Switch to vegan to get that perfect shape, says new study

I have always wondered how vegetarians survived without enjoying the scrumptious non-vegetarian delicacies that we have. Chicken Tandoori, Chicken Biriyani, Mutton Curry, Chicken kebabs, fish fingers, you name them. In fact, I laughed at the fact that my “vegetarian” friends go to KFC or McDonald’s and order a “crispy potato burger”.

One day, I tagged along with my friend as she was en route to interview an owner of a vegan restaurant for her college assignment. Until then, I didn’t hear the word “vegan” to be honest, and that lack of knowledge triggered excitement in me.

When we reached the restaurant other than the hospitality, the varied choices of food on the menu card – impressed me. My friend fetched the camera from her bag and started video recording him as I became the interviewer and asked him questions.

It was through that 20 minute Q&A session that I learnt that vegan is not just vegetarian, but also exclusion of any animal product altogether – including dairy products and eggs. And it startled me to find pizza on their menu and delish cakes inside the glass showcase.

We love KFC and McDonalds. But a new study by scientists from Taiwan has found that those who follow a vegetarian diet especially “vegan” have the possibility of losing up to two extra kilograms on a short notice, as against those who follow other weight-cutting plans.


Photo Credit: Frutas e Vegetais

Ru-Yi Huang of E-Da Hospital in Taiwan reviewed 12 arbitrary controlled experiments that included 1,151 dieters who followed a particular eating regimen for between nine and 74 weeks.

This marked to be the first such research to collect the results from several independent projects that assessed the outcome of vegetarian diets against other diets – such as Atkins diet, and the ones suggested by National Cholesterol Education Program or the American Diabetes Association.

He found that vegetarians who ate and drank dairy products and eggs shed around 1.48 kilograms of more weight than non-vegetarian dieters while those vegetarians who followed a vegan routine lost 2.52 kilograms more weight than the non-vegetarian dieters. Overall, people from the vegetarian teams lost considerably around 2.02 kilograms of weight compared to those who maintain a non-vegetarian regimen.

Huang explained that the prolific consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grain might have been influential in vegetarian diets. Fruits are rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals and protective chemicals that naturally occur in plants. On the other hand, whole grain products consists of soluble fiber, termed as “good fiber” helps to slow down the pace of food by which it departs the stomach and guarantees good digestion.

It also lets adequate nutrients to be soaked up as the food passes through the intestines. Whole grains along with vegetables usually have low glycemic index values and prevents blood sugar level from increasing. According to many studies, fiber intake is considered to be good for weight reduction.

The study discovered that vegetarian dieters lost more weight due to the lower than normal consumption of calories, which are termed to be “energy restriction” than those who didn’t have such restrictions in their eating plan.

Huang said, “Vegetarian diets are more effective than non-vegetarian diets for weight loss.” However, he emphasized that extensive period trials (more than the reviewed span of between nine and 74 weeks) are required to examine the effect of vegetarian diets on weight management and cardio-metabolic risk.

The research has been published in the journal Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Therefore, if you’re on a mission to get that slender body with toned stomach – you know what to do. As per me, I don’t think I’ll turn vegan entirely, but I’ll ring my friend up and visit that restaurant certainly and finally try out their vegan delicacies.

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