Low-carbohydrate diets have long been heralded as a way to lose weight. The same can be, and has been, said about vegan diets. Now new research is indicating that combining the two into a low-carb vegan diet not helps with weight loss, but also could reduce your heart disease risk.
The reduce in risk is slow, just 10 percent over 10 years, but it’s notable because it’s the first time scientists have been able to prove a correlation between a low-carb vegan diet and reduced risk of heart disease.
Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital made the discovery. They looked at the effects of two specific types of diet on people who were trying to lose weight and become healthier overall.
Often called Eco-Atkins, the diet has the benefits of a low-carb diet without the added cholesterol that usually stems from following such diet. The higher cholesterol is caused by an emphasis on consuming animal proteins and fats. Obviously in a vegan diet, those would not be consumed.
Eco-Atkins was put to the test against a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet over the course of six months. Participants in the study were obese men and women who were asked to eat only 60 percent of their estimated caloric requirements.
They were also given meal plans that outlined what food items they could in eat and in what amounts. Participants made their own meals using the suggested food items. This made it easier for participants to stay on the diet since they could cater it to their personal tastes.
It was discovered that after six months participants who had been on the Eco-Atkins diet had reduced their cholesterol by 10 percent. They also lost an average of four more pounds than those on the high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.
Though the study was small, its results are significant. It’s commonly held that a low-fat diet is the diet of choice if you want to lower your cholesterol and lose weight. However, this study, and others similar to it, is showing low-carb vegan diets may just be the way to go.