Some research has shown that vegetarians have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and death from any cause. In addition, a meta-analysis found an association between a vegetarian or vegan diet and increased weight loss compared with non-vegetarian diets (such as high-protein, low-fat, and diabetes-management diets). The meta-analysis, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, looked at data from 12 other diet studies that included weight loss results from a total of 1,151 men and women aged 18 to 82, some of whom were overweight or obese. The diet studies ranged in length from 2 to 18 months and included follow-up periods between 8 weeks and 2 years. After analyzing the combined data researchers found:
Participants following a vegetarian diet lost 2.02 kg (4.5 lb) more than those following other diets.
Participants following a vegan diet lost 2.52 kg (5.6 lb) more than those following other diets.
While this may be exciting news if you’re looking for a weight loss diet, it’s important to note that not all vegetarian and vegan foods are created equal. Researchers attribute the extra weight loss in this meta-analysis to the whole grains, fruits, and vegetables commonly found in these diets. Healthful, plant-based foods tend to be low in calories and full of fiber, which research suggests may aid in weight loss.
Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine