A vegetarian who has had a meal of meat and potatoes would benefit from a simple diet that relies on grains, vegetables, and legumes like beans and lentils.
That’s what a new study suggests, and could help explain why some people can eat less meat and still have trouble losing weight.
A vegan diet would need to be tailored to the person’s needs, according to the study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Researchers used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and found that some vegans eat meat and poultry regularly, but the vast majority of them still struggle with weight loss.
They suggest a simple, plant-based diet is the best way to lose weight.
“Vegetarians can be lean, have lower body fat levels, and have more muscle mass than omnivores, all of which are important,” lead author Maria Fortunato said in a statement.
“But their diets may also differ in how they incorporate nutrients from grains, legumes, and vegetables into their diet.”
For the study, the researchers asked about 10,000 people to complete a self-reported survey about their health, lifestyle, and eating habits.
They then compared that data with data from a dietitian, dietitians’ colleagues, and a doctor who specializes in weight management.
For example, the doctor would evaluate a patient’s weight and diet.
Then the dietitious professionals could make recommendations about what would be considered a good, healthy diet for a vegan.
Researchers also compared the answers to the same survey for those who had never been vegetarian or had been vegans before.
The vegan dieters were significantly more likely to have lower levels of body fat than those who’d never been vegetarians, the study found.
The researchers then looked at a person’s weight using a standard BMI (body mass index) measure, and they compared that with their dietary recommendations.
The dietitiously-trained dieters, on the other hand, had lower body mass indexes and higher body fat.
The study found that the vegans had more than a 50 percent lower body weight than the omnivorous dieters.
This is one of the first studies to look at a diet with more than one diet group.
Other studies have shown vegans are healthier than their omnivore counterparts, and the authors suggest that people with low levels of protein and fiber may also benefit from veg-based diets.
“This study provides a valuable information to health care providers, dieticians, and others in the field,” said Dr. Daniela Gazzaniga, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the study.
“We hope this information can be used to inform diet and weight management practices in the future.”
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