Which Is Better For Weight Loss: Vegetarian Or Meat-Based Protein?
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Is your go-to protein source actually the best one for your goals?
Hunger is a major reason why weight loss is so hard, but a high-protein diet has been associated with better appetite control.
Most studies on high-protein diets have used meat-based diets, but there is concern that these diets result in negative changes in the gut microbiome, by increasing hazardous metabolites and decreasing levels of cancer-protective metabolites.
Vegetarian vs meat
The authors of this study wanted to know if a high-protein vegetarian diet was also associated with good appetite control. If so, following a vegetarian high-protein diet might have the potential to assist with weight-loss and still maintain gut health.
In this small study, 20 obese men followed either a meat-based high-protein diet or a vegetarian high-protein diet for two weeks before switching to the opposite diet for two more weeks. Weight loss, objective satiety and biomarkers of satiety were measured. There were no significant differences in weight loss, subjectively rated hunger, preservation of lean body mass, or loss of fat mass between the two diets.
And the winner is…
The authors conclude that, because appetite control and weight loss were similar for both high-protein diets, a vegetarian diet is as effective as a meat-based diet during weight loss. Please note: this is a small study that only lasted a few weeks. Larger, longer studies are needed to find out how vegetarian high-protein diets really affect appetite and weight loss.