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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Jun-14-17, 17:33
JLx's Avatar
JLx JLx is offline
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Default Vegetarian diet more effective for weight loss and metabolism

Vegetarian diet more effective for weight loss and metabolism
By Catharine Paddock PhD Medical News Today

A vegetarian diet is more effective in aiding weight loss than a diabetic diet, researchers find.

A plant-based vegetarian diet not only trumps a conventional diabetic diet when it comes to helping people with type 2 diabetes to lose weight, but because it more effectively reduces muscle fat, it also helps them to improve their metabolism.

These were the main findings of a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition by lead author Dr. Hana Kahleová, director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington D.C., and colleagues.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and develops because the body does not make or use insulin effectively. Although it can develop at any age, it most often arises in people who are middle-aged and older.

Diabetes is a significant global public health problem that affects some 150 million people worldwide. This number is expected to double by 2025, not only as a result of growing numbers of people and aging populations, but also because of modifiable factors such as sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, and obesity.

In the United States, there are more than 29 million people living with diabetes and another 86 million are thought to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar is higher than normal, and although not in the diabetes range, it raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It is recognized that people with prediabetes can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than 50 percent by taking part in structured programs to change their lifestyle.

Benefits of plant-based vegetarian diet

In their study paper, Dr. Kahleová and colleagues explain that changes to diet form an important part of managing type 2 diabetes, and they discuss evidence relating to vegetarian diets.

They note, for example, that compared with a conventional diet, a vegetarian diet can help to achieve weight loss, improve control of blood glucose, or "glycemic control," raise insulin sensitivity, and affect other metabolic improvements.

The authors also discuss the beneficial effects of a vegan diet - which contains only plant-based food - on health as it relates to diabetes. For example, there is evidence that in people with type 2 diabetes, a "low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors."

Thus, for their 6-month study, they decided to compare the effects of a conventional diabetic diet with those of a plant-based vegetarian diet in 74 type 2 diabetes patients, comprising 43 percent men and 57 percent women, who were on oral medication for glucose control.

The researchers randomly assigned 37 participants to the vegetarian group and 37 to the conventional diet group. Both diets were calorie-restricted to reduce intake by 500 calories per day and all meals were provided to the participants for the 6 months of the study.

Composition of the two diets

In the vegetarian diet, around 60 percent of the calories came from carbohydrates, 15 percent from protein, and 25 percent from fat. It consisted of grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, with animal products limited to a maximum of one serving of low-fat yogurt each day.

A typical meal plan on the vegetarian diet might comprise: a breakfast of cooked millet, plums, and almonds; a soup made with lentils, cabbage, and carrots at lunchtime; marinated tofu, bean sprouts, and brown rice for dinner; and snacks of hummus with carrot sticks.

In the conventional diabetic diet - devised according to a recognized guideline - around 50 percent of the calories came from carbohydrates, 20 percent from protein, and no more than 30 percent from fat (with a limit of 7 percent saturated fat).

A typical meal plan on the conventional diabetic diet might consist of: a breakfast of peanut butter raisin oatmeal; a wrap with tuna and cucumber for lunch; brown rice with honey lemon chicken and vegetables at dinner time; and snacks of carrot and celery sticks with a low-fat dairy dip, or low-fat plain yogurt.

For the first 3 months, the participants were asked not to change their physical exercise habits. Then, for the second 3 months, an aerobic exercise program was added to their dietary regimen. The researchers examined the participants at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. These exams included scans using MRI to measure changes in fat composition.

Vegetarian diet achieved more weight loss and reduced muscle fat

The results showed that the average weight loss in the plant-based vegetarian diet group was 6.2 kilograms (13.7 pounds), nearly twice the 3.2 kilograms (7.1 pounds) average weight loss of the conventional diet group. This was despite the fact that both groups consumed the same amount of calories per day.

The researchers also found that while both groups showed similar reductions in subcutaneous fat, only the vegetarian group showed greater reduction in intramuscular fat and any reduction in subfascial fat.

Subcutaneous fat is a type of fat that is stored under the skin. Subfascial fat is that which lines muscles, whereas intramuscular fat is the fat that is stored inside muscles.

The researchers also found that reductions in subcutaneous and subfascial fat were in line with changes in markers of glucose metabolism and control - such as fasting blood glucose, insulin sensitivity, and glycated hemoglobin.

The differences in results in the two diet groups are significant because increase in subfascial fat has been linked to insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes, so reducing this type of fat could help to improve glucose control.

Dr. Kahleová explains, "By taking extra fat out of the muscle cells, we're letting insulin back in to convert sugar into energy."

She likens the effect to "a metabolic reboot, especially for people who struggle with extra weight, a sluggish metabolism, or type 2 diabetes."

The researchers also note that reduction in intramuscular fat could help to increase mobility and muscle strength, which could be of particular benefit to older people with diabetes.

I'm drawn to neither of these diets, but still find the results interesting. Why the difference? More fiber in the vegetarian diet, reducing overall carbs beyond those calculated perhaps a factor?
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Jun-14-17, 19:57
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Here's the study report:

Very vague report that makes it impossible to understand details about the diets:

The vegetarian diet (∼60% of energy from carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 25% fat) consisted of vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits, and nuts. Animal products were limited to a maximum of one portion of low-fat yogurt a day. The conventional diabetic diet was administered according to the dietary guidelines of the Diabetes and Nutrition Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. It contained 50% of energy from carbohydrates, 20% protein, less than 30% fat (≤7% saturated fat, less than 200 mg/d of cholesterol/day).

