Going vegan may help people manage diabetes

Leslie Hanson
November 2, 2018

According to a recent study published by Anastasios Toumpanakis, Triece Turnbull, and Isaura Alba-Barba in the "Diabetes, Research & Care" section of the BMJ, plant-based diets can effectively reduce the risks associated with type 2 diabetes, while also promoting good mental and cardiovascular health.

Researchers found that predominantly plant-based or vegan diets can help manage blood sugar levels and weight among diabetes patients.

According to new research, a plant-based or vegan diet might be the best to follow for people with type 2 diabetes.

People eating the plant-based diets also experienced a marked easing of their diabetes-related nerve pain, with the results suggesting that such an eating plan might slow progressive nerve damage associated with diabetes, the researchers said. The trials lasted an average 23 weeks.

Emotional and physical quality of life improvements were only observed in those on a plant-based/vegan diet, while depressive symptoms decreased significantly. Participants lost almost twice as much weight - 5.23 kg compared to 2.83 kg on other diets - and also saw a reduction in blood fat levels, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. It regulates blood sugar levels in the body and further improves gut health.

There are several caveats to the findings, such as small sample sizes.

A vegetarian diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and seeds, is linked to a significantly lower risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.

After looking at all the data, the authors concluded a plant-based diet, accompanied by "educational interventions", can significantly improve psychological wellbeing and general quality of life.

"Furthermore, plant-based diets could potentially improve diabetic neuropathic pain and the levels of total cholesterol, [low density lipoprotein] cholesterol and triglycerides in [type 2 diabetes]".

There are two principal kinds of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

Vegan diets eliminate all animal products from your food, including eggs and dairy, said Rahaf Al Bochi, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In six studies vegan participants were able to cut down on the drugs they were taking for their diabetes.

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