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Vegetarian, Med Diets Similarly Effective for Body Weight

Vegetarian, Med Diets Similarly Effective for Body Weight
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MONDAY, Feb. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A low-calorie lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (VD) and a low-calorie Mediterranean diet (MedD) are similarly effective for reducing body weight, body mass index, and fat mass for overweight omnivores, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in Circulation.

Francesco Sofi, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Florence in Italy, and colleagues randomized overweight omnivores with a low-to-moderate cardiovascular risk profile to a low-calorie VD or a low-calorie MedD, each lasting three months, in a crossover trial. One hundred eighteen individuals were enrolled; 84.7 percent completed the study.

The researchers found that there were no differences in body weight between the two diets, with similar and significant reductions for VD (−1.88 kg) and MedD (−1.77 kg). For body mass index and fat mass, the results were similar. Significant differences were seen between the two interventions for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (9.10 mg/dL), triglycerides (12.70 mg/dL), and vitamin B12 (32.32 pg/mL) levels. There was no significant between-group difference in oxidative stress markers and inflammatory cytokines, except for interleukin-17, which improved only in the MedD group. The target values for one or more cardiovascular risk factor were achieved by 46 and 35 participants during the VD and MedD periods, respectively.

“VD was more effective in reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, whereas MedD led to a greater reduction in triglyceride levels,” the authors write.

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