Vegan Diet Could 'Improve Psychological Health' And Help Manage Diabetes, Says Review

Low-fat plant-based diets can lead to weight loss which can have multiple positive effects
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A low-fat vegan diet can offer a plethora of health benefits (Photo: 

Vegan diets can 'significantly improve psychological health and quality of life', according to a new review.

The study, published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, found that low-fat plant-based diets may help in the management of diabetes and obesity.

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.

A low-fat vegan diet can help with multiple health conditions
A low-fat vegan diet can help with multiple health conditions

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."

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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