A new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine has revealed people following a vegetarian diet, including a vegan diet with no animal products, have a greater weight loss than dieters on other weight-reducing plans.
The study was conducted in Taiwan and included twelve randomized controlled trials with 1,151 dieters who followed a specific eating regime for between nine and 74 weeks. It is the first study to combine the findings from various controlled trials that examined the results of vegetarian diets against other eating plans.
Individuals assigned to the vegetarian diet groups lost significantly more weight than dieters who ate meat and other animal products. Vegetarians who followed a vegan diet lost even more weight. Vegetarians who ate dairy products and eggs lost around 1.48 kilograms more than those on a non-vegetarian diet.
The weight loss is blamed on the low glycemic index values of whole-grain products and vegetables and fiber which doesn’t cause blood sugar levels to spike. Fruits are rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals and protective chemicals that naturally occur in plants, enabling good digestion.
“Vegetarian diets are more effective than non-vegetarian diets for weight loss,” said Huang, the lead study author.
Huang, R-H. et al. Vegetarian Diets and Weight Reduction: a Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of General Internal Medicine, June 2015 DOI: 10.1007/s11606-015-3390-7