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Surprising Science

The Best Way to Shed Weight? Go Vegan.

There are a lot of different diet plans out there: paleo, Weight Watchers, Atkins. But if you want the best results, go vegan.

There are a lot of different diet plans out there: paleo, Weight Watchers, Atkins, and even a number of government recommendations. Each with its own philosophy on health and wellness. But when choosing a diet, it’s more about deciding what kind of food lifestyle you want to lead. The thing about starting a diet is that it’s not going to be a temporary solution to lose weight. It should be seen as how you plan on eating for the rest of your life.

As part of a recent study, researchers found that going with a vegan eating regimen may be the way to go if you want the best results. However, this way of life may not be for everyone. 

Ru-Yi Huang of E-Da Hospital in Taiwan reviewed the results of 12 diet trials, involving 1,151 dieters over the course of nine and 74 weeks. He found a vegetarian plan was one of the most effective. Participants lost more weight compared to their meat-eating dieters (around four pounds). Vegans lost even more weight, compared to participants who indulged in meats (around 5 pounds).

Huang notes that whole grains, fruits, and vegetables all create a kind of harmonious cycle in the body that allows for slower digestion from fibrous whole grains and fruits, and lower glycemic index values that don’t cause blood sugar levels to spike. These results led Huang to conclude, “Vegetarian diets are more effective than non-vegetarian diets for weight loss.”

Many of us would have trouble giving up meat (myself included). It tastes good and it smells good; so why would we want to? Because most Americans don’t need to eat meat, or at least not in the quantities that we’re currently consuming it.

Nutritionist Marion Nestle explains excluding meat from one’s diet is a double-edged sword. It has been hailed as essential for everything from lowering cholesterol to lowering emissions. But, as Nestle explains, the vegetarian movement is not without its potential dangers and dubious beliefs.

Read more at EurekAlert!

Photo credit: JACK GUEZ / Staff


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