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Weight Loss: Vegetarian Diet Vs Mediterranean Diet: Which One Works Better?

Weight loss: Mediterranean diet is known as one of the healthiest diet plans in the world. Vegetarian diet, too, is popular for its health benefits.

Weight Loss: Vegetarian Diet Vs Mediterranean Diet: Which One Works Better?

Both diets were found equally effective in terms of reducing body weight

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. A Mediterranean diet involves healthy and unprocessed foods
  2. A vegetarian diet focuses on the consumption of only plant-based foods
  3. Both diets were found equally effective in terms of reducing body weight

For years now, the Mediterranean countries like Greece, Italy and Spain have been seen as an inspiration due to their super-healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet is touted to be one of the healthiest diet plans in the world. Likewise, the vegetarian diet is also popular for its health benefits. Given the amount of the popularity these two diet plans share, researchers decided to weigh these two against each other and see which one is more beneficial in terms of weight loss.

What is the Mediterranean diet?

Back in the 1960s, the Mediterranean people were exceptionally healthy, much healthier than the American natives. The Greeks and Italians did not report many diseases and serious health problems as compared to the American natives. And all this was because of their diet. The Mediterranean diet does not refer to one concrete diet plan. Instead, it is a combination of different diet plans which involved similar kinds of food. This diet plan can be modified in accordance with the consumer's needs and preferences.

Also read: Top 5 Protein Sources For Vegetarians



Basic rules to follow in a Mediterranean diet

When on a Mediterranean diet, you need to follow some basic rules. They are:

1. Eat more of vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seeds, seafood, herbs and spices, and healthy fats.

2. Poultry foods, eggs, yogurt and cheese should be take in moderation.

3. Red meats should be taken rarely.

4. Avoid sugary and highly processed foods.

 
sugary foodsWeight loss: Avoid sugary foods in a mediterranean diet
Photo Credit: iStock

Which foods to eat in a Mediterranean diet?

A Mediterranean diet involves healthy and unprocessed foods. It stresses on whole and single-ingredient foods like:

1. Vegetables

Broccoli, kale, onions, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, cucumbers, etc.

2. Fruits

Strawberries, peaches, apples, figs, bananas, orange, melons, dates, etc.

3. Nuts and seeds

Pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, apples, sunflower seeds, etc.

4. Poultry

Duck, turkey and chicken.

5. Legumes

Beans, chickpeas, peanuts, peas, pulses, etc.

6. Eggs

7. Grains

Wheat, barley, corn, buckwheat, oats, brown rice, whole grain pasta and bread.

8. Herbs and spices

Mint, rosemary, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, sage and basil.

9. Seafood

Salmon, trout, sardines, tuna, mackerel, oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels, etc.

10. Healthy fats

Olive oil, avocados, olive, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.

 
eggsWeight loss: Eat eggs in regulation in a mediterranean diet
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Top 5 Health Reasons To Go Vegetarian​

Which foods to avoid in a Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet does not involve processed foods. Here's what you need avoid when on this diet:

1. Sweet treats

Candies, ice creams, refined sugar, soda and other sweet treats.

2. Refined foods

This includes refined sugar, grains and oil.

3. Processed meats

Sausages, hot dogs, bacon, etc.

4. Trans fats

Unhealthy fats in processed foods like margarine

5. Highly processed foods

Low-fat and diet foods

 
baconWeight loss: Avoid bacon in a mediterranean diet
Photo Credit: iStock

What is a vegetarian diet?

A vegetarian diet is a diet plan which focuses on the consumption of only plant-based foods. This means that such diets do not have animal-based foods. It includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, herbs, spices, and grains. This diet is of three types:

1. Vegan diet which excludes all animal-based products, even milk

2. Lacto vegetarian diet which includes the dairy products

3. Lacto-ovo vegetarian diet which includes dairy and eggs

One can get access to all the important vitamins and nutrients if they know which foods to eat and which foods to avoid in this diet.

 
vegetarian foodWeight loss: Vegetarian food promotes weight loss
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: If You Are A Vegetarian, This Ones For You: Myths Debunked​

Any meal plans for a vegetarian diet?

When on a vegetarian diet, you must include a wide variety of foods and sufficient calories to meet your nutritional needs. Take note of these rules

1. Avoid too many sugary foods

2. Consume whole grains and fortified natural foods

3. Include nutritious fruits and vegetables in your diet

4. If you are open to dairy, opt for the fat-free varieties of dairy products

Mediterranean VS Vegetarian for weight loss...

When these two diet plans were compared in terms of weight loss, both diets were found equally effective in terms of reducing body weight. Experts concluded by saying that these two diet plans, if prepared and conducted properly, will have a positive impact on cardiovascular health and weight loss. They said that the vegetarian diet effectively lowers bad cholesterol levels and the Mediterranean diet reduces fatty acid levels.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 

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