Vegan diet for better health: a look at new research

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A new study by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests that a vegan diet can be significantly beneficial for overweight adults.

Led by Hana Kahleova, the research involved 219 overweight adults and spanned over 16 weeks. Here’s what they found.

Key Findings

Weight Loss and Fat Mass Reduction

Participants who switched to a vegan diet lost an average of 13 pounds and 9.1 pounds of fat mass. On the other hand, those who did not change their diet showed no decrease in weight or fat mass.

Specific Food Choices Matter

Fruits: Those who consumed more fruits showed a decrease in body weight.

Legumes and Meat Alternatives: Legumes like lentils and chickpeas, as well as meat alternatives like tofu and tempeh, were associated with weight loss.

Whole Grains: People who ate more whole grains experienced a decrease in body weight and fat mass.

Animal Products: Reducing the consumption of meat, fish, and poultry was also associated with weight loss and a decrease in fat mass.

Eggs and Dairy: Less intake of eggs and high-fat dairy led to weight loss.

Added Fats: Decreasing intake of added animal fats and oils also contributed to weight loss.

Better Insulin Sensitivity

The vegan group experienced improvements in insulin sensitivity, which is vital for metabolic health and can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Improved Diet Quality

The quality of the vegan group’s diet significantly improved compared to those who made no changes to their diet.


The study provides strong evidence that a vegan diet can improve health markers like weight, fat mass, and insulin sensitivity in overweight adults.

Importantly, these benefits are not just linked to a vegan diet per se, but to the quality of food choices within that dietary framework.


This study suggests that the key to improving health may lie in the quality of food you consume.

A vegan diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, appears to offer significant benefits for those looking to lose weight and improve metabolic health.

However, as with any dietary changes, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your eating habits.

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