Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
Please confirm you are human
(Sign Up for free to never see this)
← Back to Search

A Whole Food Plant-Based Diet Is Effective For Weight Loss: The Evidence

M. Greger
Published 2020 · Medicine

Save to my Library
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy
What does the best available balance of scientific evidence show is the optimum way to lose weight? Calorie density, water content, protein source, and other components significantly influence the effectiveness of different dietary regimes for weight loss. By “walling off your calories,” preferentially deriving your macronutrients from structurally intact plant foods, some calories remain trapped within indigestible cell walls, which then blunts the glycemic impact, activates the ileal brake, and delivers prebiotics to the gut microbiome. This may help explain why the current evidence indicates that a whole food, plant-based diet achieves greater weight loss compared with other dietary interventions that do not restrict calories or mandate exercise. So, the most effective diet for weight loss appears to be the only diet shown to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients. Plant-based diets have also been found to help treat, arrest, and reverse other leading chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension, whereas low-carbohydrate diets have been found to impair artery function and worsen heart disease, the leading killer of men and women in the United States. A diet centered on whole plant foods appears to be a safe, simple, sustainable solution to the obesity epidemic.
This paper references
The pathophysiology of faecal spotting in obese subjects during treatment with orlistat
M. Fox (2004)
Increased colonic propionate reduces anticipatory reward responses in the human striatum to high-energy foods123
C. S. Byrne (2016)
Distal, not proximal, colonic acetate infusions promote fat oxidation and improve metabolic markers in overweight/obese men.
Christina M. van der Beek (2016)
High-carbohydrate, high-fiber diets for insulin-treated men with diabetes mellitus.
J. W. Anderson (1979)
EJE PRIZE 2017: Hypothalamic AMPK: a golden target against obesity?
M. López (2017)
Effect of Protein Ingestion on the Glucose and Insulin Response to a Standardized Oral Glucose Load
F. Q. Nuttall (1984)
The BROAD study: A randomised controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischaemic heart disease or diabetes
N. Wright (2017)
Dietary Management of Obesity: Cornerstones of Healthy Eating Patterns.
A. Smethers (2018)
Dietary Protein Consumption and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies
S. Tian (2017)
Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men.
D. Mozaffarian (2011)
Vegetarian diets and childhood obesity prevention.
J. Sabaté (2010)
The Revised Nutrition Facts Label: A Step Forward and More Room for Improvement.
V. Malik (2016)
The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance.
H. Leidy (2015)
The effects of ginger intake on weight loss and metabolic profiles among overweight and obese subjects: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
N. Maharlouei (2019)
Nigella sativa (black seed) effects on plasma lipid concentrations in humans: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials.
A. Sahebkar (2016)
Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein and amino acids.
P. Trumbo (2002)
Effect of cumin powder on body composition and lipid profile in overweight and obese women.
R. Zare (2014)
Gut microbial metabolism defines host metabolism: an emerging perspective in obesity and allergic inflammation
M. Kumari (2017)
Healthy Plant-Based Diets Are Associated with Lower Risk of All-Cause Mortality in US Adults.
H. Kim (2018)
Restoration of metabolic health by decreased consumption of branched‐chain amino acids
N. E. Cummings (2018)
Managing Clinical Knowledge for Health Care Improvement.
E. Balas (2000)
The effect of fruit in different forms on energy intake and satiety at a meal
Julie E. Flood-Obbagy (2009)
Meat consumption and prospective weight change in participants of the EPIC-PANACEA study.
A. Vergnaud (2010)
Glyceamic and insulinaemic response to mashed potato alone, or with broccoli, broccoli fibre or cellulose in healthy adults
S. Ballance (2016)
Influence of a high-fibre food (myco-protein) on appetite: effects on satiation (within meals) and satiety (following meals).
V. Burley (1993)
Weight loss in individuals with metabolic syndrome given DASH diet counseling when provided a low sodium vegetable juice: a randomized controlled trial
Sonia F. Shenoy (2010)
Chloroplast membranes retard fat digestion and induce satiety: effect of biological membranes on pancreatic lipase/co-lipase.
P. Albertsson (2007)
Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body
Ron Sender (2016)
The Three-Month Effects of a Ketogenic Diet on Body Composition, Blood Parameters, and Performance Metrics in CrossFit Trainees: A Pilot Study
W. Kephart (2018)
The Effect of Soup on Satiation
A. Himaya (1998)
The gut flora as a forgotten organ
A. O'Hara (2006)
Food Nanotechnology: Water is the Key to Lowering the Energy Density of Processed Foods
A. A. Robson (2011)
A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb.
