If you’re one of the many Americans who are trying to lose weight, you undoubtedly have spent a great deal of time researching the best way. A recent study by the University of South Carolina appears to have confirmed a diet with the ability to help people shed weight fast. The study was published in The International Journal of Applied and Basic Nutritional Sciences.

Five Diets For Six Months

Participants were randomly assigned to one of five diets for six months. The diets were on a spectrum that included vegan or the swearing off all animal products, semi-vegetarian where participants occasionally had meat, pesco-vegetarian where participants could have seafood, vegetarian where participants were able to consume some animal products but not meat or seafood, and omnivorous where no foods were off limits. During the six months, every group participated in weekly meetings except for the omnivorous group. In the end, the researchers found a vegan diet to have the most effect on weight loss at the two and six month marks. Participants following the vegan diet lost more weight than the other groups of a mostly plant-based diet and omnivorous diet by an average of 4.3%, or 16.5 pounds.

Surprising Results?

Interestingly enough, in spite of the tendency that most people have to avoid foods high in carbs when dieting, the vegans in this study actually consumed a high carbohydrate diet and still lost more weight than their peers. Researchers noted that the high carbohydrate foods eaten by the vegan participants in the study had low ratings on the glycemic index. The higher a food’s glycemic index is, the more that the food will raise blood glucose. You can easily find a list of high and low glycemic index foods, and stick mainly to the foods with low ratings. But, it’s best to be careful with high carb foods that are also high on the glycemic index, such as candy, bagels, cookies, baked potatoes, and rice cakes. You’re best advised to choose low and medium glycemic index carbs such as non-starchy vegetables, most fruits, nuts, beans, couscous, brown rice, oats, and other whole grains.

Weight loss was not the only benefit that was observed in those in the strictly vegan group. Participants also had the greatest decrease in fat and saturated fat levels, lower BMIs, and improved macro nutrients in comparison to those consuming the other diets in the study. In the end, the study seemingly determined that eschewing all animal products is the key for all these positive results.

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