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Vegan diets can ‘significantly improve psychological health and quality of life’, according to a new review.
Researchers from the University of London, the University of Northampton, and East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust, reviewed 11 studies conducted between 1999 and 2017 with 433 participants, which were relevant to type 2 diabetes patients and plant-based (or predominantly plant-based) diets.
Vegan diets and illness
After they had reviewed the data, researchers reached the conclusion that a low-fat vegan diet – combined with ‘educational interventions’ – can ‘significantly improve psychological wellbeing and general quality of life’.
Benefits of the diet included blood sugar management, weight loss, and reductions in cholesterol levels.
According to the authors, there are 4.5 million people with diabetes in the UK – around nine in 10 have type 2 diabetes, which is linked to lifestyle factors including obesity.
Low fat vegan diets
“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,” Dr. Katarina Kos, Senior Lecturer in Diabetes and Obesity at the University of Exeter, said.
“Diets in the intervention and control group were not matched for calories in any of the studies.
“The success of this diet in people with diabetes was probably down to the fact a vegan diet tends to be low in calories and some were specifically low in fat – a non-vegan low-calorie diet might work just as well to have the same effect.”