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Plant-based diet may rev up your metabolism: Study

A recent study found that eating a plant-based diet can help boost metabolism and reduce your risk of diabetes and heart diseases.

A recent study found that eating a plant-based diet can help boost metabolism and reduce your risk of diabetes and heart diseases.

Due to the busy schedules, inadequate eating habits and lack of activity, many people are at the brink of developing a lifestyle disease. A healthy diet can help lower the risk. In fact, a new study published in JAMA Network Open found that a plant-based diet boosts after-meal burn, leads to weight loss, and improves cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight individuals.

The Findings

For the study, researchers randomly assigned participants who were overweight and had no history of diabetes to an intervention or control group in a 1:1 ratio.

Over the course of 16 weeks, participants in the intervention group followed a low-fat, plant-based diet which included fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes with no calorie limit. Whereas, the control group did not make any changes to their diet.

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Indirect calorimetry was used to measure how many calories the participants burned after a standardized meal both at the beginning and end of the study.

The intervention group increased after-meal burn by 18.7 per cent, on an average, after 16 weeks. The control's group after-meal burn did not change significantly.

Participants in the plant-based group lost 6.4 kg (nearly 14 pounds) of body weight, compared to an insignificant change in the control group. They also say a significant drop in the fat mass and visceral fat volume.

Also, the fat inside the liver decreased by 34 per cent and muscle cells by 10 per cent in participants in the plant-based group. Fat stored in these cells has been linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance and Type-2 diabetes, said study author Hana Kohleova from the Physicians Committee, U.S.

The plant-based group also reduced total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or bad cholesterol, with no significant changes in the control group.

"Not only did the plant-based group lose weight but they experienced cardiometabolic improvements that will reduce their risk to Type-2 Diabetes, heart disease and other health problems," wrote Kohleova.

Since there are so many benefits of eating a plant-based diet, especially for those who are overweight and obese, it's time to jump the wagon. Here's how you can include it in your daily regime.

What Is A Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet is more like a lifestyle than a diet. As the name suggests, it involves consuming mostly or only on foods that come from plants. The basic rules of this diet are as follows:

  • Focus more on whole foods, rather than processed foods
  • Limit animal products
  • Include healthy fruits like berries, vegetables, citrus fruits, banana, grapes, avocado
  • Load up on vegetables like broccoli, kale, carrots, asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini, cauliflower, beetroot, and peppers
  • Eat fibre-rich foods like legumes, chickpeas, seeds, and nuts
  • Avoid eating refined foods, like added sugars, white flour and processed oils

A plant-based diet is a way of eating that focuses on plant foods and avoid meat and refined foods. Switching to a plant-based diet not only helps you lose weight, but may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and heart diseases.

(with inputs from agencies)

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