In England, seventy-four subjects with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to follow either a vegetarian diet or a conventional anti-diabetic diet. The vegetarian diet was found to be almost twice as effective in reducing body weight, resulting in an average loss of 6.2 kilograms compared to 3.2 kilograms for the conventional diet.
The new study also found that vegetarian dieters improved their metabolism by reducing muscle fat. Losing muscle fat improves glucose and lipid metabolism so this finding is particularly important for people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, says lead author, Dr. Hana Kahleová, Director of Clinical Research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington DC.
Using magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers studied the fat-storage tissue in the subjects’ thighs and found that subfascial fat was only reduced in response to the vegetarian diet and intramuscular fat was more greatly reduced by the vegetarian diet.