Most people are aware that switching to a vegan diet can be beneficial for their health. A new 16-week study by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has taken this understanding a step further.
It shows that going vegan can help you lose weight and improve your body’s ability to use insulin, which helps control your blood sugar levels.
What the Study Involved
The study worked with 244 overweight adults.
They were divided into two groups: one group switched to a vegan diet full of vegetables, grains, legumes (like lentils and chickpeas), and fruits, while the other group didn’t change their diet.
At the end of the study, 219 people had stuck with it and had complete data for analysis.
Those who went vegan lost an average of 13 pounds and shed about 9 pounds of fat.
The people who didn’t change their diet didn’t see any change in their weight or fat. The study also looked at how different types of foods affected weight loss and health:
- Fruits: Eating more fruits helped people lose weight.
- Legumes and Plant-Based Meats: Eating more legumes and plant-based meat substitutes like tofu and veggie burgers helped people lose weight and fat.
- Grains: Eating more whole grains helped people lose weight and fat.
- Animal Products: Eating fewer eggs, dairy products, and meats like fish and poultry helped people lose weight and fat.
Vegan Diet Leads to Better Insulin Sensitivity
On top of weight loss, the vegan group also showed improvements in how their bodies use insulin. This is a big deal because better insulin sensitivity can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Quality of Diet Matters
The study also used something called the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI) to measure how healthy the diets were.
The vegan group’s AHEI score improved by 6 points on average, meaning their diet became healthier. A higher AHEI score is linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
If you’re looking to improve your health, this study suggests that a vegan diet can offer double benefits: weight loss and improved insulin function.
So next time you’re shopping, maybe skip the meat aisle and head for the fruits and veggies. You’ll be doing your body a lot of good.
The research findings can be found in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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