Vegan diet can keep diabetes in check, study suggests

A study also found evidence that eating mainly plant-based foods improved people’s moods

A study also found evidence that eating mainly plant-based foods improved people’s moodsGETTY IMAGES

Vegans have long championed the health benefits of their diet and now they can point to research suggesting that cutting out meat and dairy can keep type 2 diabetes in check.

Not all vegan diets are healthy, so it's important to take note of what's going into your food.

Researchers looked through 11 clinical trials between 1999 and 2017 to track the physical and emotional impact of a vegan diet.

After looking at all the data, the authors concluded a plant-based diet, accompanied by "educational interventions", can significantly improve psychological wellbeing and general quality of life.

According to new research, published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, a plant-based or vegan diet may be the best for people with type 2 diabetes, as it can help manage weight and blood sugar levels. Of those trials, eight involved fully vegan diets, while the remainder were vegetarian. They lasted 23 weeks on average. As veganism may help people lose weight, it can help those with type 2 diabetes manage their condition. Participants lost almost twice as much weight - 5.23 kg compared to 2.83 kg on other diets - and also saw a reduction in blood fat levels, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dr Katarina Kos, senior lecturer in diabetes and obesity at the University of Exeter, said: "What we learn from this systematic review is that (low fat) vegan or plant-based diets, together with weekly education sessions, are effective in providing more weight loss which unsurprisingly leads to improvement in diabetes and in diabetes and weight-related complications".

"Furthermore, plant-based diets could potentially improve diabetic neuropathic pain and the levels of total cholesterol, [low density lipoprotein] cholesterol and triglycerides in [type 2 diabetes]".

Those following a vegan diet were able to discontinue the drugs they were taking for their diabetes or high blood pressure.

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