Low-carb vegan diet can reduce body weight, blood sugar, blood pressure

Credit: Louis Hansel / Unsplash.

In a study from St. Michael’s Hospital, scientists found that a low-carb vegan diet has the same health effects as a vegetarian diet, but at a much lower cost to the environment.

They found that a low-carb vegan diet had a much lower potential carbon emission value than its high-carbohydrate vegetarian counterpart.

Furthermore, the researchers found that the lower the potential carbon emission value of the diet, the larger the reduction in blood cholesterol.

In the study, the researchers put people on two different types of plant-based diets: one was a low-carb vegan diet with no meat, dairy or eggs, supplemented with canola-oil-enriched bread and high-protein vegan meat alternatives.

This diet tried to reproduce the popular low-carb diets that are traditionally high in meat and animal fats—but use plant ingredients.

The second diet was a vegetarian version of the clinical standard diet for lowering blood pressure, known as the Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension diet or “DASH” diet, which included egg whites and low-fat dairy, but no meat.

The diet is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases.

The diet participants of this study followed differed from the one that is normally prescribed as it cut out cholesterol sources.

The researchers then compared the effects of the diets on their subjects’ health as well as the carbon emission potential of each diet.

At the end of the three-month study period, the team found that the two diets were similar in their effects on weight loss, reducing blood pressure, and blood cholesterol.

Study participants on the vegan diet lost 5.9 kilos and those on the vegetarian diet lost 5.2 kilos.

Both groups also saw a reduction in hemoglobin A1c, a marker of blood sugar control. The study participants reduced their hemoglobin A1c by about 1%, which is the type of reduction most drugs will produce. This means that the diets had a drug-like effect.

The team also found participants with high cholesterol have shown that the participants have been able to maintain their weight loss after three months.

This means that three months is a sufficient amount of time for metabolism to adapt to what the body is consuming.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about a major cause of high blood pressure, and vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

If you care about blood sugar, please read studies that pomace olive oil could help lower blood cholesterol, and honey could help control blood sugar.

The study was conducted by Dr. David Jenkins et al and published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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