Scientists from The Second Hospital of Jilin University found that a vegan diet could help improve insulin resistance in people with obesity.
Overweight and obesity are common conditions in the United States that are defined as the increase in size and amount of fat cells in the body.
Being overweight and obese is caused by many factors including behaviors like eating patterns, lack of sleep or physical activity, some medicines, genetics, and family history.
Obesity is a chronic health condition that raises the risk for heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States — and is linked to many other health problems, including type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood. As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin to help glucose enter your cells.
Insulin resistance is commonly linked with obesity, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
A vegan diet is based on plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts, and fruits) and foods made from plants. Vegans do not eat foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs.
Vegetarian and vegan diets can be healthy but lack certain nutrients.
People may have to use a little creativity to ensure they get enough protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12.
You can find many of these nutrients in eggs and dairy if you’re vegetarian, and from plant sources, if you’re vegan.
Previous research has shown that a vegan diet has benefits for weight loss and on blood sugar and metabolic function.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the efficacy of plant-based diets on insulin resistance and blood fats in people with obesity.
They reviewed six studies published up to March 2021. The primary outcome was insulin resistance.
Other metabolic parameter measures include the pre/post-diet changes in triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol), total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
The researchers found that the plant-based diet improved insulin resistance, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol, but not triglycerides.
The sensitivity analyses showed that the results were robust.
The researchers suggest that in obese people with insulin resistance, a vegan diet improves insulin resistance and blood cholesterol, except for triglycerides.
The research was published in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome and conducted by Peng Chen et al.
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