Mediterranean Vs. Vegetarian: Which Diet Is Best For Weight Loss?

So you’re trying to drop a few pounds, and you’re standing in front of your fridge wondering what on Earth you’re going to make for yourself. After all, there are plenty of diet choices out there to help you on your way. If it makes your options any easier, a new study has found that two different diets appear to […]

by | Feb 28, 2018

So you’re trying to drop a few pounds, and you’re standing in front of your fridge wondering what on Earth you’re going to make for yourself. After all, there are plenty of diet choices out there to help you on your way.

If it makes your options any easier, a new study has found that two different diets appear to be equally effective at helping people shed weight. A Mediterranean diet — rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, poultry, fish, and even a little red meat — and a vegetarian diet that included eggs and low-fat dairy, but no meat or fish, ran neck and neck when it came to helping people lose weight.

Both were also effective at reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the new study in the journal Circulation.

For the study, researchers from Italy tracked 107 healthy but overweight adults between the ages of 18 and 75. The participants were randomly assigned to follow either a low-calorie vegetarian diet for three months or a Mediterranean diet over the same timeframe. Then they all swapped eating plans. Meanwhile, the researchers took baseline and ongoing measurements including body weight, body mass index (BMI), and lipid levels.

When the results were tallied, it was a win-win. On both diets, the participants:

  • Lost approximately three pounds of body fat.
  • Dropped about four pounds of weight overall.
  • Experienced similar changes in BMI, a measurement that takes into account a person’s weight and height.

It’s the first study to compare how the two different eating styles stack up to each other, the authors said.

“The results of this study suggest that both diets, if well conducted, are beneficial for weight loss and for cardiovascular risk prevention,” lead study author Dr. Francesco Sofi, M.D., Ph.D, professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Florence, told Men’s Health.

When it came to heart health, the two diets had perks, too. The vegetarian diet was more effective at reducing LDL cholesterol — the “bad” kind — while the Mediterranean diet lowered triglycerides (higher levels are linked to a higher risk for heart attack and stroke).

“We now have two healthy options for preventing cardiovascular diseases,” Sofi says.

There’s a lot of social pressure to find the magic bullet diet, Cheryl Anderson, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego, in California, wrote in an accompanying editorial. The new findings show there’s more than one way to drop pounds and “optimize cardiovascular health,” she said.

The two styles of eating have a lot of overlap, Sofi says. “Mediterranean and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets have similar features in common such as fruit, vegetables, complex and non-refined carbohydrates and legumes,” he explains. So pile on the berries, greens, low-fat Greek yoghurt, fish, eggs, and beans — whatever fills you up.

This article originally appeared on Men’s Health US.

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Women Fleeing Domestic Violence Can Now Receive A One-Off Support Payment

It’s been labelled the shadow pandemic and the fact remains that for many women across Australia, domestic violence is a lived reality that doesn’t discriminate by age, occupation, or socio-economic status. Researchers have found that during Covid-19 lockdowns, there was a surge in family and domestic violence, with agencies experiencing a surge in demand as nearly half their clients reported an increase in controlling behaviours. 

As many who have lived through such turmoil and trauma can attest, the roadmap to fleeing such situations at home can be fraught with challenges and extremely difficult to navigate, particularly when such bureaucracy makes it even harder. Now, it’s been announced that women fleeing a violent relationship will be given a one-off $5,000 payment as part of a federal government trial scheme. 

Known as the “escaping violence payment scheme,” the government has set aside $144.5 million over the next two years to give women $1,500 cash, with the remainder to pay for goods and services, bond, school fees and other necessaries to establish a new safe home. UnitingCare Network will be tasked with delivering the payments while helping link women and their children with relevant community services. 

As the Daily Telegraph reports, “An analysis of domestic violence data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that while it is more common for women from poorer areas, women from high socio-economic areas are not immune from experiencing partner violence.”

As Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston explained, the trial has been introduced with the aim to help women overcome the financial barriers that might deter them from leaving a violent relationship. “We know that financial hardship as well as economic abuse - which may involve interfering with work or controlling or withholding money - reduces women’s ability to acquire and use money and makes it difficult to leave violent relationships,” she said. 

“The payments will assist people who need financial support to leave. We know the size of the house a woman is fleeing doesn’t matter. Often she bundles the kids into the car, maybe the dog too and they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.”

To be eligible for a payment, women must be facing financial stress and have some evidence of domestic violence such as a referral from a family and domestic violence service provider with a risk assessment and safety plan, or an AVO, court order or police report. As UnitingCare Australia National Director Claerwen Little said, “We believe that all people, especially women and their children, have the right to live freely and without fear, and this payment is an important step forward to ending violence against women and children.”

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800 

Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online. 

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.