Nutrient-Dense Approach to Weight Management

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“Nutrient-Dense Approach
to Weight Management” We know that vegetarians
tend to be slimmer, but there’s this perception
that veg diets may be somehow deficient
in nutrients. So how’s this for
a simple study— let’s just analyze the
diets of 13,000 people and compare the nutrient
intake of those eating meat to the one of those eating
meat-free diets. They found that those
eating vegetarian were getting higher intakes
of nearly every nutrient, more fiber, more vitamin A,
more vitamin C, more vitamin E, more of the
B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, folate, more calcium, magnesium,
iron, and potassium, while at the same time eating
less of the harmful stuff like saturated fat
and cholesterol.

And yes, they got
enough protein. And some of those nutrients
are the ones Americans struggle
to get enough of— fiber, vitamins A, C, and E,
calcium/magnesium/potassium and those eating vegetarian
got more of all of them. Even so, though, just because
They did better than the standard American diet
isn’t saying much— they still didn’t get as much
as they should have. I mean yes, those
eating vegetarian ate significantly more dark
green leafy vegetables, but that comes out to just
2 teaspoons of greens more. In terms of
weight management, the vegetarians were
consuming on average 363 fewer calories
every day. That’s like what people do
When they go on a diet, and restrict their
food intake, but that seemed just like what
Vegetarians eat normally, so a vegetarian diet
could be considered an all-you-care-to-eat version of a calorie-restricted
weight loss diet, naturally inducing
weight loss and also helping maintain a healthy
weight status long term.

So just following a
vegetarian diet alone, without focusing on
calorie reduction, could result
in weight loss. How sustainable are more
plant-based diets long-term? They are in fact among
the ONLY type of diets that are sustainable long-term, perhaps because not only
do people lose weight but they often feel
so much better. And there’s no calorie
counting or portion control. Vegetarians may burn
more calories in their sleep! Those eating more
plant-based diets appear to have an 11% higher
resting metabolic rate. Both vegetarians and
vegans in this study just naturally seemed to have
a revved-up metabolism compared to those
eating meat.

Having said that, the vegetarian
diet pattern in this study included eating
eggs and dairy, so while they were
significantly slimmer than those
eating meat, they were still, on
average, overweight. As we’ve seen before,
The only dietary pattern associated on average with
Ideal body weight was strictly
plant-based one. Still, this study does
help dispel the myth that meat-free diets are
somehow nutrient deficient. In fact, in response
the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American
Dietetic Association asked, “What could be more nutrient
dense than a vegetarian diet?”

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