Posted on Jun 02, 2019, 4 p.m.
Plant based foods have been found to help increase production of good hormones in the gut, one vegan meal is suggested to improve health in a variety of ways according to a study conducted by the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine.
A study published in the journal Nutrients describes how a vegan diet can help to maintain normal blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy weight, and ensure a person feels full and sated after every meal; all of these benefits can be attributed to an improvement in gut hormones.
Gut hormones help to regulate glucose metabolism, help to improve insulin sensitivity, and help lower blood glucose levels. These hormones also dictate one’s level of satiety after eating a meal, for this reason trying to eat foods that will boost production of good gut hormones can help control weight.
Effects of different types of meals on gut hormone levels in adult males were evaluated, the men were either diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, healthy, or suffering with obesity. Participants received one of two meals that consisted of the same amounts of energy and macronutrients at random: one meal was a vegan meal including tofu, and the other included processed meat and cheese.
A visual analog scale was used to evaluate satiety after eating, and levels of gut hormones amylin, glucagon-like peptide-1, as well as peptide YY were measured in participant blood immediately after eating and at 30 minutes, 60, 120, and at 180 minutes after eating. Analysis showed vegan meal consumption increased levels of gut hormones regardless of being obese, healthy, or having type 2 diabetes; improvements to hormone concentrations from the vegan meal exceeded those observed in the participants who consumed processed meat and cheese.
Participants who consumed the vegan meal were found to experience increases in 3 beneficial gut hormones immediately after eating, and reported feeling full and satisfied. Satiety was attributed to the large amount of dietary fibers present in plant based foods which are more difficult to break down and slow down the digestive process to make people feel full for longer periods of time.
Consuming foods that are rich in dietary fiber can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease and metabolic disorders according to a University of Kentucky study which provided evidence supporting health benefits of consuming dietary fiber.
Experts recommend starting with small portions and changing the diet slowly to those who are interested in following a vegan diet. For example replace a portion of your meals with plant based foods like switching cow milk to almond or cashew milk as a starting point. Try not to focus on what you shouldn’t be eating, rather incorporating things you should be and increasing intake of those plant based foods. The only way you can transition what you are eating to make this new diet sustainable is for you to do this at your own pace, in your own way
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.