Excellent weight loss – Research reveals new benefits of a plant-based diet

Body weight dropped about 14 pounds (6.4 kg) in the plant-based group, compared with about 1 pound (0.5 kg) in the control group.

Compared to a diet that includes meat and dairy products, a plant-based diet reduces the number of harmful glycation end products.

According to a recent study by researchers at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, published in The science and practice of obesity, a plant-based diet reduced inflammatory dietary glycation end products (AGEs) by 79% compared to a 15% reduction with a diet containing meat and dairy. An average weight loss of 14 pounds and better insulin sensitivity were associated with lower AGEs.

“Simply replacing high-fat meat and dairy products with a low-fat, plant-based diet resulted in significant reductions in glycation end products—inflammatory compounds that are more abundant in animal-based foods than in plant-based foods,” says lead study author Hana Kahleva, Ph.D. of medical sciences, candidate of medical sciences, director of the clinical research department of the Committee of Physicians for Responsible Medicine. “Decreased AGEs were also associated with weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity.”

AGEs are compounds that form in the blood when proteins or fats combine with glucose. AGEs cause inflammation and oxidative stress, which can contribute to chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

AGEs can come from food, and animal products contain more AGEs than plant foods. AGEs are also produced during normal metabolism, but at a faster rate when a person has metabolic syndrome—high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.

For 16 weeks, 244 overweight people were randomly assigned to either an intervention group that followed a low-fat plant-based diet or a control group that did not adjust the diet.

Body composition and insulin sensitivity were measured at the beginning and end of the study. Dietary AGEs were calculated based on self-reported dietary intake. The Dietary AGEs database was used to estimate dietary intake of AGEs.

Dietary AGEs decreased by 79% in the plant-based group, compared to 15% in the control group. About 55% of the reduction in dietary AGEs in the plant-based group was associated with reduced meat consumption, 26% with reduced dairy consumption, and 15% with reduced added fat consumption. Reducing white meat consumption led to the largest difference in dietary AGEs coming from meat (59%), followed by processed meat (27%).

Body weight decreased by approximately 14 pounds (6.4 kg) in the plant-based group compared to approximately 1 pound (0.5 kg) in the control group, largely due to a reduction in fat mass, particularly visceral fat. Insulin sensitivity improved in the intervention group.

The authors say these results support previous observations of beneficial effects of low-fat diets on weight, fat and insulin resistance.

Reference: Hana Kahleva, Tatsiana Znaenko-Miller, Jaime Uribari, Richard Golubkov, and Neil D. Barnard, “Dietary Advanced Glycated Foods and Their Association with Insulin Sensitivity and Body Weight: A 16-Week Randomized Clinical Trial,” October 17, 2022. The science and practice of obesity.
DOI: 10.1002/osp4.646 Excellent weight loss – Research reveals new benefits of a plant-based diet

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