Ghrelin’s “Hunger Hormone” and its action in the green Mediterranean diet

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New research shows that higher levels of the hormone ghrelin (the hormone of hunger), which occurs during periods of starvation or when you are on a weight loss diet such as the green Mediterranean diet, can help with fat loss and weight loss. insulin sensitivity.

The green Mediterranean diet focuses more on leafy vegetables and excludes red meat.

Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and increases at night when we sleep because we don’t eat, and then decreases again after we eat something.

According to findings published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, it is assumed that people who have higher ghrelin levels after weight loss have a lower risk of developing diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

The research team also found that people who follow a green Mediterranean diet rich in leafy green vegetables and excrete red meat have significantly higher ghrelin levels than people who follow a more traditional Mediterranean diet.

All participants supplement their diet with regular physical activity.

How diet affects ghrelin levels

Ghrelin, called the “hunger hormone,” stimulates appetite.

It increases during periods of weight loss and starvation diet, even during sleep, and begins to decrease soon after eating.

This hormone appears to play an important role in maintaining glycemic levels and metabolism during prolonged fasting.

Lower ghrelin levels have been associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and the development of metabolic diseases.

What did the study show?

The researchers wanted to further study how fasting ghrelin levels fluctuate between different dietary interventions and how the hormone affects obesity and metabolic processes, including insulin sensitivity.

Over an 18-month period, the team assessed fasting ghrelin levels in 294 individuals with abdominal obesity or dyslipidemia, a health condition high in fat and cholesterol in the blood.

Participants were given one of three regimes – the Mediterranean diet, the green Mediterranean diet or a diet plan that follows the guidelines of a healthy diet.

They all trained regularly.


Those on a green Mediterranean diet have twice as much ghrelin levels on an empty stomach than those who follow a traditional Mediterranean diet or healthy eating plan.

Researchers hypothesize that elevated fasting ghrelin levels in people who stick to a green Mediterranean diet may explain why they reduced liver fat and improved cardiometabolic health.

What is the green Mediterranean diet

The green Mediterranean diet includes more leafy vegetables than the traditional Mediterranean diet. It also does not contain red meat.

Study participants who stick to a green Mediterranean diet also regularly drink green tea and eat mankay, a plant rich in fiber and polyphenols.

Polyphenols are one of the nutrients needed to optimally promote blood circulation and cardio-metabolic health, so they can help reduce inflammation and insulin resistance in the body.

Mankay is also a great source of protein to help make up for the lack of protein in animal meat.

Since mankay is not readily available to many people, look for foods high in polyphenols – berries, black grapes, white beans, extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, basil, ginger and vinegar.

The benefits seem to be more pronounced if you stick to a green Mediterranean diet instead of other healthy eating plans, as the diet is rich in leafy vegetables and does not contain red meat.