A low-fat vegan diet is more effective than the Mediterranean for improving health indicators and losing weight
The vegan diet is more effective for weight loss than the Mediterranean diet. A new study came to this conclusion that compared the two diets to see what effect they had on weight, cholesterol levels and other important variables for our health.
The study, led by a team from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), randomly assigned the 62 participants, who were overweight and had no history of diabetes, a vegan diet, or a Mediterranean diet.
For 16 weeks, half of the participants followed a low-fat vegan diet which eliminated animal products and focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. The other half followed a Mediterranean diet, according to the PREDIMED protocol, which focused on fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish, low-fat dairy products and extra virgin olive oil, limiting or avoiding red meat and saturated fats.
Neither group had a calorie limit and the participants did not change their habits regarding physical activity or taking medications.
After 16 weeks, the participants returned to their basic diets for a period of four weeks before moving on to the opposite group for another 16 weeks.
The research results showed as one vegan diet low-fat have better results on weight, body fat composition, insulin sensitivity e cholesterol levels, compared to the Mediterranean diet.
Specifically, the study found that participants:
- They lost an average of 6 kilograms on the vegan diet. On the other hand, no average change was recorded with the Mediterranean diet.
- They lost 3,4 kg more fat on the vegan diet.
- They saw a greater reduction in visceral fat of 315 cm3 with the vegan diet.
- The vegan diet reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels by 18,7 mg / dL and 15,3 mg / dL, respectively. There were no significant changes in cholesterol in the Mediterranean diet.
- Blood pressure decreased with both diets, but more with the Mediterranean diet (6,0 mmHg, compared to 3,2 mmHg on the vegan diet).
Previous studies have suggested that both the Mediterranean and vegan diets improve body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors, but until now, their relative efficacy had not been compared in a randomized study. We decided to test head-to-head diets and found that a vegan diet is more effective for both improving health indicators and increasing weight lossSaid Hana Kahleova, lead author of the study and director of clinical research of the Physicians Committee.
The authors note that the vegan diet likely led to weight loss because it was associated with reduced calorie intake, increased fiber intake, decreased fat intake, and particularly saturated fat intake.
The Mediterranean, on the other hand, probably had no effect on weight loss as it included fatty fish, dairy products and oils.
“If your goal is to lose weight or stay healthy in 2021, choosing a plant-based diet is a great way to achieve it,” concludes Dr. Kahleova.
The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Fonti: EurekAlert / Journal of the American College of Nutrition
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