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Low-fat, plant-based diet helps health – study

A small study of obese or overweight people in Gisborne has showed positive results after they followed a strict low-fat, plant-based diet.

Six months on the diet – which included no meat, animal products and limited nuts, seeds, avocado and coconut – led to ‘significant improvements’ in the 65 participants’ BMI, cholesterol and other risk factors, researchers say in a press release.

Healthy Food Guide nutritionists applaud the results of the study and hope the changes made will be lifelong, so they continue to see the health benefits.

It’s great that the participants were encouraged to eat based on their hunger and fullness, rather than focusing on calorie counting.

The diet programme, however, did exclude animal foods, including meat, eggs and dairy and, as a result, required people to take a supplement to make sure they were able to get adequate vitamin B12.

We believe you don’t need to exclude all animal products to be healthy or to lose weight.

As this is a low-fat vegan diet, it is a very different way of eating for most New Zealanders, and won’t suit everyone.

The study was published in the Nutrition & Diabetes journal this month.




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