mediterranean diet
Vegetarian diet vs Mediterranean diet: Which is more effective for weight loss?[Representational image]Jessica Lewis from Pexels

Mediterranean diet is often considered as one of the healthiest diets around. The diet is based on the eating habits of those living in Spain, Greece and Southern Italy. On the other hand, a vegetarian diet is also said to be good for health by many. So, in a recent study, researchers tried to find out which is a more effective diet.

The study published in the journal Circulation examined the effects of both diets on 118 participants for a six-month-long period. Participants regularly attended health checks throughout the duration of the study and were advised to cut down on calories by menus designed by nutritionists.

Participants were either given Mediterranean diet or lacto-ovo vegetarian diet to follow. The lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is the most common type of vegetarian diet, that excludes consumption of meat and fish in their fresh, preserved, and processed form. However, it allows the consumption of eggs and dairy products.

After the research, the Italian researchers concluded that both diets were effective in reducing body weight and body mass index. They found that the average weight loss on vegetarian diet was 1.88kg and 1.77kg on the Mediterranean diet, Independent reported.

Lead author Dr. Francesco Sofi said: "The take-home message is that a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet is easy and feasible to follow, without any health problems, if well conducted and prepared by an instructed nutritionist.

They also examined the effect of both the diets on participants' cardiovascular health and found that both of them were equally effective in different ways. While vegetarian diet led to reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol), the Mediterranean diet was found to be more effective at reducing triglyceride levels or fatty acids.

Sofi added: "This helps you to reduce some cardiovascular risk factors as well as a Mediterranean diet."