Plant-based wholefood diet shown again to be best for weight loss

Interestingly this study found that the plant-based diet was still the most effective for weight loss – regardless of carbohydrate intake. 

Love those carbohydrates! Just like the centenarians.  

Obviously we are talking about just the good ones; the whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and legumes, eaten raw, soaked, sprouted, fermented or cooked. 

“We’ve gotten somewhat carb-phobic here in the U.S. when it comes to weight loss. This study might help alleviate the fears of people who enjoy pasta, rice, and other grains but want to lose weight,”
Lead author Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, assistant professor at the University of South Carolina in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, November 2014. 

The researchers compared five different diets for weight loss:

  1. A fully plant-based wholefood diet
  2. A semi-vegetarian diet with occasional meat intake
  3. A pesco-vegetarian diet which excludes all meat except seafood
  4. A vegetarian diet which excludes all meat and seafood but includes dairy foods
  5. An omnivorous diet (which excludes no foods) 

What did the researchers find after two months and after six months?

The completely plant-based diet participants:

  • Lost more weight
  • Lost 16.5 pounds (8kg) more than the other groups
  • Had the greatest decrease in their fat levels
  • Had the highest drop off in saturated fat levels
  • Had lower Body Mass Index numbers
  • Gained ‘improved’ macro nutrient levels in the body
  • The diet did not focus on calorie restriction 

Study by Gabrielle M. Turner-McGrievy, PhD, RD, Charis R. Davidson, MPH, Ellen E. Wingard, MPH, RD, Sara Wilcox, PhD and Edward A. Frongillo, PhD, from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health “Comparative effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss: A randomized controlled trial of five different diets” as published in The International Journal of Applied and Basic Nutritional Sciences, 2014.

Posted: Friday 5 December 2014