When it comes to feeling your best, balancing blood sugar and maintaining a healthy weight—while still feeling full and satiated—are top priorities. Luckily, scientists may have found the best diet accomplish all these goals at once.
It only took one single vegan meal for participants in a recent study to reap all kinds of health-promoting rewards—all thanks to boosted good gut hormones. Aside from feeling full and maintaining a healthy weight, these hormones increased insulin sensitivity and the ability of the body to use sugar.
But how do we know those hormones actually harnessed the power of plants? Researchers kept the numbers of calories and macronutrients the same across all meals that the participants ate, regardless of whether they went plant-based or had some meat and cheese. This means that the only true difference between what the participants ate was the presence of animal products.
Immediately after the meals, those who ate plant-based meals had higher levels of good gut hormones, and they were more likely to feel full and satisfied.
These full-belly feelings may come from all the fiber packed into the plant-based meal. Fiber slows the digestion of foods and has been associated with lower levels of heart disease and reduced gastrointestinal disorders.
Still need convincing? Eating a vegan diet, even on occasion, has huge benefits for the planet. If diving into veganism seems a bit daunting, start small by swapping a few meals a week with ones that are plant-based. With such powerful health and planetary benefits, it may be worth a try.