There have always been debates on the best diets for people when it comes to optimal intake of vitamins, nutrients, calories, and more. Different diets and different food groups can have vastly different effects on health.
Vegan diets have been gaining popularity over the last few decades as a healthy alternative to diets consisting of processed & animal-based foods. Many studies have focused on the differences between a vegan diet and a standard diet with regard to body composition, weight, and insulin sensitivity.
Vegan Diets Vs. Standard Diets
A recent study from April 2022 analyzed data from multiple 16-week periods observing the health of participants. The participants in this study were divided into ‘vegan diet’ and ‘standard’ diet groups. Participants were all evaluated to be ‘healthy’ so the focus was on diets and not relationships with preexisting conditions.
The participants changed their diets to consume foods and amounts of food specified by the research team. The goal was to see how generally healthy people were affected by vegan and standard diets over shorter periods of time.
The vegan diet consisted primarily of:
- Meat Alternatives
- Whole Grains
- Nuts & Seeds
The standard diet consisted primarily of:
- Dairy Products
Effects of a Vegan Diet
The initial effects of the study saw participants’ usual diets increase their intake of plant-based foods and nuts & seeds. Specifically, some foods saw the largest changes in diets & health.
Legume intake was the best food group indicator correlated with general weight loss. Lower-fat foods in the vegan diet were associated with healthier weights and metabolic outcomes.
Dietary intake of fiber and carbohydrates & several types of micronutrients increased in vegan study participants. Increases in fruit, legume, and meat alternatives were also associated with weight loss.
Data from the study suggests that increasing low-fat plant-based foods and minimizing high-fat/highly processed animal-based foods are associated with decreased weight and fat loss. Furthermore, initial conclusions suggest that a low-fat vegan diet can improve overall diet quality and metabolic health.
Diet quality and overall metrics were measured according to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010).
Research at Biofortis
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