Plant-based diet suggests Mediterranean diet for weight loss, study results
A low-fat, plant-based diet is superior to a standard Mediterranean diet for weight loss. This is evident from a study recently published in the study Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The randomized crossover study was conducted by researchers from the Medical Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)– A group of 12,000 doctors. For the study, obese participants with no history of diabetes were divided into two groups: one following a low-fat plant-based diet and one following the Mediterranean diet (structured according to the PREDIMED protocol, which focuses on fruits, vegetables). Legumes, fish, low-fat dairy products, and extra virgin olive oil, with limiting or avoiding red meats and saturated fats. Participants in each group followed their assigned no-calorie diets for 16 weeks without changing exercise routines or medication. As part of the crossover design, the participants then returned to their basic diets for a four-week “washout phase” before switching to the opposite group for a further 16 weeks.
“While many people consider the Mediterranean Diet to be one of the best ways to lose weight, the diet actually crashed and burned when we put it to the test,” said study author Neal Barnard, MD, president of PCRM. “In a randomized controlled study, the Mediterranean diet caused no weight loss at all. The problem seems to be the inclusion of oily fish, dairy products and oils. In contrast, a low-fat vegan diet caused significant and consistent weight loss. “
Herbal weight loss
The study found that participants lost an average of 13 pounds on the vegan diet, compared to no mean change on the Mediterranean diet. Participants lost an average of 7.5 pounds of fat mass and reduced their visceral fat by 315 cc on a plant-based diet. A plant-based diet also lowered total and LDL cholesterol levels by 18.7 mg / dL and 15.3 mg / dL, respectively. Participants lowered their blood pressure on both diets, with the Mediterranean diet (6.0 mm Hg versus 3.2 mm Hg on the vegan diet) being slightly higher on this metric.
“Previous studies have shown that both Mediterranean and vegan diets improve body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors. However, their relative effectiveness has not yet been compared in a randomized study,” said the study’s author, Dr. med. Hana Kahleova clinical research for PCRM said. “We decided to put the diets head-to-head and found that a vegan diet is more effective at both improving health traits and increasing weight loss.”
The researchers suggest that the plant-based diet resulted in weight loss due to a decrease in caloric intake, an increase in fiber intake, a decrease in fat consumption, and a decrease in saturated fat consumption. “If your goal is to lose weight or get healthy in 2021, choosing a plant-based diet is a great way to achieve your solution,” said Kahleova.