Vegetarian vs Mediterranean on Weight loss


There are many health-care providers who will recommend the Mediterranean diet as the go-to diet for individuals attempting to eat healthier and even lose weight. However, a 2018 study shows that a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet had similar effects to the Mediterranean diet on weight loss and cardiovascular disease risk. 


Study: Sofi, F & Dinu, M et al. Low-calorie vegetarian versus Mediterranean diets for reducing body weight and improving cardiovascular risk profile. Circulation. 2018; 137:1103-1113


Who did they study? 

118 mixed gender (both female and male) subjects with an average age of 51 years. Subjects had a low to moderate cardiovascular risk profile and a BMI at least over 25. 


How was the study designed?

Subjects consumed a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet or a Mediterranean diet for 3 months, and then switched over. 


What did the researchers find?

  • Vegetarian protocol resulted in weight loss of ~4.1 lbs, the Mediterranean group lost about 3.8 lbs.
  • BMI reduced significantly with both diets, but no difference between the diets was found (Vegetarian: -0.64 kg/m2, Mediterranean: - 0.67 kg/m2)
  • Fat mass reduced significantly with both diets, but no difference was found between diets (Vegetarian: - 1.23 kg, Mediterranean: - 1.46 kg)
  • Vegetarians had a greater decrease in LDL cholesterol whereas, the Mediterranean diet group had greater decreases in triglycerides. 
  • Vitamin B12 decreased slightly in the vegetarian group
  • Vegetarian diet group had a significant reduction in uric acid whereas no change was seen in the Mediterranean diet group.



In terms of weight loss and some markers of cardiovascular disease risk, the Mediterranean diet and lacto-ovo vegetarian diet seem to have similar effects on a previously healthy, omnivorous group of subjects.



Read the full paper here





George Cho