Going “vegetarian” has been a hot topic for years now, and experts continue to debate whether it is better for your skin, weight and overall health, among other things. Many vegetarians (at least most of the ones I know) love having a plethora of reasons to convince omnivores to give up meat and move into their world of eco-friendly eating. And thanks to the results of a new study, here’s yet another one veggie-only lovers can use to back up their case.
Scientists from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C. studied 74 people with type 2 diabetes who were randomly prescribed either a low-calorie, vegetarian diet (the only animal product allowed was low-fat yogurt; one serving a day) or a standard anti-diabetic diet.
To determine the participants’ weight-loss potential, their diets were limited to 500 calories a day less than they would need to maintain their weight. The results, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, showed that after six months, those who had followed the vegetarian diet lost nearly 14 pounds compared to those on the traditional diet, who only dropped 7 pounds.
The researchers also analyzed the way fat was stored in the participants’ thighs to see how each diet affected it. Both diets resulted in a similar reduction in subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin), but more muscle fat was lost by those who ate a vegetarian diet.
Although it was a small study, the bottom line reveals surprising stats: Going “vegetarian” is twice as effective as eating a carnivorous diet when it comes to losing weight. Plus, research also uncovered that vegetarians reduce their muscle fat more effectively as well, and therefore boost their metabolism, too.
Dr. Hana Kahleová, lead author of the study, says, “This finding is important for people who are trying to lose weight, including those suffering from metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes. But it is also relevant to anyone who takes their weight management seriously and wants to stay lean and healthy.”