So, here's another "study" using calorie restriction and comparing a vegetarian diet with a diet following the "dietary guidelines of the Diabetes and Nutrition Study Group of the European Association." Whatever this is, it's likely a diet that no one could follow to achieve good health. End result is that it's proven that the recommended diet is ineffective, and that calorie restriction on any diet results in weight loss over a period of time. Thankfully, they kept saturated fat to a bare minimum as it's the evil fat of the food pyramid sect where unfettered consumption would have resulted in one helluva calamity! Altruism abounds. Sheesh!
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  #3   ^
Old Wed, Jun-14-17, 20:03
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Chris Gardner, a vegetarian himself, is the lead researcher for the A-TO-Z study. In that experiment, Atkins was best in all things measured, including weight lost. All 4 diets, including Ornish, were effective, Atkins was just most effective. It didn't compare the "diabetic diet", but I'm sure Atkins and Ornish beat that by a mile.

I understand why they only compared two diets, it's to make the vegetarian diet look good by comparison. If they'd also compared Atkins, their point would have been weaker. However, the A-TO-Z study also makes the good diets look good by comparison to standard crap.

Maybe it's easier to choose between just two diets, but the fact is there's tons of different diets all over the world. It's a spectrum, not a binary choice. Even Weston Price's book shows that even though there's many different traditional diets, all of them maintain equally good health for the respective traditional populations. Low-carb can be done in many equally effective ways, i.e. Atkins, Protein Power, LCHF, KD, Paleo, etc. It can even be done without meat, it's just easier with meat.

The lead researcher is from the PCRM and the PCRM is pushing an agenda, not a diet, but through diet. As such, the PCRM is unlikely to cooperate with any other diet group where the diets include meat to any degree. I find it ironic that this study would test a vegetarian diet - not really vegetarian, it's got some meat (animal products) in there, when the PCRM pushes a vegan diet devoid entirely of any animal product. Did they present a vegan diet to the ethical commitee and got denied because of the risks? Could be, I'd believe that.
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, Jun-14-17, 20:07
Zei Zei is offline
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Plan: Carb reduction in general
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If the researchers are interested in a vegetarian diet I'd like to see an actual healthy one for diabetics (replace starch with healthy fats) for comparison.
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  #5   ^
Old Wed, Jun-14-17, 20:10
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Plan: VLC, mostly meat
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I just remembered. One of the most effective weight-loss diet is called semi-starvation, and there's a famous experiment done several decades ago by Ancel Keys, the Minnesota semi-starvation experiment. The results - emaciation and neurosis. It works real nice for weight-loss, not sure I'd agree to the emaciation and the neurosis.

In the results of the experiment we're discussing here, they talk about muscle loss from the diet, that's emaciation. I only skimmed it, but I'd say they won't mention the neurosis if there was some.

So what is a semi-starvation diet? Mostly veggies, low calorie, very little meat. Sounds familiar, right?
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, Jun-14-17, 20:13
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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I suspect that by comparing a vegetarian diet with a standard diabetic diet it was assumed that people would infer that the standard diabetic diet was also the most successful diabetic diet, but we here know differently. The standard diabetic diet is an abysmal failure. Being better than a failed diet doesn't say very much. Dr Davis in his book "Undoctored" points out the better than is not the same as good.

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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Jun-15-17, 03:56
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
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Originally Posted by M Levac
The lead researcher is from the PCRM and the PCRM is pushing an agenda, not a diet, but through diet.

I no longer believe anything they say. Because they have lied so often.
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Jun-15-17, 05:02
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
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Plan: ketosis/IF
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You take people off most refined foods, you make it impossible or at least not worth bothering to try to order food at fast food outlets, and you restrict calories. Not surprising if there's some improvement. There's also the insulin-sensitizing effect, at least in the short term, of a very low fat diet to consider, Kempner's Rice Diet shows that even what I would call a shamelessly crappy very low fat diet can result in some improvements for type II diabetics vs. the standard diet. It would be surprising if the Rice Diet (with calorie restriction and extreme coercion, to the point where Kempner actually whipped some of his patients to encourage compliance) "worked" but a higher quality low fat vegan diet did not.

But there it's removing fat that's effective, not removing meat. Show me a study that pits low fat vegan vs. low fat vegan + low fat animal protein like fish, at even calories. The insulin-sensitizing effect of a high carbohydrate/low fat diet comes most probably from free fatty acid/lipolysis suppressing effects, take these out of the way, and cells are less resistant to using glucose for fuel. Protein is just as effective in this regard as carbohydrate, although there it's more of a mix of amino acids and glucose that free fatty acids are suppressed to facilitate the oxidation of.

What burns me is when some low fat vegan gurus (McDougall comes to mind) use epidemiological evidence to favour a vegan diet, because without exception they are comparing an omnivorous diet of people with access to poptarts or the equivalent to an omnivorous diet without. Also, suppose I ate a vitamin c-free diet. Adding one orange a day might prevent scurvy. Maybe that's 3 percent of my calorie intake. McDougall might want to call meat negligible in diets that contain 5 percent of calories as meat--but again, that's enough to be protective, at least when compared to 0 percent, small doesn't mean non-essential.
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  #9   ^
Old Thu, Jun-15-17, 09:19
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bkloots bkloots is offline
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Plan: Atkins/LCHF
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And on we go with the low-fat thing.
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