Study Suggests Vegan Diets Can Enhance Weight Loss Efforts in Overweight Individuals

According to a meta-analysis of eleven randomized trials involving approximately 800 individuals aged 18 or above, vegan diets may lead to weight loss and better control of blood sugar in both overweight individuals and those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Vegan diets containing veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes containing no animal-derived products did not show an impactful result when compared with other diets in terms of triglycerides or blood pressure levels.

Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of all relevant randomized trials, comparing vegan diets with other kinds of diets on cardiometabolic risk factors such as blood pressure systole/disystole ratio, blood sugar levels, BMI body weight measurement, LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios, total cholesterol counts, and triglycerides levels.

Vegan diet comparisons were made against either passive control groups composed of individuals eating their regular diet unaltered, or active control groups consisting of individuals following other dietary interventions, such as portion-controlled diets, specific diabetes diets or Mediterranean diets.

Data was analyzed for eleven studies involving 796 individuals aged 48-61, who either had type 2 diabetes or overweightness with BMIs of 25 kg/m2 or greater. Trials typically lasted twelve-plus weeks with weight loss exceeding 11lbs considered clinically meaningful.

Analyses revealed that vegan diets significantly lowered body weight compared to control diets; however, their effects on blood sugar level, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol were minimal.

Further analyses demonstrated even greater BMI and body weight decreases when vegan diets were compared to maintaining their current eating pattern without changes, than when other intervention diets were tested.

Researchers say their comprehensive examination of evidence demonstrates with reasonable certainty that adhering to a vegan diet for at least twelve weeks could result in clinically meaningful weight loss and improved blood sugar levels, offering potential management solutions for both type 2 diabetes and overweight. Vegan diets likely contribute to weight loss because they contain lower fat contents while offering greater fiber consumption – likely contributing to lower calorie consumption for weight reduction purposes.

Researchers note some limitations to their findings, such as small sample sizes in most studies and significant variation among vegan diets in terms of their fat, protein and carb content; no control diet was prescribed which exactly mirrored an intervention diet (other than veganism) on all other dimensions; thus it’s likely that any effects of vegan interventions on cardiometabolic health could partly be attributable to macronutrient composition differences and energy consumption between groups.