Mediterranean Diet As Healthy as Being Vegetarian, Study Shows

Keep Your Heart’s Health With Two Great Diets

A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet is a kind of vegetarian diet that includes animal products such as eggs and dairy products, but excludes the intake of meat and fish.

The "comparability" of the two diets was highlighted by the authors as a key strength of the study.

The participants were asked to follow either a low-calorie vegetarian diet, with dairy and eggs or a low-calorie Mediterranean diet for three months.

Health experts found a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, or a Mediterranean diet, can reduce the risk of stroke and other risks to your health. They also underwent regular health screening during this period. "This helps you to reduce some cardiovascular risk factors as well as a Mediterranean diet".

Each diet, separately, has been shown to produce to bigger improvements in weight and other risk factors for heart disease than a typical Western diet heavy on red meat, starch, processed foods and sugary drinks.

While the phrase "plant-based diet" may conjure up images of fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and legumes, it can also mean a diet loaded with refined carbs, Frank Hu, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School told researchers, nutritionists and food companies at the three-day event, held at Loma Linda University in California.

The researchers found that there were no differences in body weight between the two diets, with similar and significant reductions for VD (-1.88 kg) and MedD (-1.77 kg).

Francesco Sofi, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Florence in Italy, and colleagues randomized overweight omnivores with a low-to-moderate cardiovascular risk profile to a low-calorie VD or a low-calorie MedD, each lasting three months, in a crossover trial. The "lacto-ovo" vegetarian diet with was associated with bigger reductions in "bad" LDL cholesterol, however, and the Mediterranean diet was linked to larger decreases in triglycerides and markers of inflammation.

These similar outcomes may be due to both vegetarian and Mediterranean ways of eating limiting people's saturated fat intakes.

"People have more than one choice for a heart-healthy diet", Sofi added. "It is novel that the study participants were relatively healthy, and at relatively low risk for cardiovascular disease".

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