Published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the study analysed 74 participants with type 2 diabetes. Half of which were assigned a vegetarian diet with made up of fruits, grains, vegetables, nuts and one low-fat yogurt per day, while the other half ate a conventional hypo-caloric diet composed of 50% of energy from carbohydrates, 20% protein and less than 30% fat.
After six months, those on the vegetarian diet had lost an average of 6.2kgs and those on the conventional diet lost an average of 3.2kgs.
Fat storage was also influenced by the different diets. Both eating plans resulted in a similar reduction in subcutaneous fat (under the skin), but subfascial fat (on the surface of the muscles) was only reduced in the vegetarians.
“This finding is important for people who are trying to lose weight, including those suffering from metabolic syndrome and/or type 2 diabetes,” lead study author Dr. Hana Kahleová said in a statement.
“But it is also relevant to anyone who takes their weight management seriously and wants to stay lean and healthy.”