Sign up for our new free Dessert Cookbook eBook, Fruit Tooth

  • We will never share or sell your information. You can unsubscribe at any time.

cooking 101

Research Update: Vegetarian Diets and Weight

There's a new study in town, and its results indicate that vegetarian diets may aid weight management efforts.

  • cooking 101

    Become inspired by our pictures and recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts.

  • food and health

    We’ve gathered everything you need to know about the food and health connection including weight control, nutrition basics, and disease prevention.

  • food shopping

    Shop smart with our guides to new foods, label reading, grocery shopping, and more!

  • fun for kids

    Here are a few techniques to help kids get engaged in the kitchen including recipes that are kid-friendly and ideas for meal preparation.

  • myplate

    Supporting and promoting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the new healthy plate food icon from the USDA.

disease prevention, food and health, nutrition, nutrition education resources, weight control »

Research Update: Vegetarian Diets and Weight

Diet and WeightThere’s a new study in town, and its results indicate that vegetarian diets may aid weight management efforts.

Let’s take a look at exactly what this means.

A team of researchers from the Physicians Committee reviewed 15 studies from 6 countries — the U.S., Spain, Finland, Poland, Sweden, and Norway. These studies had a total of over 700 participants, and the length of the studies ranged between 1 month and 2 years. Though the quality of the studies varied, the overall message was clear. Vegetarian diets can improve weight loss efforts. After sifting through all the data, the research committee concluded, “The prescription of vegetarian diets reduces mean body weight, suggesting potential value for prevention and management of weight-related conditions” (source).

In their study, A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Changes in Body Weight in Clinical Trials of Vegetarian Diets, the researchers revealed that the average weight loss that accompanies a switch to a vegetarian diet is roughly 10 pounds, but that heavier people tend to lose even more weight when they choose a vegetarian diet. One research review quoted,

“The take-home message is that a plant-based diet can help you lose weight without counting calories and without ramping up your exercise routine,” says Neal Barnard, M.D., lead author of the study, president of the Physicians Committee, and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “We hope health care providers will take note and prescribe this approach to patients looking to manage their weight and health” (source).

The study authors also emphasized the importance of even a little weight loss for those people who are overweight or obese, highlighting the effect of weight loss on decreased risk of disease and improved health. Another article featured this quote from another lead author on the study,

“If you’re overweight, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can slash the risk of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., a study author and director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee. “As the weight comes off, you’ll start to see blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol fall right along with it” (source).

So what’s the bottom line?

Switching to a vegetarian diet can make it easier to lose weight, which in turn can help people reduce their risk of chronic disease.

For more information about this study, check out…

And for more information about switching to a vegetarian diet, try…

We are here when you want to look your very best right now. There are always tons of resources in the Nutrition Education Store! Here are some of our bestselling vegetarian educational materials…

Plant-Based Diet for Better Health Presentation and Handout Set

Healthy Choices Banner and Stand

Vegetable Bulletin Board Kit

Sneak Peek: Baby Nutrition

I got another reader request, and it was too good not to share with you!

Cancer Control Month: 3 Ways to Reduce Your Risk

In honor of Cancer Control Month, we are cracking the vault and offering a sneak peek at exclusive member content. The handout featured below comes straight from the April 2015 edition of Communicating Food for Health and it’s all about reducing your risk of cancer…

Meal Makeover

Ever wondered exactly what you get when you replace a fast-food meal with a MyPlate meal? Not just the calorie savings and nutrient boosts, but an actual comprehensive breakdown of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc in each meal? Well, today’s your lucky day!

It’s time for a serious look at the meal makeover. Let’s walk through each substitution and added nutrient, step by step. We’ll leave no stone unturned, no switch unexplored. Are you ready?

Reader Request: Burning Off Beverage Calories

After researching the most common sugary drinks and their typical servings sizes, I used my handy-dandy exercise calculator to find out how much work it would take to burn off the calories in popular beverages. I turned what I found into a new handout, which you can download for free today!

Portion Control: Deconstructed

Looking for a new way to make portion control appealing to your clients? Try deconstructing dishes!

Reminder: Public Comment Period for the Dietary Guidelines Closes Soon

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has offered its report for public comment and review, and all comments must be made before midnight EDT on May 8, 2014. That deadline is fast approaching, so get links to the report and the comment form today! It’s all in this post… | | |