Plant-Based Diet Best for Heart Disease and Obesity

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A whole-food, plant-based diet is best for reducing weight and cholesterol, according to a study published this week in Nutrition & Diabetes. Researchers tracked weight and cholesterol levels for 65 overweight participants who also had at least one other metabolic condition (e.g., heart disease, type 2 diabetes) and randomized half into a low-fat, vegan dietary intervention group with no calorie restrictions and the other half into “normal care.” The vegan group experienced more weight loss and greater cholesterol reductions, compared with the control group. Those who followed the plant-based diet lost 12.1 and 11.5 kg at 6 and 12 months, respectively, and reduced their total cholesterol by 27.1 and 15.5 mg/dL at 6 and 12 months, respectively. These findings suggest plant-based diets offer safe and effective treatments for overweight and related risk factors without calorie restriction.

More information:

Wright N, Wilson L, Smith M, Duncan B, McHugh P. The BROAD study: A randomised controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischaemic heart disease or diabetes. Nutr Diabetes. 2017;7:e256.

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