Medical research continues to demonstrate the positive results of a vegetarian diet over a low-calorie (“low calorie”) diet. In addition to weight loss, studies show that vegetarian diets outperform hypocaloric diets in virtually all important benchmarks for health and fitness, including:
Maximum optimal consumption (VO² max)
LDL cholesterol levels (“bad”)
Risk of cardiovascular disease
In this article, we will focus on the weight loss results observed in a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition . In the study, the researchers sought to measure the effects, if any, of a vegetarian and conventional diet on the distribution of fatty tissue in subjects with type 2 diabetes (T2D). To conclude, we will discuss the types of foods used by researchers and what food science has to say about their health benefits.
Here is How to Duplicate the Weight Loss With a Vegetarian Diet:
« This study is important for people who are trying to lose weight, including those who suffer from metabolic syndrome and / or type 2 diabetes. But it is also relevant for anyone who takes their weight control seriously and ways to stay slim and healthy «. – Dr. Hana Kahleova.
74 individuals with T2D were randomly assigned to one of two groups – an isocaloric antidiabetic diet or a vegetarian diet. An isocaloric diet is one in which a person consumes the same amount of calories from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. An isocaloric diet is relatively low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fiber. Note: In a 2014 study published in the Iran Journal of Medical Science , individuals who followed an isocaloric diet “significantly” reduced the total body mass index (BMI) compared to a “balanced diet.” In order not to turn this reading into a scientific document, let’s get to the point.
The Diet to Lose Weight:
“We showed that a vegetarian diet reduced subfascial fat more and tended to reduce intramuscular fat more than a conventional hypocaloric diet for diabetics. »- Dr. HanaKahleova.
Now that we have established the weight loss benefits of a vegetarian diet, let’s review the types of foods the study research team uses (and presumably recommends) most likely. First, researchers define the vegetarian diet as 60% of calories from carbohydrates, 25% of fats and 15% of proteins.
“Products of animal origin were limited to an optional single serving of low-fat yogurt”.
For the rest, the diet was entirely composed of “vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits and nuts.” (Important note: The study authors do not specify the exact foods used for the diet. Instead, they followed the “nutritional recommendations and interventions for diabetes” established by the American Diabetes Association. We will do the same here.)
– 2-3 servings of fresh fruit (not canned) per day: apples, apricots, bananas, berries, melon, citrus, grapes, mango, papaya, pineapple.
– 4-6 + servings of non-starchy vegetables (1 serving = ½ cup cooked; 1 cup raw): artichoke, asparagus, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber , vegetables, mushrooms, okra, onions, peppers, radishes, green salads, pumpkins, tomatoes, turnips, water chestnuts.
Fat and Protein:
– Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (“healthy” fats): avocado, canola oil, nuts, olives / oil, peanut butter, sesame seeds; Canola oil, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts.
– Or optional: 1 serving of dairy products.
– Vegetable proteins: almonds, beans, chia seeds, cottage cheese, edamame, green peas, hemp seeds, lentils, quinoa.
These are the findings reported in this study (among many other previous studies) regarding the advantages of a vegetarian diet over a conventional isocaloric and antidiabetic diet:
- Lower oxidative stress (“an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants.”)
- Better normalization and maintenance of blood sugar levels.
- Lower fat density in the area (s) measured. In this study, the vegetarian group tested a 27% greater reduction in the total leg area than the isocaloric group.
- Fascia fat loss was exclusive to the vegetarian diet group. (Fascia is defined as “a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen.” The accumulation of fascial fat is associated with the development of cellulite.
- A 300% greater reduction of intramuscular fat in vegetarian diets over isocaloric diets.
- Increased loss of fat in the subcutaneous regions of the body in the vegetarian group.
The researchers conclude that the “vegetarian diet was almost twice as effective in reducing body weight compared to the diet (antidiabetic, isocaloric)”. The vegetarian group had an average weight loss of ~ 6.2 kg, compared to ~ 3.2 kg is the isocaloric group. The research team attributes these findings to accelerated fat loss due to lower and stable blood sugar levels and decreased insulin sensitivity.