Plant-based diets play a big role in preventing obesity and related diseases

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Scientists from SLUHN Family Medicine Residency-Warren and elsewhere found that plant-based diets play a big role in preventing obesity and related diseases.

Obesity in the United States is common and is a major health issue associated with numerous diseases, specifically an increased risk of certain types of cancer, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, as well as big increases in early mortality and economic costs.

The obesity epidemic is a primary driver of the chronic disease epidemic. However, the current treatment methods have limited efficacy.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the efficacy of plant-based (vegan, vegetarian, plant-based whole foods [PBWFs]) diets in treating obesity and its main heart and metabolic problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

The team reviewed 84 published studies between November 2019 and February 2020.

The team found that plant-based diets generally showed better weight control and heart and metabolic outcomes, including cholesterol, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, A1C, and fasting blood sugar, and a lower risk of diabetes.

The effects were stronger than usual diets and in some cases standard health-oriented diets such as the American Heart Association (AHA), American Diabetic Association (ADA), and Mediterranean diets.

These studies suggest plant-predominant diets practiced as part of healthy lifestyle interventions may stabilize or even reverse type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that plant-based diets can play a major role in reversing obesity and chronic disease epidemics.

In sustained lifestyle intervention programs, these diets may arrest or even reverse type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Further studies are needed to confirm and expand on these findings.

The research was published in Nutrition Reviews and conducted by Alan Remde et al.

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