New Research Shows Vegan Diet Is Best For Weight Loss

People who have cut animal products entirely out of their lives do so for various reasons including moral, religious, and plain-old health concerns. Now there's research to back up that last claim. Scientists at the University of South Carolina have determined that the vegan diet is the best for losing weight, despite the fact that vegans are more likely to indulge in carb overload than say, someone on a paleo or gluten-free diet. The study compared the weight loss effectiveness and speed of vegan diets compared with omnivorous diets, and found that on average, vegan shed 4.3 percent more weight (about 16 pounds more), than their meat-eating counterparts.

The study participants were divided into vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pescetarian, and strict vegan diets, and the vegan participants came out on top in saturated fat-levels, BMI, and overall weight loss. The study also showed that, in addition to plant-based diets contributing to more efficient weight loss, people don't need to shy away from pasta and bread.

"We've gotten somewhat carb-phobic here in the U.S. when it comes to weight loss," study author Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy told Science Daily. "This study might help alleviate the fears of people who enjoy pasta, rice, and other grains but want to lose weight," she said.

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi