This is has been debated for a long time now. Whether to follow a vegetarian diet or a non-vegetarian diet, every person wanting to lose weight struggles through the dilemma. To make things easier for them, a recent survey by the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences gave a green-lit to vegetarian diet for weight loss programs. The researchers discovered that people surviving on plant products had a lower body mass index (BMI) on an average and hence, lower body weight too.
The study result published in the journal Nutrients specifically states that the rarer the proportion of animal food in a person's diet, the lower their body mass index (BMI). The researchers assumed that it could be because of the lower proportion of heavily processed foods in the plant diet.
Which animal products a person consumes, also make a difference. If it is predominantly so-called primary animal products, i.e. meat, sausage and fish, the person usually has a higher BMI than someone who eats primarily secondary animal products, i.e. eggs, milk, dairy products, cheese and butter.
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Evelyn Medawar, first author of the study, explained, "Products that are excessively rich in fat and sugar are particularly fattening. They stimulate the appetite and delay the feeling of satiety. If you avoid animal foods, you consume fewer such products on average."
Also, vegetarian food contains dietary fibres and has a positive effect on the microbiome in the intestine. This could induce satiety better than foods made from animal ingredients.
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) collaborated with the University Hospital of Leipzig and studied daily diet of almost 9,000 people to see how this form of nutrition is related to the body - regardless of age, gender and level of education.