It Can Help You Lose Excess Weight

It Can Help You Lose Excess Weight

An increasing number of people are turning to plant-based diets in the hope of shedding excess weight.

This is perhaps for good reason.

Many observational studies show that vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than non-vegans (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

In addition, several randomized controlled studies — the gold standard in scientific research — report that vegan diets are more effective for weight loss than the diets they are compared to (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

In one study, a vegan diet helped participants lose 9.3 lbs (4.2 kg) more than a control diet over an 18-week study period (9Trusted Source).

Interestingly, participants on the vegan diet lost more weight than those who followed calorie-restricted diets, even when the vegan groups were allowed to eat until they felt full (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

What’s more, a recent small study comparing the weight loss effects of five different diets concluded that vegetarian and vegan diets were just as well-accepted as semi-vegetarian and standard Western diets (17Trusted Source).

Even when they weren’t following their diets perfectly, the vegetarian and vegan groups still lost slightly more weight than those on a standard Western diet.

BOTTOM LINE:
Vegan diets have a natural tendency to reduce your calorie intake. This makes them effective at promoting weight loss without the need to actively focus on cutting calories.

3. It Appears to Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Improve Kidney Function
Going vegan may also have benefits for type 2 diabetes and declining kidney function.

Indeed, vegans tend to have lower blood sugar levels, higher insulin sensitivity and up to a 50–78% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (7Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).

Studies even report that vegan diets lower blood sugar levels in diabetics more than the diets from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA) and National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) (10Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).

In one study, 43% of participants following a vegan diet were able to reduce their dosage of blood-sugar-lowering medication, compared to only 26% in the group that followed an ADA-recommended diet (22Trusted Source).

Other studies report that diabetics who substitute meat for plant protein may reduce their risk of poor kidney function (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).

What’s more, several studies report that a vegan diet may be able to provide complete relief of systemic distal polyneuropathy symptoms — a condition in diabetics that causes sharp, burning pain (29, 30Trusted Source).

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