Plant-based diets are more than just a strategy for promoting sustainable agriculture, they can also improve weight loss efforts and reduce heart disease risks. Plant proteins like seitan are generally lower in fats and carbohydrates compared to animal proteins, so seitan is an ideal ingredient for protein meals while dieting for weight loss. Carbohydrates are macronutrients taken from the foods that we consume. Our bodies then convert carbohydrates into glucose which are then used as energy.
A 2014 randomized controlled trial titled “Effect of a 6-Month Vegan Low-Carbohydrate (‘Eco-Atkins’) Diet On Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Body Weight In Hyperlipidaemic Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial” compared the effects of low-carbohydrate vegan diets (containing protein and fat from plant-based sources) to high-carbohydrate ovo-lacto vegetarian diets (containing some animal sources of protein and fat). The study concludes that low-carbohydrate vegan diets that get protein and fat from gluten and other plant foods had weight loss advantages over a high-carbohydrate ovo-lacto vegetarian diets. Furthermore, low-carb vegan diets had greater lipid lowering benefits than high-carb diets did, making low-carb vegan diets the superior alternative for limiting heart disease risks.
“Effect of a 6-Month Vegan Low-Carbohydrate (‘Eco-Atkins’) Diet On Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Body Weight In Hyperlipidaemic Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial” Review
The 23 participants who completed the study were overweight hyperlipidaemic men and women; they were instructed to eat one of two of these meal plans over the course of six months after finishing one-month-all foods included-variations of these diets. The macronutrient intake for the low-carbohydrate meal plan had 26% of energy came from carbohydrates, 31% from protein and 43% from fat. For the high-carbohydrate meal plan, 58% of energy came from carbohydrates, 16% from protein and 25% from fat. The results of the study: weight loss for the low-carbohydrate group increased to -15.2 pounds compared to the -12.7 pounds weight loss increase for the high-carbohydrate participants. In addition, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol) and triglyceride reductions were more pronounced in the low-carbohydrate group.