Taiwanese vegetarians have higher insulin sensitivity than omnivores.

High insulin sensitivity is associated with Taiwanese vegetarians.

This study was carried out to determine the effect of Taiwanese vegetarian diets on insulin sensitivity. Researchers examined the dietary intakes, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference of 49 Budhist lactovegetarians and 49 omnivores between the ages of 35-49 years living in Hualien, Taiwan. The insulin resistance and serum concentrations of thyroxine, cortisol, glucose, fasting insulin, and thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH) were also assessed in all the subjects.

Researchers discovered that omnivores consumed more fat, protein, and energy but less fiber than vegetarians. Omnivores had higher BMI and larger waist size than vegetarians. In this study, similar concentrations of cortisol, triiodothyronine (T3), free thyroxine, T3:T4 ratio, and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) were found in both vegetarians and omnivores, but vegetarians had lower insulin resistance and plasma levels of thyroxine (T4), glucose, and fasting insulin. The result of this study shows that Taiwanese vegetarians have lower insulin resistance and higher insulin sensitivity than omnivores.

We wish they would have studied a third group consuming a 100% vegan diet! 

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