Plant-based diet is cheaper and promotes weight loss, study finds

If you haven't jumped on the vegetarian bandwagon yet, now might be a good time to start.

Particularly for diabetics, a plant-based diet can be helpful for achieving weight loss goals, lowering cholesterol and improving heart health. And a new study suggests it may be cheap, to boot.

The study

Researchers from the Miriam Hospital and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank recruited participants for a six-week cooking program where they followed simple, plant-based recipes while learning how to prepare and shop for these types of meals.

Following the participants for six months after the program ended, researchers found the subjects were saving about $40 a week in groceries. Their purchases of meat, soda, desserts and snacks also decreased, although the researchers never told them not to buy these types of foods.

Save money, lose weight and eat healthier

Study author Mary Flynn points out that meat, poultry and seafood are among the most expensive foods on a menu plan, and people often end up buying fewer fruits and vegetables as a result.

At the end of the study, not only were participants eating more fresh produce and saving money, but about half of all the subjects lost weight. An overall decrease in body mass index was also observed.

"Our results also suggest that including a few plant-based meals per week is an attainable goal that will not only improve their health and diet, but also lower their food costs," Flynn said in a press release.

The study is published in the March issue of Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition.

Source: Eureka Alert

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