A plant-based diet leads to more weight loss, according to findings presented at the Obesity Society’s annual conference. Researchers followed 63 obese and overweight adults on an eight-week weight-loss program based on five different dietary patterns: vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, and omnivorous. Each regimen encouraged low-fat, low-glycemic index foods without caloric restrictions and offered support from weekly classes. Of the five groups, the participants following the plant-based diets lost the most weight, compared with those following the nonvegetarian diets. The researchers suggest plant-based diets may work better for weight loss because they do not focus on portion control or calorie counting.
People who follow vegan diets weigh less and consume more protective nutrients such as beta carotene and fiber, according to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Researchers collected data from 71,751 participants enrolled in the Adventist Health Study 2 for five years. Participants were categorized into five dietary patterns: vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, and nonvegetarian. Those who followed nonvegetarian diets ate the most saturated fat and the least fiber, compared with the vegan group. The vegan group (defined as consuming animal products less than one time per month), consumed the most beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and magnesium, compared with all other dietary groups. The vegan group had the lowest average body mass index (a measure of body weight adjusted for height) and the lowest prevalence of obesity, compared with those following all other dietary patterns. Levels of BMI and rates of obesity went up as animal product intake increased.
Tip of the Day
Think lean when it comes to meats. Go big on flavor with lean burgers and steaks, and lower the fat by adding mushrooms to lean ground meat. Also, broil flank or skirt steak.