Plant-based diets are more than just a strategy for promoting sustainable agriculture, they can also improve weight loss efforts and reduce heart disease risks. Plant proteins like seitan are generally lower in fats and carbohydrates compared to animal proteins, so seitan is an ideal food while dieting for weight loss. Carbohydrates are macronutrients taken from the foods that we consume. Our bodies then convert carbohydrates into glucose which is used as energy.
Effect of a 6-Month Vegan Low-Carbohydrate (‘Eco-Atkins’) Diet On Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Body Weight In Hyperlipidaemic Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial
A 2014 randomized controlled trial titled, “Effect of a 6-Month Vegan Low-Carbohydrate (‘Eco-Atkins’) Diet On Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Body Weight In Hyperlipidaemic Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial”, compared the effects of low-carbohydrate vegan diets (containing protein and fat from plant-based sources) to high-carbohydrate ovo-lacto vegetarian diets (containing some animal sources of protein and fat).
The 23 participants who completed the study were technically overweight, hyperlipidemic men and women. They were instructed to eat either the low carbohydrate or the high carbohydrate meal plan over six months after finishing one-month-all food including variations of the diets. The macronutrient intake for the low-carbohydrate meal plan had 26% of energy come from carbohydrates, 31% from protein, and 43% from fat. For the high-carbohydrate meal plan, 58% of energy came from carbohydrates, 16% from protein, and 25% from fat.
The results of the study: weight loss for the low-carbohydrate group increased to -15.2 pounds compared to the -12.7 pounds weight loss increase for the high-carbohydrate participants. In addition, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol) and triglyceride reductions were more pronounced in the low-carbohydrate group. The study’s authors conclude that low-carbohydrate vegan diets that get protein and fat from gluten and other plant foods had weight loss advantages over a high-carbohydrate ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. Furthermore, low-carb vegan diets had greater lipid-lowering benefits than high-carb diets did, making low-carb vegan diets superior for limiting heart disease risks.