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Mediterranean diet as good as low calorie vegetarian diet for weight loss

No difference was seen between a ‘no fish, no meat Vegetarian Diet’ (VD) and a Mediterranean Diet (MD) in terms of weight and fat loss, but the MD diet was better in terms of triglyceride and B-12 levels, and the VD lowered LDL cholesterol more.

There are many articles about the benefits of a vegetarian or a vegan diet for health in the press these days. Of course, some people just believe eating meat and fish is wrong, and we respect that. But for many people, an illness like cancer or cardiovascular disease prompts them to give up meat and fish. Do they need to go to that extreme?

In this research, the ‘Vegetarian’ definition was that of a lacto-ovo vegetarian – it contains no meat, fish or poultry and any products containing these, but it did allow eggs and dairy. It’s a highly restrictive diet.

It was a small study – 118 people (average age 51.1; 78 per cent female) who were all overweight omnivores with a low to moderate cardiovascular risk profile. The participants were randomly assigned and spent 3 months on one of the diets, then crossed over to the other diet for three months.

In terms of weight loss, body mass index and fat mass, all participants saw significant and approximately equal declines (approximately 1.8 kgs weight loss on each)  

Differences were however seen in LDL cholesterol, where the no meat, no fish vegetarian diet ‘won’, and in triglycerides and B-12, where the Rainbow Diet was significantly better. 46 participants reduced their cardiovascular risk to ‘normal’.

Go to: Adopting a Mediterranean Diet significantly reduces stroke and cardiovascular risk

Reference

  1. CARDIVEG StudyFrancesco Sofi, Monica Dinu, Giuditta Pagliai, Francesca Cesari, Anna Maria Gori, Alice Sereni, Matteo Becatti, Claudia Fiorillo, Rossella Marcucci, and Alessandro Casini. 

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