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Vegan and vegetarian diets are the best for losing weight, new study finds

There are those who believe that the ticket to a summer beach body is eating hoards of meat. Others opt for avoiding meat all together.

Veggie favorers have some fresh ammunition in that battle: A new study released in the Journal of General Internal Medicine finds that vegetarian diets are most effective at achieving weight loss.

The study, a meta-analysis of 12 separate studies that each compared vegetarian diets to other types of diets, found that on average across the studies, vegetarian dieters lost 2.02 kg more than those on the non-vegetarian diets. More specifically, the researchers found that the eight studies of vegan diets led to weigh loss of 2.52 kg more than non-vegan diets.

It’s worth noting that the studies analyzed varied widely in terms of the types of vegetarian and vegan diets as well as the control group diets. The researched looked at 1,151 dieters across the 12 studies, with diets ranging in length between nine and 74 weeks.

The research comes at a time when high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are back in vogue, and America’s obesity problem is deepening. Unlike diets like Paleo and Atkins, vegetarian diets tend to emphasize whole grains, and fruits and vegetables, which the study’s authors suggested may help more in weight loss because of their high fiber content and low levels of simple sugars. The healthy fibers in whole grain foods, they noted, can delay the time that it takes for the body to digest and empty of its food, which helps people consume less food overall.

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