Vegetarian Diet Not Daunting to Adopt

Change helped postmenopausal women lose weight, study finds

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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Contrary to popular belief, it's easy for people to switch from a regular diet to a vegetarian diet that's good for the heart.

So says a study in the summer issue of the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation.

"For people battling overweight and heart disease, a vegetarian diet can be a lifesaving prescription," study author Dr. Neal D. Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said in a prepared statement.

"This new study shows that patients transition smoothly to a plant-based diet that allows them to eat to satiety and yet still lose weight. Patients are willing to make major changes in their eating patterns because they get major results such as lower cholesterol and reduced hypertension," Barnard said.

The study included well-educated, postmenopausal, overweight women who were divided into two groups. One group ate a low-fat vegetarian diet while the other group ate a controlled diet.

The women who ate the vegetarian diet lost much more weight than women in the other group. The study also found that 89 percent of the women on the vegetarian diet said they felt mostly or completely used to the diet after 14 weeks, and 86 percent said they could adhere to the vegetarian diet at least most of the time in the future.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about vegetarian diets.

SOURCE: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, news release, July 2004

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