A study published in the Jama Network Open by researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found that plant-based diets can improve cardiometabolic risk factors and increase metabolic rate in obese individuals.
The researchers randomly assigned overweight partners with no history of diabetes in a 1: 1 ratio.
At 16 weeks, participants in the intervention group were asked to follow a low-fat, plant-based diet based on calorie-free fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.
No group has made any changes in diet, exercise, or medication without the advice of individual doctors.
The researchers used indirect calorimetry to measure how many calories participants burned after a standardized diet at the beginning and end of the study.
The plant-based group burned an average of 18.7 percent calories after 16 weeks. Post-meal burns of the control group did not change significantly.
Hana Kahliova, PhD study author, is the director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee.
The findings come as a shock to the 160 million overweight and obese Americans. Over the years and decades, burning more calories after each meal can make a significant difference in weight control. ”
In just 16 weeks, participants in the plant-based group lost an average of 6.4 kg (approximately 14 pounds) of their body weight, compared with a slight change in the control group. In the plant-based group there was a significant decrease in fat mass and visceral fat content – dangerous fat around the internal organs.
In a subset of participants using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, researchers collaborated with Yale University researchers Kit Peterson, MD, and Gerald Schulman on the detection of intramolecular lipid and hepatocellular lipid – fat that builds up in muscle and liver cells.
Those in the plant-based group had reduced fat within the liver and muscle cells by 34% and 10%, respectively, while there were no significant changes in the control group. The fat stored in these cells is associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
“When fat builds up in the liver and muscle cells, it interferes with the ability of insulin to expel glucose from the blood into the cells,” adds Dr. Kahliova.
“After just 16 weeks of a low-fat, plant-based diet, participants reduced their cell fat and reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” added Dr. Kahliova.
The study also provides new insights into the relationship between intracellular fat and insulin resistance. The plant-based group reduced their fasting plasma insulin concentration to 21.6 pmol / L, decreased insulin resistance, and increased insulin sensitivity – all positive results – with no significant changes in the control group.
The plant-based group as a whole reduced LDL cholesterol by 19.3 mg / dL and 15.5 mg / dL, respectively, with no significant changes in the control group.
“The plant-based group experienced cardiometabolic improvements that not only reduced weight but also reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other health problems,” Drs. Kahliyova said.
“I want to stay well on this diet. Not just for 16 weeks, but for life, ”reports study partner Sam T, who lost 34 pounds during the 16-week study and improved metabolism.
From the end of the study, Sam continued a plant-based diet and reached the goal and started running half marathons and marathons.
(This story was published from a wire agency feed without changing the text. Only the title has been changed.)
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