Is dropping a few pounds one of your 2021 goals? Some suggest giving a low-fat vegan diet a go. A new study found the eating plan was actually more effective for weight loss than the Mediterranean diet, which has repeatedly been ranked the best diet for weight loss.
For the study, the two diets were compared over 36-weeks. Half of the participants ate a low-fat vegan diet for 16 weeks, which limited plant fats including oil, avocado, nuts and coconut. The other half followed the Mediterranean diet, which allows for olive oil and a moderate amount of fish and chicken. Neither group had calorie restrictions. After the 16 weeks, the participants went back to their regular diets for four weeks, then switched to the opposite diet for another 16 weeks.
And at the end of the 36 weeks, the low-fat vegan diet not only showed more weight loss results, but improved cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity, and body composition. People who ate the Mediterranean diet didn’t lose any weight, but those on the low-fat vegan diet lost an average of 13.2-pounds, including an average of 7.5-pounds of fat. Study author Dr. Neal Barnard explains that the dairy, fatty fish and oils included in the Mediterranean diet seem to be the reason participants didn’t lose weight on it. But it all comes down to calories – on the low-fat vegan diet, participants reported naturally eating 500 fewer calories and shed pounds as a result.