Plant-based Diets Help Quickly Reduce Weight and Cholesterol
Plant-based diets help drop the pounds quickly according to multiple studies. This means that switching our diet from a Western diet has a tangible effect of helping us lose weight.
Researchers from the University of South Carolina conducted a study that compared five different weight-loss diets. The diets included vegan plant-based diet, a vegetarian diet, a semi-vegetarian diet, a pesca-vegetarian (plant-based diet with fish) and an omnivorous weight loss diet (diet includes meat).
The study lasted six months, and 50 participants completed the study. The researchers found that the vegan diet produced a 7.5 percent weight loss, compared to 3.1 percent for the omnivorous diet. This means that the vegan diet produced more than double the weight loss compared to the omnivorous diet.
Confirmation on plant-based diets
A 2013 study determined that a mostly-plant-based diet plan with daily Greenfoods and Apple Cider Vinegar supplementation in addition to a daily supplement can result in significant weight loss and reductions of “bad” cholesterol in just three weeks.
The researchers gave 49 adult men and women a three week diet containing mostly plant-based meals. The meals totaled 1200-1400 calories for the women and 1600-1800 calories for the men.
The men and women were also given, once daily, nutritional supplements. The daily supplement contained a greenfood drink with alfalfa, wheatgrass and apple cider vinegar. In addition, the group was given a nutritional supplement with enzymes and vitamins.
During the second week, the adult subjects – with an average age of 31 – were given a daily cleanse supplement. This supplement contained magnesium, chia, flaxseed, lemon, camu camu, cat’s claw, bentonite clay, tumeric, pau d’arco, chanca piedra, stevia, zeolite clay, slippery elm, garlic, ginger, peppermint, aloe, citrus bioflavonoids, and fulvic acid. The cleanse supplement was given before every meal during the second week.
During the third week, the researchers gave the subjects supplements with probiotics and prebiotics instead of the cleanse supplement.
Average of nine pounds lost in 21 days
The average weight loss after 21 days was nearly nine pounds per person – equating to a 2-3% drop in weight per person.
And the average drop in total cholesterol was 30 mg/dL while the drop in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – the “bad” cholesterol – was 21 mg/dL. Their average LDL levels prior to the three-week diet was 103 mg/dL, dropping to an average of 83 mg/dL, while total cholesterol went from an average of 185 mg/dL to 155 mg/dL. These are significant drops in both total and LDL cholesterol by any standard, let alone from only three weeks of a diet with natural supplements.
Triglycerides also decreased dramatically. Average triglyceride levels went from 93 mg/dL to 83 mg/dL during the three weeks.
In addition, testosterone levels among the women in the group went up significantly, from an average of 400 n/dL (nanograms per deciliter) to over 511 n/dL.
Average average blood pressure went down as well. Average systolic blood pressure went from 116 to 112 mmHg during the three weeks, while diastolic pressure went from 76 to 71 mmHg.
Obesity rates have tripled in the U.S.
Obesity rates have tripled in the U.S. to more than a third of men and women, along with an epidemic of cardiovascular problems, diabetes and other metabolic issues. According to the latest data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2005-2006, obesity has jumped to 33.4% of men and 36.5% of women. According to new research from the Centers of Disease Control, those rates have gone up to an average of 35.7% for all adults, with blacks at nearly 50%, hispanics at 40% and whites at 34%.
Meanwhile, a number of studies have shown that Mediterranean diets – containing more fruits and vegetables – result in weight loss, as do vegan and healthy vegetarian diets.
Plant-based diets also boost good neurotransmitters according to other research. Plant-based diets also curb anxiety and depression, other studies show.
Turner-McGrievy GM, Davidson CR, Wingard EE, Wilcox S, Frongillo EA. Comparative effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss: a randomized controlled trial of five different diets. Nutrition. 2015 Feb;31(2):350-8. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2014.09.002.
Balliett M, Burke JR. Changes in anthropometric measurements, body composition, blood pressure, lipid profile, and testosterone in patients participating in a low-energy dietary intervention. J Chiropr Med. 2013 Mar;12(1):3-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2012.11.003.
Esposito K., Kastorini C.M., Panagiotakos D.B., Giugliano D. Mediterranean diet and weight loss: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2011;9:1–12.
Case Adams is a California Naturopath and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and diplomas in Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling and Colon Hydrotherapy. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies.