Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A vegan diet can help reduce blood sugar and body weight, a new study says.
Men who ate vegan meals saw a boost in their gastrointestinal hormones, which help regulate glucose metabolism, secrete insulin, process energy and manage weight, according to findings published January in the journal Nutrients.
"These beneficial gut hormones can help keep weight down, enhance insulin secretion, regulate blood sugar, and keep us feeling full longer," said Hana Kahleova, who runs the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and study senior author, in a news release. "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."
For the study, 60 men ate both vegan meals and meals with meat and cheese. The breakdown of the group consisted of 20 men with obesity, 20 with diabetes and 20 who were healthy, each of whom ate the same amount of calories and ratio of macronutrients.
Past studies have shown vegan diets can help enhance the mental state of people with type 2 diabetes.
Approximately, 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health. More than 114 million have diabetes or prediabetes.
Within the study, the three groups of men all reported being full after eating vegan meals. The researchers say vegan diets can make a person feel full without adding calories of non-vegan diets.
That's important since more than two in three U.S. adults are overweight or obese.
"This study adds to the mounting evidence that plant-based diets can help manage and prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity," Kahleova said.