A. Ahmad (2013)
Effects of novel capsinoid treatment on fatness and energy metabolism in humans: possible pharmacogenetic implications.
S. Snitker (2009)
Energy expenditure and body composition changes after an isocaloric ketogenic diet in overweight and obese men.
K. Hall (2016)
The microbiome and obesity: Is obesity linked to our gut flora?
F. Tsai (2009)
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is activated in muscle of subjects with type 2 diabetes during exercise.
N. Musi (2001)
Filling America's fiber intake gap: summary of a roundtable to probe realistic solutions with a focus on grain-based foods.
R. Clemens (2012)
A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of supplementation with Nigella sativa (black seed) on blood pressure
A. Sahebkar (2016)
Activation of AMPK and its Impact on Exercise Capacity
E. Niederberger (2015)
The effect of heat treatment of thylakoids on their ability to inhibit in vitro lipase/co-lipase activity.
K. Östbring (2014)
Quantifying and separating the effects of macronutrient composition and non-macronutrients on energy density.
G. Grunwald (2001)
Comparator bias: why comparisons must address genuine uncertainties
H. Mann (2013)
Decreased Consumption of Branched-Chain Amino Acids Improves Metabolic Health.
L. Fontana (2016)
Second meal effect on appetite and fermentation of wholegrain rye foods
S. Ibrügger (2014)
A 48‐Hour Vegan Diet Challenge in Healthy Women and Men Induces a BRANCH‐Chain Amino Acid Related, Health Associated, Metabolic Signature
C. Draper (2018)
A randomised controlled trial on hypolipidemic effects of Nigella Sativa seeds powder in menopausal women
R. M. Ibrahim (2013)
Humans, lipids and evolution
S. B. Eaton (2006)
A plant-based diet and coronary artery disease: a mandate for effective therapy
C. Esselstyn (2017)
Pre-meal tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) intake can have anti-obesity effects in young women?
A. F. Vinha (2014)
Eating rate of commonly consumed foods promotes food and energy intake
M. V. Dongen (2011)
Characteristics and functionality of appetite-reducing thylakoid powders produced by three different drying processes.
K. Östbring (2018)
High Vegetable Fats Intake Is Associated with High Resting Energy Expenditure in Vegetarians
T. Montalcini (2015)
High Caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women
D. Jakubowicz (2013)
Paleolithic nutrition.
S. B. Eaton (1985)
Protein Intake during Energy Restriction: Effects on Body Composition and Markers of Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health in Postmenopausal Women
A. K. Mahon (2007)
Plasma lipids and lipoproteins in vegetarians and controls.
F. Sacks (1975)
Effect of Nigella sativa supplementation on obesity indices: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
S. M. Mousavi (2018)
The vagus nerve, food intake and obesity
Hans-Rudolf Berthoud (2008)
Salad and satiety: energy density and portion size of a first-course salad affect energy intake at lunch.
B. Rolls (2004)
Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies
H. Noto (2013)
Low-carbohydrate diets impair flow-mediated dilatation: evidence from a systematic review and meta-analysis.
L. Schwingshackl (2013)
Health Advantages and Disadvantages of Weight-Reducing Diets: A Computer Analysis and Critical Review
J. W. Anderson (2000)
Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease?: The Lifestyle Heart Trial
D. Ornish (1990)
Ileal brake activation: macronutrient-specific effects on eating behavior?
M. Avesaat (2014)
Immediate pre-meal water ingestion decreases voluntary food intake in lean young males
R. Corney (2015)
Vinegar Intake Reduces Body Weight, Body Fat Mass, and Serum Triglyceride Levels in Obese Japanese Subjects
T. Kondo (2009)
Effects of Dietary Protein and Fiber at Breakfast on Appetite, ad Libitum Energy Intake at Lunch, and Neural Responses to Visual Food Stimuli in Overweight Adults
R. Sayer (2016)
Longitudinal changes in BMI in older adults are associated with meat consumption differentially, by type of meat consumed.
