Many people have recently been trying a gluten-free diet in an attempt to be healthier, or for other personal reasons. Gluten is the basic protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale so those on that diet must avoid foods like bread, pasta, cereal, cake, essentially any carb. Carbohydrates seem to have a bad rep in our society and people often try very hard to keep them out of their diet. Some researchers even say that: “We’ve gotten somewhat carb-phobic here in the U.S. when it comes to weight loss”.
A recent study led by researchers at the University of Southern California have found that a vegan diet even while consuming carbohydrates is best for “weight loss, decreased levels of saturated and unsaturated fat, lower BMI’s and improved macro nutrients.” This study showed that maybe people should be avoiding meat instead of carbs to improve their diet. While a vegan diet is not healthy for everyone, the study still introduced a new look on dieting and healthy eating.
The study randomly assigned one of five diets to several participants that were then followed for six months throughout the study. The five diets included vegan which bans all animal products, vegetarian which bans meat and seafood but allows animal products such as cheese and eggs, pesco-vegetarian which excludes all meat except seafood, semi-vegetarian with some meat intake, and omnivorous which excludes no foods. The participants were invited to weekly support groups throughout the study to make sure they followed their diet and also remained healthy. At the end of the six months, the participants on the vegan diet lost more weight than the other groups by an average of 4.3%, or 16.5 lb.
The leader of the study, Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, was surprised by the outcome of the research. She thought the outcome of the pesco-diet would have been significantly higher than that of the meat-diet but it was not. The vegan diet was also high in carbohydrates. Turner-McGrievy was proud to say that “This study might help alleviate the fears of people who enjoy pasta, rice, and other grains but want to lose weight.”
I found this article to be very interesting because I have been following a pescetarian diet for about 11 months. I exclude meat in my diet but I still eat seafood and other animal products. My diet is also very high in carbohydrates because carbs are easy snacks. I am surprised yet pleased to see how little the effect of carb consumption had on the vegan diet.
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