Neacsu M, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.077503., March 3, 2015
A vegetarian-based high-protein eating plan appears to offer the same appetite control and weight loss as a meat-based plan with the same amount of protein, according to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In a study of adult men with obesity, gut hormone profile was similar between the two regimens, suggesting both high-protein weight-loss (HPWL) diets could be equally effective as weight-loss interventions, according to researchers in the United Kingdom.
“The Soy-HPWL diet had an impact on subjective appetite and motivation to eat similar to the Meat-HPWL diet,” the researchers wrote. “Weight loss was not different between the diets, with a reduction in fat mass and preservation of fat-free mass.”
Madalina Neacsu, PhD, of the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed appetite response to the two diets among 20 men with an average BMI of 34.8 kg/m2, monitoring plasma amino acid profile and gut peptides as potential satiety biomarkers.
After 3 days of a maintenance diet, the men were crossed over to either a vegetarian HPWL (Soy-HPWL) or a meat-based HPWL (Meat-HPWL) diet for 2 weeks; both diets consisted of 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrate.
The researchers measured body weight and the motivation to eat daily. During a 5-hour test-meal challenge at the end of each diet period, the investigators collected plasma satiety biomarkers.
At 2 weeks, the men had lost an average of 2.41 kg with Soy-HPWL and 2.27 kg with Meat-HPWL (P = .352; standard equivalent of the difference [SED], 0.1).
Based on analysis of variance (ANOVA), no differences were seen between the two HPWL diets for subjectively rated hunger (P = .57; SED, 3.8), fullness (P = .40; SED, 4.1), desire to eat (P = .356; SED, 3.7), lean body mass preservation (P = .334; SED, 0.2) and percentage fat mass loss (P = .179; SED, 0.2).
Between-diet differences were observed in absolute concentrations of ghrelin and peptide YY, but the response as net area under the curve did not vary.
“Due to the weight loss there was a significant improvement in blood biochemistry after both the
Soy-HPWL and Meat-HPWL diets, particularly for total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol after the Soy-HPWL diet,” the researchers wrote.
Although soy products are not sustainable sources in all geographic locales, the investigators said the vegetarian-based regimen could offer additional benefits.
“A vegetarian high-protein diet could be a healthier alternative to a meat-based HPWL diet, achieving desired results without any negative health effects (eg, risk of colonic disease),” the researchers wrote. – by Allegra Tiver
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.