A significant improvement in metabolic health indicators such as cholesterol, blood lipids and glucose tolerance can be seen within 48 hours of consuming a vegan diet, according to studies conducted by Nestlé Research scientists in partnership with academics from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. This can be attributed to the fact that vegan diets are healthy with the appropriate selection of foods that adequately meet recommended nutritional requirements, in addition to being naturally high in dietary fibers, which are beneficial for glucose and lipid control.

To improve understanding of the health impact of different types of diets, the studies further looked at the differences of several metabolic health indicators such as blood glucose (post-prandial response), insulin, lipids and amino acids following the consumption of vegan, vegetarian and animal-based meals. These results showed that the levels of macro and micronutrients in each meal were more important than the type of diet eaten.

The authors suggest modification of the vegan diet to vegetarian could improve some health indicators. Similarly, modification of the animal-based diet to include vegetarian or vegan components could also improve health. These findings suggest that a flexitarian or semi-vegetarian diet could be most beneficial to health, as it can combine all of the nutritional benefits offered from vegan, vegetarian or animal-based diets.