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Low-Fat Vegan Diet May Be Better for Weight Loss Than Mediterranean Diet

A vegan diet is made up of only plant-based foods and includes fruits, vegetables, soy, legumes, nuts and nut butters, plant-based dairy alternatives, sprouted or fermented plant foods, and whole grains. A new study has found that a low-fat vegan diet may be more successful for weight loss than a Mediterranean diet.

Sixty-two overweight adults without diabetes participated in the study. They were assigned to a low-fat vegan diet or a Mediterranean diet for 16 weeks. They returned to their normal diets for 4 weeks, then switched diets for 16 more weeks. Body weight, plasma lipids, blood pressure, and body composition were evaluated at baseline and at the end of each diet period.

While on the low-fat vegan diet, participants lost an average of 13 pounds, compared to no weight loss while on the Mediterranean diet. They also lost approximately 7.5 pounds of fat mass and saw a greater reduction in visceral fat while on the low-fat vegan diet. In addition, participants saw a decrease in total and LDL cholesterol levels while on the low-fat vegan diet but saw no significant changes while on the Mediterranean diet. Blood pressure decreased on both diets, although slightly more during the Mediterranean diet.

The study was conducted by researchers from George Washington University.It was published online ahead of print on February 5, 2021 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

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