Zorba Paster: Vegetarian And Vegan Diets Have Many Health Benefits

Research Shows Lower Bood Sugar And Improved Weight Loss For Those On Vegetarian And Vegan Diets

Samantha Forsberg (CC-BY)

I’m an omnivore. I eat everything. I love food — all kinds. These days, my diet has improved from the meat-and-potatoes, always-liver-on-Thursdays approach my mom thought was healthy for us. That was the thinking back in the 1950s. Now my diet aspires to be as Mediterranean as possible. I call it the king of diets.

But what if you are a diabetic? What’s the best diet for you? Recent research from the British Medical Journal points out that a vegetarian or vegan diet might be just what the doctor ordered. Lower blood sugar, improved weight loss, improved quality of life are just what this study indicated.

We know eating lots of fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds and beans with few or no animal products reduces the risk you’ll develop diabetes. But are there other benefits of such a diet?

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Researchers combed through more than 10 clinical studies published over the last 18 years, studies that compared plant-based diets with other diets. They found that quality of life, both physical and emotional, and a reduction in depression seemed to go hand-in-hand with eating more vegetables.

In addition, fasting blood sugar fell more sharply in those who were strictly vegetarians or ate minimal animal products. And weight dropped as well.

My spin: Back in the day many years ago, we thought vegetarians were an outlaw food-fad group that had no place in good health. Guess what? That thinking was wrong.