Vegan diet better for slimmers

Washington: Low-fat vegan diets are more successful that those including meat, says a new study conducted by Georgetown University Hospitaland George Washington University in the US.

Half the 59 overweight volunteers followed a strictly vegan diet as part of the experiment conducted by Dr Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

The remaining half were given food in line with a national programme designed to reduce illness and death from coronary heart disease in the US, which endorses the consumption of low-fat animal products.

Dr Barnard discovered that those on the vegan diet were able to lose weight without feeling hungry. All the women were of post-menopausal age.

Mr Barnard said: “The study participants following the vegan diet enjoyed unlimited servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthful foods that enabled them to lose weight without feeling hungry.

“As they began to experience the positive effects, weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity, the women in the intervention group became even more motivated to follow the plant-based eating plan.”

The journal article also refers to a study of 55,000 women in Sweden which reinforces Dr Barnard’s findings.

Researchers at Tufts University in Sweden found that of the group, 40% of meat-eaters were overweight or obese compared to 25% to 29% of vegetarians and vegans.

Worldwide, vegetarian populations experience lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other life-threatening diseases.

Meanwhile, a new study appearing in September’s Journal of Urology in the States shows that a low-fat, primarily vegan diet may slow the progression of prostate cancer.