Do you believe that losing weight on an all-you-can-eat diet is only for infomercials? Reconsider your position.
In a study conducted by George Washington University and Georgetown University, obese participants who followed a vegan diet — avoiding meat and animal products but not caloric restriction — lost more weight than a control group who followed a low-calorie, low-cholesterol diet.
Vegan dieters dropped an average of 13 pounds over 14 weeks, compared to 8 pounds for the control group.
More recently, the same researchers examined 87 papers on vegan or vegetarian diets, concluding that weight loss was due to the high-fiber, high-water, low-fat content of vegan or vegetarian diets, rather than calorie tracking per se. Indeed, regardless of any lifestyle modifications, overweight people who “turned vegan” dropped around a pound a week.
Vegetarian women, according to other studies, weigh less. Tufts University researchers analysed the food and health data of 56,000 Swedish women. They discovered that meat eaters were much more likely to be overweight than vegetarians: 40% of carnivores, compared to 25% of vegetarians and 29% of flexitarians, or semi-vegetarians (those who avoided meat but ate fish and eggs).
If a healthier body isn’t enough of a reason to become green, how about a longer life? According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, low meat consumption was linked to a 3.6-year improvement in life expectancy.
Another reason to eat less meat and create more place on your plate for plant-based protein: A new Mayo Clinic study of over 30,000 postmenopausal women revealed that those who ate the most vegetable protein from beans and nuts instead of carbs or animal protein had a 30% lower risk of heart disease.
A large-scale study of dietary patterns and prostate cancer risk discovered that animal products like meat and dairy were the highest risk factors. In contrast, fruit and vegetable eating provided the most protection.
According to a study by the University of Hawaii and the University of Southern California, those who ate the most processed beef had a 67 per cent increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Red meat and pork consumption elevated the risk by roughly 50%.
If you’re like most Americans, you don’t get enough protein and simple carbohydrates; your challenge (and health opportunity) is to eat more fruits, veggies, and legumes.
Small changes can have a tremendous impact. Increase the amount of fruit in your cereal (try frozen berries for convenience and freshness). Make a fruit cup or a banana your morning snack.
If you have a vegetable-based soup with your lunch, research shows that you will eat less. The same is true for dinner: start with a salad, and you’ll consume significantly fewer calories while consuming considerably more nutrients.