A vegan diet is more effective for weight loss and helps control cholesterol than a Mediterranean diet, according to a new study. According to the study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, a person can lose an average of six kilograms on a vegan diet, compared to no mean change on the Mediterranean diet.
"Previous studies have shown that both Mediterranean and vegan diets improve body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors. However, their relative effectiveness has not yet been compared in a randomized study," said researcher Hana Kahleova of the Medical Committee for Responsible Medicine -profit Organization in the USA.
The researchers stated that a low-fat vegan diet had "better results in terms of weight, body composition, insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels" compared to a Mediterranean diet.
The study included randomly assigned participants – who were overweight and had no history of diabetes – on a vegan or Mediterranean diet in a 1: 1 ratio.
For 16 weeks, half of the participants started on a low-fat Vegan Diet that eliminated animal products and focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
The other half started on the Mediterranean Diet, which followed the PREDIMED protocol, which focuses on fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, low-fat dairy products, and extra virgin olive oil while limiting or avoiding red meat and saturated fats.
While the vegan diet was found to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels by 18.7 mg / dL and 15.3 mg / dL, respectively, there were no significant changes in cholesterol on the Mediterranean diet.
Blood pressure declined on both diets, but more so on the Mediterranean diet, the researchers said.
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