Veganism is very popular in Israel. The British newspaper The Independent came to call Tel Aviv "the vegan capital of the world." Now a new small-scale study published in the journal Nutrients by a Czech-American team unmasks a key argument of the carnivores that remain among us: that without meat, they just do not feel satisfied.
Leaving aside the subjective mind and the rudeness, biochemically speaking, herbal meals left men feeling fuller than non vegan meals, say Dr. Hana Kahleova and colleagues from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Vegan meals have done so by inducing higher levels of "beneficial" gastrointestinal hormones than non-vegan meals, the team says. Whether vegan meals have the same effect on women have not been tested in the study.
Gastrointestinal hormones are produced in the stomach, pancreas and small intestine, and are secreted into the bloodstream. Triggered by different things – from food to food to specific flavors – hormones govern a range of bodily functions, from digestion to absorption of nutrients, to the suspicion that one should stop eating.
Much about these hormones remains mysterious, as well as the reason why some people think they need meat to feel full.
"Our results indicate that there is an increase in intestinal hormones and satiety after consumption of a single herbal meal with tofu when compared to processed meat and macronutrients of meat and cheese in healthy, obese and diabetic men. The authors, led by Marta Klementova, of the Czech Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, wrote.
So, biochemically, vegan meals made test participants more satisfied than non-vegans, the study found.
Gastrointestinal hormones, released according to what we eat, regulate our glucose metabolism and insulin secretion, our energy balance and that feeling of satiety. In other words, they play a role in weight management, explains Kahleova.
Eating vegan may leave us feeling fuller for longer, he concludes, adding, "The fact that simple meal choices can increase the secretion of these healthy hormones has important implications for those with type 2 diabetes or weight problems."
The study group was only 60 men, of whom 20 were obese, 20 had type 2 diabetes and 20 were healthy. The researchers looked at hormone levels in men after vegan meals and after meals that contained meat and cheese. Vegan and non-vegan meals contained the same amount of calories and proportion of macronutrients, explains the team.
In all three types of men, the vegan meal led to higher gastrointestinal hormones than the non-vegan meal. In addition, the men in the three groups reported that the vegan meal made them feel more complete than non-vegan meals.
A myriad of explanations come to mind through self-reported satiety. Men may have preferred the taste of non-vegan meals and wanted to eat more, while eating only most of the vegan supply may have been enough to make them "satisfied." But the researchers suggest a more satisfying explanation: Vegan food is high in fiber, which contributes to the feeling of satiety.
Either way, the study casts an intriguing light on claims that vegan meals do not make a person feel satisfied.
By 2017, more than 5% of Israeli adults defined themselves as vegans, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. That compares with something between 1 and 2% in 2012. If vegetarians are included, the number increases to about 10% to 13%.
Calling Israel "vegan capital" of anything is an excerpt, however. It is true that data on "how many vegans / vegetarians, etc." are difficult to compare, even as definitions vary.
Some countries like the United States define vegan only to mean "no meat, eggs or dairy," but it allows honey, while other places have more stringent definitions. There is also the issue of embarrassment. Even the advocates of veganism admit that there is a huge lapse in veganism and vegetarianism, which does not help determine statistics.
But, roughly speaking, the most vegetarian / vegan country of them all is India, with its vast population that avoids meat of all kinds (but not necessarily animal products). Anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of Indians are vegetarians or vegans.
A number of European countries, including Austria and the Netherlands, administer vegetarian "fees" of about 5% – either for animal welfare or for their own health. Even the United States, which houses the hamburger, cheese steak, and bacon cult, has a rate of about 7% vegetarians.
A famous vegan is Bill Clinton: Once a carefree carnivore, now the former US president avoids the animal and eats neither eggs nor dairy products. However, as he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in 2010, he supplements his diet of "beans, vegetables, and fruits" with protein supplements, which is not a solution for depleted vegan. Clinton loves animals, but he did it mostly because cholesterol was killing him, he explained.
Perhaps the protein becomes more accessible, with the advent of large-scale insect breeding. And for what it's worth while the world's population grows, while meat lovers may have to narrow their sights of cows to grasshoppers, vegans may look for spirulina – an algae that has conveniently shown a propensity to grow in wastewater and is high in protein to boot. The question is: who would want to eat it, let alone much? Maybe it's all about delivery. A group of Israeli students at the Haion & # 39; s Technion recently turned spirulina into falafel and won a prize for it, not less.