Plant-based diets are recommended by dietary guidelines. This secondary analysis aimed to assess longitudinal associations of an overall plant-based diet and specific plant foods with weight-loss maintenance and cardiometabolic risk factors. Longitudinal data on 710 participants (aged 26–70 years) with overweight or obesity and pre-diabetes from the 3-year weight-loss maintenance phase of the PREVIEW intervention were analyzed. Adherence to an overall plant-based diet was evaluated using a novel plant-based diet index, where all plant-based foods received positive scores and all animal-based foods received negative scores. After adjustment for potential confounders, linear mixed models with repeated measures showed that the plant-based diet index was inversely associated with weight regain, but not with cardiometabolic risk factors. Nut intake was inversely associated with regain of weight and fat mass and increments in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Fruit intake was inversely associated with increments in diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. Vegetable intake was inversely associated with an increment in diastolic blood pressure and triglycerides and was positively associated with an increase in HDL cholesterol. All reported associations with cardiometabolic risk factors were independent of weight change. Long-term consumption of nuts, fruits, and vegetables may be beneficial for weight management and cardiometabolic health, whereas an overall plant-based diet may improve weight management only.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Plant-based dietary patterns