In a head-to-head clinical trial that really grabbed my attention, a plant-based diet trounced its competitor for both superior weight loss and enhanced metabolic function. For this study scientists placed 74 diabetic subjects on one of two calorie-restricted diets for a period of six months. One diet was plant-based consisting of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and nuts with animal products limited to one serving of low-fat yogurt a day. The second diet was a conventional anti-diabetic diet. Both diets contained an equal number of calories.
At the end of the study period both groups lost weight, but those consuming the plant-based diet lost almost twice as much weight. What’s more, only those on the plant-based diet lost dangerous subfascial fat. Subfascial fat is a toxic form of fat that accumulates within muscles and is known for its propensity to ravage metabolic health. Individuals with diabetes and metabolic syndrome (both now epidemic) are typically plagued with this noxious form of fat.
These findings are noteworthy and underscore the reality that all calories ARE NOT EQUAL. Indeed, only plant-based foods offer phytochemicals and fiber, two zero-calorie ingredients that through a myriad of ways enhance weight loss, metabolic function and good health. Talk about a win – win.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2017; 1 DOI: 1080/07315724.2017.1302367
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