Study says not all plant-based diets help fight diabetes and weight gain CNN

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Eating a plant-based diet can do wonders for your health. Studies have shown that limiting red meat and eating whole grains, legumes, and a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables can reduce cholesterol and heart disease risk, prevent type 2 diabetes, and even ​​That even human life can be extended, not to mention the life of the planet.

However, when it comes to preventing diabetes, those benefits may only appear if a plant-based diet is accompanied by a healthy diet that minimizes highly processed or sugar-laden foods, according to a new study that included 206 A variety of foods have been analyzed.

A 12-year analysis of the dietary patterns of more than 113,000 participants in the UK Biobank Study, a longitudinal study of health among the country’s residents, placed people into four categories based on their intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Those in the top 25% ate a mostly plant-based diet, with fewer sweets, desserts, refined grains and sugary drinks. The bottom 25% consumed more of those unhealthy plant-based foods.

Compared with people at the lowest levels, people who ate whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and limited their intake of unhealthy choices had a 24% lower risk of diabetes, according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Diabetes & Metabolism. Is.

People who ate the healthiest diets also had lower body mass index and waist circumference, as well as better blood sugar levels and lower levels of inflammation.

The study found that its benefits extended to people genetically predisposed to diabetes and those with other risk factors for diabetes, such as obesity.

These data are really important, especially for people who are at high risk of developing type two diabetes because it shows that they can significantly reduce their risk by following a healthy plant-based diet, says first author. said Elisha Thompson, a doctoral student at Queen’s University. Belfast in Northern Ireland, in a statement.

However, the study found that people who ate the least healthy plant-based diet had a 37% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, along with greater waist circumference and higher levels of triglycerides, a form of cholesterol.

In fact, obesity is associated with a greater risk of type two diabetes in individuals who follow an unhealthy plant-based diet, said co-author Tilman Khan, lecturer at the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast and chair of public health nutrition in medicine. Was a major mediator. The University of Vienna said in a statement.

How does a healthy plant-based diet help protect the body from type 2 diabetes? By having effects on a variety of anti-diabetes mechanisms, including blood sugar and lipid levels and lower body obesity, Khanh said.

Another finding was the important role played by the kidneys and liver in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, said co-author Aidan Cassidy, a professor at Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute for Global Food Security.

For the first time, we have shown that improvements in metabolism and both liver and kidney function as a result of a healthy plant-based diet may explain how this diet may reduce the risk of type two diabetes, Cassidy said in a study. statement.

Duane Mellor, a registered dietitian and senior teaching fellow at Aston Medical School in Birmingham, UK, said in a statement to the Science Media Center in London that although the study only found an association, not direct cause and effect, the findings were interesting. . ,

Mellor, who was not involved in the study, said the analysis looked at aspects of liver health and other measures of inflammation and explored how they might be linked to diet and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This suggests several potential designs for future research to really evaluate whether this type of plant-based diet could actually reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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