For the longest time the debate has created a massive stir in the food and nutrition circuit. Which diet is more effective for weight loss- Vegetarian or Mediterranean. Vegetarian diet is loaded with protein and fibre rich fruits and vegetables. Mediterranean diet, as the name suggests is typically followed in the Mediterranean countries like Spain, Greece and Southern Italy. It is characterized by high consumption of plant-base foods, grains, vegetables, nuts and olive oil and limits the consumption of protein and unhealthy fats. This sort of a diet is known to be heart-healthy, boosts brain power and has also been linked to reduced incidence of cancer.
In a recent study published in the journal Circulation, researchers set out to explore the effective diet for weight loss. The effects of both diets on 118 participants was studied for a six-month-long period, and both of them were found to be beneficial
As part of the study, participants were regularly made to attend health checks throughout the duration of the study and were advised to cut down on calories by menus designed by nutritionists.
Participants were either given Mediterranean diet or lacto-ovo vegetarian diet to follow. For those wondering, the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is the most common type of vegetarian diet, that excludes consumption of meat and fish in their fresh, preserved, and processed form. However, the lacto-ovo diet does allow the consumption of eggs and dairy products.
The findings revealed that both diets were effective in reducing body weight and body mass index. It was found that the average weight loss on vegetarian diet was 1.88kg and 1.77kg on the Mediterranean diet.
The authors believe, that a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is easy and feasible to follow. The diet also manifested in no health problems, if well conducted and prepared by an able nutritionist.
The effect of both the diets on participants’ cardiovascular health, was also observed in detail. The findings revealed that both of them were equally effective in different ways. It was found that the vegetarian diet led to reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol), while the Mediterranean diet on the other hand was more effective at reducing triglyceride levels or fatty acids.