Vegan diet offers ‘significant’ weight loss for obese and diabetic people, new study finds

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Following a vegan diet for three months has been shown to provide significant health benefits for obese and diabetic people. A study conducted by the Steno Diabetes Center in Copenhagen found that participants lost “significant” amounts of weight and saw their blood sugar levels drop.

The results of the study were presented at the European Congress on Obesity with the Danish research team explicit in their conclusion that vegan diets are beneficial for some people. 796 people, each clinically overweight or diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, were assessed in 11 trials. A vegan diet, followed for at least 12 weeks, was compared with other diets. Factors such as body weight, BMI, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol were analyzed.

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The case for vegan diets to improve health

Research participants following a vegan diet were compared to passive and active groups. The latter was given a specific diet to follow, including a Mediterranean or calorie count. The data showed that the vegan group demonstrated significantly greater weight loss, with each member losing an average of 16 pounds. All members of the vegan group also saw their BMI drop. Weight loss wasn’t the only benefit, however.

By comparing followers of the vegan diet to those who made no dietary changes, blood sugar levels were identified as changing.

“This rigorous evaluation of the best evidence available to date indicates with reasonable certainty that adherence to a vegan diet for at least 12 weeks can lead to clinically meaningful weight loss and improved blood sugar levels,” said Anne-Ditte Termmannsen, lead author of the study. , said in a statement. “And can therefore be used in the management of overweight and type 2 diabetes.

“Vegan diets probably lead to weight loss because they are associated with reduced calorie intake due to lower fat content and higher dietary fiber content. However, more evidence is needed regarding d other cardiometabolic outcomes.

The study did not specify the particular vegan foods to eat, only that all meals were animal-free. Despite a lack of mandated whole foods, weight loss was achieved by all.

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A vegan diet as a miracle solution?

Diabetes and obesity aren’t the only conditions likely to be improved by a vegan diet. It’s also not the first study to look at these specific health issues. Last year, it was reported that a study proved that the Mediterranean diet was less effective in generating weight loss and cholesterol control than a vegan diet.

The need to find ways to combat diabetes in particular is obvious. In 2021, about 10.5% of the world’s population suffered from this disease. This number is expected to rise to more than 12% by 2045, putting additional pressure on already struggling healthcare systems. Obesity is also a concern. It was thought that 650 million individuals were obese in 2016. This disease kills millions of people each year, especially in wealthy countries who could afford it and who were told to switch to plant-based eating habits .

Aside from obesity and diabetes, links to reduced drug dependency and less arthritis symptoms have been established with vegan foods. A study, published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine last year found that seniors who follow a vegan diet take 58% fewer regular medications than those who don’t. Lower blood pressure and better weight control were noted alongside.

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More recently, a research project published its findings in April indicating that vegan diets may help reduce symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The study claimed that in 44 adult patients assessed, pain was reduced by up to 53%. Joint swelling was significantly improved, supporting sports studies that claim a plant-based diet can aid in faster recovery from injury due to reduced inflammation. These claims were examined in depth in the documentary The game changers.

Perhaps more surprisingly, vegan diets have just been widely recommended as the best and healthiest options for canine companions. In a large study commissioned by ProVeg, it was found that animals with access to vegan diets were, on average, healthier, exposed to fewer dietary risks and less likely to need an appointment with the vet.

Main photo by Jannis Brandt at Unsplash.