Going Actually Vegan May Enhance Your Well being
A new study found that a low-fat vegan diet can contribute to better overall health. The study followed nearly 250 people for four months. During the four months, people in the vegan group lost weight, increased their insulin resistance, and lost fat.
The study was carried out by the Medical Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). The PCRM is a non-profit organization dedicated to nutritional research. The PRCM supports a plant-based diet and researches preventive medicine. The authors of this study wanted to find out if a low-fat vegan diet could affect insulin sensitivity and fat storage in the body, particularly in the muscles and liver, to the point of changing overall health and weight loss.
The people in the study averaged over 50 years of age, and most of them were women, although the groups were fairly evenly split between white and black participants. All participants were overweight and were asked not to change their exercise habits during the study, only their diet. Although the researchers found that both groups, vegan and non-vegan, exercised a little more and ate a little less.
The vegan group lost an average of 14 pounds over the four months. They also saw a drop in their cholesterol levels and body fat lost.
Liver fat was examined in a subset of participants from both groups. Only those in the vegan diet group saw a decrease in liver fat. Fat in the liver can cause someone to develop fatty liver disease and liver cancer. Therefore, even with a limited sample size, it was a good thing to see a decrease.
People in the vegan group also improved their insulin sensitivity. According to the NIH, “In the most common form of diabetes, type 2, cells lose their sensitivity to insulin.” Increasing insulin sensitivity could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
High fiber magic
What magical effect did the vegan diet have? One advantage is that a vegan diet contains many high-fiber, low-calorie foods. This means that people can eat more while consuming fewer calories. The researchers also stated that a low-fat vegan diet would increase the “thermal effect of food” by the amount of energy actually needed to digest food.
At week 16, people in the vegan diet group ate an average of around 1,300 calories per day. This is a low calorie diet for most adults. The Mayo Clinic’s proprietary diet plan promises a loss of 6 to 10 pounds in two weeks on a 1,200 calorie a day plan. Although other health traits like insulin and liver fat showed the benefits of diet, consuming fewer calories results in weight loss regardless of where those calories are from.
Should You Go Vegan? Well, there are vegans and then there are vegans. In the study, the participants ate “vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits without animal products or added fats”. But it’s a lot of processed foods like oreo, potato chips, gummy candy, and even toast-yay. A new variant of Girl Scout Cookies is all vegan. A vegan diet can mean a variety of things, and simply cutting out meat, eggs, and dairy products may not be the key to rapid weight loss.
However, the researchers concluded that this low-fat vegan diet could be a good treatment option for obese adults. As with any changes under consideration, people serious about losing weight and making major dietary changes should seek medical advice.