In a recent study, researchers have compared the effects of a plant-based meal with those of a meal that includes animal-derived products on a person’s health. The study concludes that vegan meals may help a person stay healthy and manage weight gain.
In the United States, approximately 93.3 millionpeople live with obesity, and over 100 millionhave diabetes or prediabetes.
A key factor in the development of these — and other — metabolic conditions is diet.
According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s dietary guidelines for 2015-2020, “the typical eating patterns currently consumed by many in the [US] do not align” with official recommendations.
Their estimates indicate that approximately “three-fourths of the population” does not consume enough vegetables, fruits, dairy products, or oils.
New research conducted by investigators from three international institutions — the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine and the Institute of Endocrinology in Prague, Czech Republic, as well as the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC — now suggests that following a plant-based diet could have a beneficial impact on many aspects of a person’s health.
More specifically, the study’s findings — which the researchers report in “Vegan Nutrition,” which is a special issue of the journal Nutrients — suggest that following a vegan type diet fosters the presence of certain gut hormones that help to regulate blood pressure.
These hormones also help a person feel fuller sooner, and their action is thus beneficial for weight management.
In this study, the research team worked with 60 male participants, of whom 20 had a diagnosis of obesity, 20 had type 2 diabetes, and a further 20 had no health complaints and made up the control group.
The researchers split the participants randomly so that some of them ate a vegan meal with tofu, while others ate a meal of processed meat and cheese. The researchers matched both meals for the number of calories and macronutrients.
Regardless of whether they had diabetes, obesity, or no health problems at all, the people who ate the vegan meal had a higher level of beneficial gut hormones than the people who ate meat and cheese.