Going vegan could help you shed the pounds: Plant-based diets stimulate the release of ‘beneficial gut hormones that regulate insulin release, appetite and weight’
- Study of 60 men found they released higher levels of ‘good hormones’ after tofu
- Compared to those who indulged in a meat and cheese burger
- Vegan food is high in fibre, which adds bulk and keeps you feeling full
Going vegan may help you shed the excess pounds, research suggests.
The plant-based diet can stimulate the release of good gut hormones that control insulin release, appetite and weight, scientists say.
Researchers conducted the study on 60 men, who were asked to eat either a tofu burger or a meat and cheese patty.
Plant-based food, such as lentils, chickpeas and grains, are also higher in fibre than animal products, which adds bulk and helps people feel fuller for longer.
The researchers believe their study has ‘important implications for those with type 2 diabetes or weight problems’.
Going vegan may help you shed the excess pounds, research suggests (stock)
The research was carried out by the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague and led by Dr Hana Kahleova, director of clinical research.
‘This study adds to the mounting evidence that plant-based diets can help manage and prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity,’ Dr Kahleova said.
Around 26 per cent of adults in the UK were obese in 2016, compared to just 15 per cent in 1993, NHS Digital statistics show.
And more than two in three adults in the US are overweight or obese, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Some 3.2million people in the UK have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, while the condition affects 30.3million in the US.
In both countries, 90 per cent of patients have type 2, which is strongly associated with carrying too much weight.
To determine whether a vegan diet could aid weight management, the researchers had 60 men eat either a tofu-based burger or one made with meat and cheese.
Both plates of food had the same calories, and proportions of fat, carbohydrate and protein.
Of the participants, 20 were obese, 20 had type 2 diabetes and the remainder were healthy.
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A study – by the University of Edinburgh – of 10 overweight men found those who took part in high intensity interval training (HIIT) for only 15 minutes three times a week saw their insulin sensitivity improve just as much those doing the same work out for 45 minutes.
Insulin sensitivity is a marker of type 2 diabetes, with the results suggesting short bursts of rigorous activity may ward off the disease.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin sensitivity decreases, which causes blood sugar levels to rise.
Untreated, this raises a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke.
All of the participants also saw their muscles become stronger and bigger after just two weeks.
Their hormone levels were measured before eating, as well as half-an-hour, an hour, two hours and three hours later.
Results – published in the journal Nutrients – revealed men from all three groups who ate the vegan meal produced higher levels of beneficial ‘gut hormones’.
These hormones included glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1), which enhances insulin secretion.
GLP-1 rose by 30.5 per cent among the type 2 diabetics eating the vegan meal and 15.8 per cent among the healthy participants having the same burger.
Amylin – which delays the emptying of the stomach to improve satiety – increased by 15.7 per cent in the type 2 diabetics, 11.5 per cent in the obese men and 13.8 per cent in the healthy controls after the vegan patty.
PYY – a hormone also involved in satiety and weight management – only rose in the healthy men, with a 18.9 per cent increase.
All of these hormone-level rises were higher among those who ate the vegan burger than the meat and cheese alternative.
‘These beneficial gut hormones can help keep weight down, enhance insulin secretion, regulate blood sugar, and keep us feeling full longer,’ Dr Kahleova said.
‘The fact that simple meal choices can increase the secretion of these healthy hormones has important implications for those with type 2 diabetes or weight problems.’
The men eating the vegan food also reported feeling more satisfied after finishing their meal than those who indulged in the meaty burger.