Washington: A new study has found that people who follow vegan diet are likelier to shed weight faster than those who consume a diet containing meat and dairy.
The study, conducted by the University of South Carolina, compared the amount of weight lost by those on vegan diets to those on a mostly plant-based diet, and those eating an omnivorous diet with a mix of animal products and plant based foods. At the end of six months, individuals on the vegan diet lost more weight than the other two groups by an average of 4.3 percent, or 16.5 pounds.
The study followed participants who were randomly assigned to one of five diets on the dietary spectrum: vegan which excludes all animal products, semi-vegetarian with occasional meat intake; pesco-vegetarian which excludes all meat except seafood; vegetarian which excludes all meat and seafood but includes animal products, and omnivorous, which excludes no foods.
Participants followed their assigned dietary restrictions for 6 months, with all groups except the omnivorous participating in weekly group meetings. Those who stuck to the vegan diet showed the greatest weight loss at the 2 and 6 month marks.
The lead author on this study, Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy noted that the diet consumed by vegan participants was high in carbohydrates that rate low on the glycemic index, and said that the study might help alleviate the fears of people who enjoy pasta, rice, and other grains but want to lose weight.
The study also showed the greatest amount of decrease in the fat of vegan participants, and saturated fat levels at the two and six month checks, had lower BMIs, and improved macro nutrients more than other diets.
The study is published in International Journal of Applied and Basic Nutritional Sciences.