Are vegetarians thinner

According to a study, vegetarians are leaner than meat eaters

The fact that the number of professing vegetarians is steadily increasing is not just a feeling: 6.1 million Germans have already opted for a predominantly plant-based way of life - 400,000 more than two years earlier.

In a large-scale study in cooperation with the Leipzig University Hospital, almost 9,000 people were examined to find out what influence a vegetarian diet has on the body and the psyche.

The participants were asked to fill in questionnaires how often they consumed individual animal products in the last 12 months - from “several times a day” to “never”.

In addition, the subjects were examined for their personality traits with the help of psychological tests.

The remarkable results were published in the latest edition of 'Nutrients' and hold many a surprise in store.

Vegetarians rely on more fiber

The less a person relies on animal products in their diet, the more on average the body mass index (BMI) and thus also the person's weight appear to be.

“The fact that a person had a 1.2 point lower BMI meant on average that they completely avoided certain animal products, such as the primary [meat and fish .; Comment on the reaction], and followed a vegetarian diet, ”explains Evelyn Medawar, first author of the publication.

In relation to one explanation, the research team mainly suggests a lower proportion of highly processed foods among vegetarians.

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“Products that are excessively high in fat and sugar make you fat. They stimulate the appetite and delay the feeling of satiety. If you do without animal foods, you eat fewer such products on average, ”says Medawar.

Plant-based foods are also richer in fiber, which has a positive effect on the microbiome in the intestine and could lead to a faster feeling of satiety.

Those who do without meat and fish may simply tend to eat less.

This is now to be examined more closely in a follow-up study in cooperation with the university hospital.

Introverted but not depressed

Previous studies had also suggested a connection between a plant-based diet and depressive moods.

The scientists could not confirm this, however.

Instead, they suspected that in the previous studies, among other things, already conspicuous personality traits, which are known to be associated with a tendency to depression, could not have been excluded.

The researchers at the Max Planck Institute were also unable to observe any correlations for neurotic behavior, which previous studies had linked to the avoidance of animal products.

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Max Planck Institute: "Vegetarians are leaner and less extroverted than meat eaters", accessed on June 20, 2020: https://www.cbs.mpg.de/vegetarian-sind-schlanker-und-weniger-extrovertiert-als-fleischesser
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