Home wellness Health Benefits of a Low-Fat Plant-Based Diet: A Recent Study

Health Benefits of a Low-Fat Plant-Based Diet: A Recent Study

by Marianne Navada
plant-based and animal-based diets keto compared

The National Institute of Health released a study comparing a low-fat plant-based diet with a high-fat animal-based diet (ketogenic). Here’s a summary of the findings. Given the time limits of the study, results point to short-term benefits. 

The Main Findings

Low-fat and Plant-based 


  • ate fewer calories 
  • weight loss with significant loss of body fat 
  • curbed appetite 
  • had higher insulin and blood glucose levels 

High-fat and Animal-based (Keto)


  • had steady insulin and blood glucose levels 
  • weight loss but no significant loss of body fat

Regardless of diet, “participants reported no differences in hunger, enjoyment of meals, or fullness between the two diets.”

The Takeaway 

“These findings suggest that the factors that result in overeating and weight gain are more complex than the amount of carbs or fat in one’s diet.” 

NIH Study Compares Low-fat, Plant-based Diet to Low-carb, Animal-based Diet | National Institute of Health

More than calories and fat, we need to take into account the amount of processed foods we consume.

About the Study

  • The study housed 20 adults (11 men and 9 women) for 4 weeks. Participants ate one type of diet the first 2 weeks and then the other diet the last 2 weeks. 
  • Participants were given prepared meals (3x a day with snacks) and can eat as much as they desired. This means the study did not control portions. 
  • Both diets were minimally processed.
  • In terms of carbohydrate and fat content in the food served:
    • Plant-based and Low-fat diet: 10.3% fat and 75.2% carbohydrate
    • Animal-based and High-fat: 10% carbohydrate and 75.8% fat.
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