The best way to lose weight as well as protect yourself against a number of diseases is to cut your intake of animal products, according to an article in British news outlet The Express.
While the paper stops short of promoting a 100 percent plant-based diet, it promotes the idea of plant-heavy eating, saying it 'can improve life expectancy and decrease cancer risk - as well as offering fast weight loss'.
According to the article: "Embracing a vegetarian or vegan diet with the occasional inclusion of animal products may be the key to healthy living, and a trim waist line."
Health benefits of cutting animal products
The article quotes nutritionist Dr. Emma Derbyshire's Flexitarian Diets and Health: A Review of the Evidence-Based Literature paper from January of this year.
In it, Dr. Derbyshire writes: "A flexitarian or semi-vegetarian diet [SVD] is one that is primarily vegetarian with the occasional inclusion of meat or fish.
"Of late, there appears to be an increasing movement toward this practice. There has not been a recent update on these diets from a health perspective.
"Using the National Centre for Biotechnology Information PubMed database, a search was made for all studies published between 2000 and 2016 that met defined inclusion criteria. A total of 25 studies were located with 12 focusing on body weight and diet quality.
"There was emerging evidence suggestive of benefits for body weight, improved markers of metabolic health, blood pressure, and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
"SVD may also have a role to play in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease."
While the article promotes the benefits of flexitarianism, it also references a study suggesting plant-based is the optimum diet for weight loss.
Scientists behind the 2016 diet study conducted at I-SHOU University in China suggested that vegans can lose more weight than meat eaters and vegetarians, after testing out eight different diets on a total of 1151 subjects over a median duration of 18 weeks.
According to the study: "Overall, individuals assigned to the vegetarian diet groups lost significantly more weight than those assigned to the non-vegetarian diet groups.
"Subgroup analysis detected significant weight reduction in subjects consuming a vegan diet and, to a lesser extent, in those given lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets
"The vegans lost on average 5.5lbs, while the vegetarians lost on average 4.5lbs."
Veggie good - but vegan better
In line with the I-SHOU study's conclusion, other health experts agree that while flexitarianism can be a positive step, a plant-based diet offers more benefits.
Veronika Powell, Scientific Advisor at Viva! Health told PBN: "Meat and dairy are two major fat sources, so reducing their consumption will have a noticeable effect on your weight - but it’s best to cut them out of your diet completely.
"It will make you feel better, lighter yet more energised, and it will improve your digestive health.
"A fully plant-based diet is the best for effortless weight management and overall health."