialist in food science and former teacher of nutraceuticals and integrated nutrition atUniversity of Florencewhich was the forerunner in Italy years ago, promoting the flexitarian diet or flexible, a predominantly plant-based diet with little protein of animal origin.

What is Green MED, the modified Mediterranean diet

«The modified Mediterranean diet, also known as Green MED, is a Mediterranean diet (MED) further enriched with foods of plant origin and in particular focused on the action of polyphenols which are bioactive molecules contained in fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits explains nutritionist Lucia Bacciottini. «The increase in polyphenols at the table guarantees an epigenetic action both oriented towards the activation and deactivation of functional DNA genes, favoring the protection mechanisms for health and longevity.

What do you eat in the modified Mediterranean diet

«The Green MED or modified Mediterranean diet, in addition to being characterized by larger portions of fresh seasonal vegetables, does not include the use of red meat, except occasionally and completely excludes processed meats (cold cuts and sausages of all types). It also excludes refined white flours and all derived products together with simple sugars and sweets, which can only be consumed occasionally” explains nutritionist Lucia Bacciottini. «Another aspect that characterizes the modified Mediterranean diet is the presence of green tea, 4-5 cups per day, and walnuts (28 g per day, approximately 5-6 walnuts). And finally the presence of a new food, the so-called duckweedMankai, which has a high protein content and is also very rich in iron, vitamins – in particular the mineral vitamin B12 – and polyphenols and due to these structural biochemical characteristics it acts as a substitute for meat”.

Green and classic Mediterranean diet: the differences

«The Mediterranean diet, notoriously, represents a traditional, healthy and sustainable diet model and scientifically correlated with the prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases explains nutritionist Lucia Bacciottini. «The Mediterranean diet as we know it has been much studied and scientifically validated as a diet capable of containing the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic pathologies with particular reference to diabetes and, to date, it represents the scientific reference for the drafting of guidelines that allow contain the risk of heart attack and coronary heart disease due to the richness of polyphenols, biologically active substances present in vegetables, the presence of healthy fats, i.e. polyunsaturated fats and also due to reduced portions of proteins of animal origin” says the expert. «But the scientists went further and wanted to research and scientifically validate whether a version of the Mediterranean diet that features even more daily portions of green vegetables and with a further reduction in proteins of animal origin, with the complete exclusion of red meat, could contribute better at maintaining health and containing metabolic and cardiovascular pathologies” says the expert.

What scientists have discovered about the modified Mediterranean diet: the studies

«The first study to investigate the possible benefits of green Mediterranean diet it was DIRECT-PLUS study (Dietary Intervention Randomized Clinical Trial Polyphenols Unprocessed Study), which introduced the very concept of green-mediterranean diet, rich in polyphenols and has highlighted its advantages both in terms of intrahepatic fat loss compared to other healthy nutritional strategies, and in halving NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.” From other studies that have been conducted over time, it has emerged that a diet rich in polyphenols such as the modified Mediterranean diet can primarily benefit the health of the heart and intestines, but can also be an excellent strategy to combat aging including the cerebral one. “One study published in the scientific journal Heart highlighted that a green Mediterranean diet compared to the traditional one has greater advantages in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure compared to the traditional one, while another subsequent study published in Genome Medicine highlighted that thanks to the richness of polyphenols, the green Mediterranean diet is an excellent strategy for keeping the intestine and its microbiome healthy, positively modifying its composition. A further study published onAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutritionalso highlighted how the green Mediterranean diet helps protect against age-related cognitive changes.”

Who is the modified Mediterranean diet suitable for?

«The modified Mediterranean diet is suitable for everyone and can be adopted from childhood to geriatric age. Athletes and sedentary people can follow it, modulating the doses of the various permitted foods and varying the proportions between foods. The only important attention, regarding the adoption of the Green MED, is for people who present transient or subchronic or chronic symptoms of inflammation of the colon, if the medical specialists have advised to modulate the dietary intake of fibre, of which, as is known, plant products are very rich. Even those sensitive to nickel must consult medical specialists to understand what to choose and possibly limit the vegetables that are richer in it.”

What to eat in the modified Mediterranean diet: an example of a menu

Breakfast: wholemeal oat flakes with plain yogurt and strawberries or blueberries, green tea.

Snack: 3 nuts and a seasonal fruit.

Lunch: mixed salad of fresh seasonal vegetables with grilled salmon and steamed vegetables and fresh seasonal fruit, green tea.

Snack: toasted legumes and 2 nuts.

Dinner: vegetable soup with fresh seasonal vegetables and aromatic herbs and bread made with wholemeal stone-ground wheat flour with oilseeds and chickpea and avocado hummus, green tea.

green med
Mixed salad with fruit

When you need freshness and lightness in winter, try preparing this mixed salad with fruit, full of colours, nutrients and taste

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