New research shows that vegetarians lose weight more efficiently and also improve their metabolism more quickly than compared to low-calorie dieters, by reducing their muscle fat.
The study followed 74 people with type 2 diabetes, randomly selecting some to follow a vegetarian diet and the others to follow a conventional anti-diabetic diet. The results of the study showed that the vegetarian diet was almost twice as effective at reducing a person’s body weight averaging a weight loss of 14 pounds compared to only 7 pounds by those who were on the traditional diet.
Those who participated on the vegetarian diet ate mostly fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and legumes with animal products limited to only one low-fat yogurt per day. Those participants on the traditional diet followed the recommendations of the (EASD) European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
“Vegetarian diets proved to be the most effective diets for weight loss,” Dr. Hana Kahleova, director of Clinical Research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said in a press release. “However, we also showed that a vegetarian diet is much more effective at reducing muscle fat, thus improving metabolism. This finding is important for people who are trying to lose weight, including those suffering from metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. But it is also relevant to anyone who takes their weight management seriously and wants to stay lean and healthy.”
Researchers on the study used magnetic resonance imaging, or an MRI, to study adipose tissue inside the participant’s thighs to see how differently the two diets affected, subfascial subcutaneous, and intramuscular fat.
The research concluded that both diets showed a similar reduction in subcutaneous fat but the subfascial fat was reduced only in the vegetarian diet and intramuscular fat saw more of a significant decrease on those who were on the vegetarian diet.
The study was published June 10 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.