Why vegans lose weight even if they don’t eat fewer calories

Study on Veganism
Why you’re losing weight with a vegan diet even though you’re not eating fewer calories

Woman eats salad: why you lose weight with a vegan diet, even though you don't eat fewer calories

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Those who eat purely vegan often lose weight as if by themselves. Why is that? The answer lies in the gut, researchers have found.

Can you really lose weight by completely eliminating animal products from your diet – even if you don’t cut calories? Scientists from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) have investigated this question. For the Study they studied 148 overweight people over a period of 16 weeks.

Vegan Diet: People lose weight with the same amount of calories

The participants were divided into two groups – one should eat vegan and low-fat, the other should eat as before. However, both groups accepted the same number calories per day to yourself. The perhaps surprising result: The vegan people had lost a lot of weight after the 16 weeks. They were also able to greatly reduce their body fat percentage, since two-thirds of the weight they lost was fat.

What is the cause of this weight loss on a vegan diet? The researchers have an answer: “A plant-based diet with plenty of fiber positively changes the composition of the gut microbiome by feeding the right kind of bacteria,” explains Hana Kahleova, lead author of the study and head of clinical research at the PCRM, in an interview with the medical portal “MedScape Medical News”.

Weight loss from eating vegan is rooted in the gut

The key to vegan weight loss nutrition does not lie in the sheer amount of calories that a person consumes every day, but also in the health of the intestines. Because a plant-based diet improves the microbiome in the intestine and increases the amount of healthy bacteria there. The team led by researcher Kahleova was able to show increased levels of intestinal bacteria called Bacteroidetes in the vegan test subjects in their study. They digest fiber and produce short-chain fatty acids. These in turn stimulate the metabolism.

The researchers also attribute the weight loss and, above all, the breakdown of body fat to another type of bacteria, namely the so-called Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. It feeds on fiber, which is found in large quantities in plant-based diets. In addition, it activates the metabolism and can also reduce the risk of diabetes.

Eat vegan to lose weight? You should consider that

So does this mean that we all have to be vegan to achieve or maintain a healthy weight? No, for many people this is not an option. But cutting back on animal foods — especially dairy and processed meats — has many health benefits. Because in addition to the proportion that they have in our body fat, large quantities of these foods can promote inflammation in the body and also cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

However, nutritionists point out that with a purely vegan diet, certain nutrients such as B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, are neglected and that the supply with them should definitely be ensured through dietary supplements. It is best to clarify with your doctor which diet is the healthiest for you individually – especially if you want to lose weight.

Source used: medscape.com


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