Study: Vegans Have Lower Blood Pressure, Lower Blood Glucose, Less Fat Inside Their Cells Than Matched Omnivores

PikaEating2

Eat like a pika. Source: GalleryHip

This study compared vegans to omnivores. Participants were matched for age and gender and had similar BMIs, waist circumferences, percent body fats, activity levels, and energy intakes:

Veganism And Its Relationship With Insulin Resistance And Intramyocellular Lipid, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2004

Findings: Vegans had lower blood pressure, lower fasting triglycerides and blood glucose, and better beta-cell function than omnivores. Beta cells are the cells in the pancreas that release insulin. Interestingly, even they were matched for size and body fat, the omnivores had higher levels of fat inside their muscle cells. That fat deposition paired with lower beta cell function can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. (“McGarry discusses this finding in his 2001 Banting Lecture and proposes that the lipotoxicity that is occurring in the muscles, liver and pancreas of these ‘at risk’ individuals is what predisposes and causes the beta-cell failure that characterises type II diabetes (McGarry, 2002).”)

The vegans in this study did not eat low fat. In fact, the two groups ate about the same amount of fat, 32.2%/vegans and 35.8%/omnivores (not statistically different). Had the vegans consumed less fat, I think they would have shown even more benefit, e.g there was a trend toward lower cholesterol but it was not significant, 144 mg/dl vegans, 162 mg/dl omnivores. Dr. Barnard has documented lower cholesterol in low-fat vegans.

Vegans eat a high-carbohydrate diet, devoid of all animal foods, including eggs, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy foods.

If you’ve been watching your blood pressure and blood sugar go up and are considering taking meds, why not try a vegan diet?

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