A. M. Gilsing (2012)
Chronic dietary exposure to branched chain amino acids impairs glucose disposal in vegans but not in omnivores
J. Gojda (2017)
Lycium barbarum Reduces Abdominal Fat and Improves Lipid Profile and Antioxidant Status in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome
Mayara Zagonel de Souza Zanchet (2017)
Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle‐aged and Older Adults
Elizabeth A. Dennis (2010)
Leucine signaling in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
B. Melnik (2012)
Obesity and cardiovascular risk intervention through the ad libitum feeding of traditional Hawaiian diet.
T. Shintani (1991)
Weight change among people randomized to minimal intervention control groups in weight loss trials
D. Johns (2016)
Branched-chain amino acid, meat intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in the Women's Health Initiative.
M. Isanejad (2017)
A moderate increase in daily protein intake causing an enhanced endogenous insulin secretion does not alter circulating levels or urinary excretion of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate.
T. Remer (1996)
Body weight loss, reduced urge for palatable food and increased release of GLP-1 through daily supplementation with green-plant membranes for three months in overweight women
C. Montelius (2014)
The effects of hedonically acceptable red pepper doses on thermogenesis and appetite
M. Ludy (2011)
The garden of Eden: plant-based diets, the genetic drive to store fat and conserve cholesterol, and implications for epidemiology in the 21st century.
D. Jenkins (2006)
The acute effects of four protein meals on insulin, glucose, appetite and energy intake in lean men.
S. Pal (2010)
Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations.
S. M. Krebs-Smith (2010)
A satiety index of common foods.
S. Holt (1995)
Do Fructose-Containing Sugars Lead to Adverse Health Consequences? Results of Recent Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses
V. Ha (2015)
Starving our microbial self: the deleterious consequences of a diet deficient in microbiota-accessible carbohydrates.
Erica D. Sonnenburg (2014)
Smokeless Weight Loss
C. Novak (2012)
The effects of high and low energy density diets on satiety, energy intake, and eating time of obese and nonobese subjects.
K. Duncan (1983)
Nigella sativa improves glucose homeostasis and serum lipids in type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Reza Daryabeygi-Khotbehsara (2017)
Differential effect of protein and fat ingestion on blood glucose responses to high- and low-glycemic-index carbohydrates in noninsulin-dependent diabetic subjects.
M. C. Gulliford (1989)
AMP-activated protein kinase--the fat controller of the energy railroad.
G. Steinberg (2006)
How to manage constipation with high-fiber diet.
D. Burkitt (1979)
Effects of consuming mycoprotein, tofu or chicken upon subsequent eating behaviour, hunger and safety
D. Williamson (2006)
Effect of the cumin cyminum L. Intake on Weight Loss, Metabolic Profiles and Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress in Overweight Subjects: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
M. Taghizadeh (2015)
Colonic infusions of short-chain fatty acid mixtures promote energy metabolism in overweight/obese men: a randomized crossover trial
E. E. Canfora (2017)
Diverticular disease: eat your fiber!
J. Wick (2012)
Altering Portion Sizes and Eating Rate to Attenuate Gorging During a Fast Food Meal: Effects on Energy Intake
C. Ebbeling (2007)
Sympathetic nervous system activity and resting metabolic rate in vegetarians.
M. Toth (1994)
Global epidemiology of obesity, vegetarian dietary patterns, and noncommunicable disease in Asian Indians.
P. Singh (2014)
Modern organic and broiler chickens sold for human consumption provide more energy from fat than protein.
Y. Wang (2010)
The Effect of High-Protein Diets on Coronary Blood Flow
R. Fleming (2000)
Effect of garlic powder consumption on body composition in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Davood Soleimani (2016)
The role of AMP-activated protein kinase in regulating white adipose tissue metabolism
R. Ceddia (2013)
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) from Traditional Uses to Potential Biomedical Applications
S. Mnif (2015)
Mycoprotein reduces energy intake and postprandial insulin release without altering glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide tyrosine-tyrosine concentrations in healthy overweight and obese adults: a randomised-controlled trial
J. Bottin (2016)
Addition of capsaicin and exchange of carbohydrate with protein counteract energy intake restriction effects on fullness and energy expenditure.
A. J. Smeets (2013)
The Use of Green Leaf Membranes to Promote Appetite Control, Suppress Hedonic Hunger and Loose Body Weight
C. Erlanson-Albertsson (2015)
Effects of a Brown Beans Evening Meal on Metabolic Risk Markers and Appetite Regulating Hormones at a Subsequent Standardized Breakfast: A Randomized Cross-Over Study
A. Nilsson (2013)

Semantic Scholar Logo Some data provided by SemanticScholar