A vegan diet is better than a Mediterranean diet for weight loss and cholesterol control, a new study has found.
A randomized, cross-sectional study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that a low-fat vegan diet provided better results for weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity and lower cholesterol than a Mediterranean diet.
The study randomly divided overweight and nondiabetic participants into two groups, one with a vegan diet and one with a Mediterranean diet. For 16 weeks, half of the participants followed a lean vegan diet that excluded animal products and focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. The other half ate a classic Mediterranean diet, which, in addition to vegetables, fruits and nuts, also included fish, cold-pressed oils and lean white meat.
The study showed that over 16 weeks, participants lost 3.4 pounds more fat mass on the vegan diet, and they also lost more visceral (more dangerous) fat. The vegan diet lowered total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by 18.7 mg/dL and 15.3 mg/dL, respectively, whereas there were no significant changes in cholesterol with the Mediterranean diet. However, blood pressure decreased better in the Mediterranean diet group.