Vegetarian diets increase weight loss and metabolism over low-calorie diets
The case for plant based diets has been gaining steam in recent years. From The Meatless Monday Campaign to the “Year of the Pulse”, it shouldn’t be a surprise that food manufacturers are coming to the table with items like BBQ jackfruit, chickpea pasta and spiralized vegetables making it easier to reap the benefits of a vegetarian diet such as reduced risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition finds that vegetarian diets promote fat loss and increase metabolism more effectively than standard weight loss diets - just one more reason to go green!
Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of the diets by having 74 participants with Type 2 Diabetes follow either a vegetarian or conventional weight loss diet. The vegetarian diet included 60% carbohydrates, 15% protein, 25% fat. The Conventional diet had 50% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 30% fat. Both diets were designed to reduce energy intake by 500 calories based on indirect calorimetry and all meals for the study were provided over the six month study period. Exercise was part of the regimen as well.
Researchers evaluated participants at three and six months. Interestingly the vegetarian diet was responsible for 13.6lb weight loss, compared to 7lbs on the standard diet, almost twice as much! Fat storage was measured inside and around the muscle via MRI, revealing that intramuscular fat was reduced more as a result of the vegetarian diet and fat on the surface of the muscles was only reduced in response to the vegetarian diet. These findings illustrate great benefits, specifically for individuals with diabetes as subfacial, or fat on the surface of muscle, has been linked with insulin resistance.
What does a vegetarian diet and eliminating pesky muscle fat mean for you? If you have diabetes, glucose metabolism may improve by helping your muscles work more effectively. It’s great news for the elderly because it could help improve strength and mobility too. Everyone can benefit from increased metabolism when muscle fat is reduced, making us lean, green, calorie-burning machines.
Here’s some vegetarian inspiration for you:
Start the day right with Banana Bran Breakfast Muffins
Lunch with our Panzanella Mediterranean Salad
Feed a group with this veggie packed Lasagna
End the night on a sweet note with this Simply Good Cobbler
Published October 1, 2017