Going vegan could help people with Type 2 diabetes feel happier and lose weight, say researchers.
Eating a plant-based or vegan diet helps to manage the condition, cuts blood sugar and can reduce depression, according to a study.
More than 4.5million people in Britain are living with diabetes and 90 % suffer from Type 2, which is linked to poor diet and a lack of exercise.
Scientists who reviewed 11 studies on more than 400 people with the condition found following a vegan or plant-based diet improved wellbeing and quality of life, and cut depression, which is believed to be three times as common in diabetics.
People who ate a plant-based diet lost an average of 11.5lb (5.2kg) compared to only 6.2lb (2.8kg) for those not on the regime. In seven studies their blood sugar fell by almost three times the amount of the non-vegans.
The results, published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, suggest the patients’ diet helped them manage the condition. In one study 43 % of people on the diet were able to reduce their medication.
Lead author Anastasios Toumpanakis, from the University of London, said the diet had ‘physical and psychological’ benefits, adding: ‘People reported positive changes in the management and symptoms of diabetes.’
However Dr Katarina Kos, a diabetes expert from the University of Exeter, said: ‘A vegan diet tends to be low in calories – a non-vegan low-calorie diet might work just as well.’