This diet can effectively help you lose weight and reduce cholesterol

In a new study, researchers found that a vegan diet is more effective for weight loss than a Mediterranean diet.

They found that a low-fat vegan diet has better outcomes for weight, body composition, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol levels, compared with a Mediterranean diet.

The research was conducted by a team at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Previous studies have suggested that both Mediterranean and vegan diets improve body weight and heart-metabolic risk factors, but until now, their relative efficacy had not been compared.

In the study, the team tested people who were overweight and had no history of diabetes.

For 16 weeks, half of the participants started with a low-fat vegan diet that eliminated animal products and focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

The other half started with the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, low-fat dairy, and extra virgin olive oil, while limiting or avoiding red meat and saturated fats.

Neither group had a calorie limit, and participants did not change exercise or medication routines unless directed by their personal doctors.

These participants then went back to their baseline diets for a four-week washout period before switching to the opposite group for an additional 16 weeks.

The team found that within 16 weeks on each diet, participants lost an average of 6 kilograms (or about 13 pounds) on the vegan diet, compared with no meaningful change on the Mediterranean diet.

Participants lost 3.4 kg (about 7.5 pounds) more fat mass on the vegan diet.

Participants saw a greater reduction in visceral fat by 315 cm3 on the vegan diet.

The vegan diet decreased total and LDL cholesterol levels by 18.7 mg/dL and 15.3 mg/dL, respectively, while there were no strong cholesterol changes on the Mediterranean diet.

Blood pressure decreased on both diets, but more on the Mediterranean diet (6.0 mm Hg, compared to 3.2 mmHg on the vegan diet).

The researchers note that the vegan diet likely led to weight loss, because it was linked to a reduction in calorie intake, increase in fiber intake, and decrease in fatty fish, dairy products, and oils.

They suggest that if your goal is to lose weight or get healthy in 2021, choosing a plant-based diet is a great way to achieve your resolution.

One author of the study is Hana Kahleova, MD, Ph.D.

The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

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