A recent study conducted by Hana Kahleova et al. from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine suggests that following a vegan diet leads to improved diet quality, resulting in decreased weight and improved insulin sensitivity.
The research was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The study involved 219 overweight adults who were assigned to either make no diet changes or follow a low-fat vegan diet for 16 weeks.
The vegan diet consisted of vegetables, grains, legumes, and fruits, without calorie restrictions. The researchers tracked diet quality, body weight, fat mass, and insulin sensitivity.
Participants on the vegan diet experienced significant weight loss, with an average of 13 pounds and 9.1 pounds of fat mass lost.
In contrast, the group that made no diet changes did not see a decrease in body weight or fat mass.
The researchers found that the weight loss in the vegan group was associated with specific dietary changes:
- Fruit: Increased intake of whole fruit was linked to a decrease in body weight.
- Legumes and Meat Alternatives: Higher consumption of legumes and meat alternatives (such as tofu, tempeh, and veggie burgers) was associated with weight loss, reduced fat mass, and decreased visceral adipose tissue.
- Grains: Increased consumption of whole grains led to decreased body weight and fat mass.
- Eggs and Dairy Products: Decreased intake of eggs and high-fat dairy products correlated with weight loss and reduced fat mass.
- Meat, Fish, and Poultry: Decreased intake of total meat, fish, and poultry was linked to weight loss and decreased fat mass.
- Added Fats: Lower intake of added animal fats and added oils was associated with weight loss and reduced fat mass.
Additionally, the vegan group showed improvements in insulin sensitivity, indicating better blood sugar regulation.
The study also revealed that the diet quality of the vegan group improved significantly compared to the group that made no dietary changes.
The research highlights that following a vegan diet can lead to improved diet quality, resulting in weight loss, reduced fat mass, and improved insulin sensitivity.
The findings emphasize that enhancing the quality of the foods consumed is an effective approach to improving overall health.
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