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Preventing Or Reversing Diabetes With A Plant Based Diet

Everyone knows that vegetables are healthy. We have all heard it from the time we were little as our parents pushed us to eat our vegetables. Veggies are typically low in fats and sugars while being high in nutrients like fiber, protein, and iron. Plant-based diets are used to increase the quality of life and to fight against certain diseases.

Plant-based diets can be very effective when it comes to preventing and even reversing diabetes. Vegetables contain the nutrients needed to fight the harsh symptoms of diabetes without severely affecting blood glucose levels. Of course, some vegetables will work better than others. How can a plant-based diet be used to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes?

Preventing Diabetes With A Plant Based Diet

There are several factors that increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Hereditary factors and physical activity are both important. Another determining factor is diet. How a person’s diet affects their risk level can be broken down into different sub-categories. For example, diet contributes to body weight, blood sugar, and nutrient levels. All of which impact risk levels.

A plant-based diet can be a powerful tool for controlling body weight and preventing obesity, which, in turn, reduces the risk of developing diabetes. Multiple studies have been performed to test this relationship. One such study showed that body mass index (BMI) was lowest in vegans as was the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. [1]

It is important to note that in the study, it was the vegan group that had the lowest risk. A vegan diet is entirely plant based and does not include any animal meats or products of animals. This includes animal oils as well. Lacto-Ovo vegetarians were lower than non-vegetarians yet at higher risk than vegans. Lacto-Ovo vegetarians still consume milk products and eggs.

It is believed that BMI potentially increases as the number of animal products consumed increases. As BMI increases, so does the risk of developing diabetes.

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes With A Plant Based Diet

What if the patient is already suffering from type 2 diabetes? It may be too late to prevent the disease, but it is still possible to treat, control and even, reverse with the help of a plant-based vegan diet.

Over the decades, it has been shown on multiple occasions that a plant-based diet can assist in diabetes control when combined with regular exercise. Studies have shown that a plant-based vegan diet provides a substantial boost to glycemic control, as well as, lipid control. The benefit was most noticeable in low-fat vegan diets. [2]

In time, this allows patients to reduce their reliance on prescription medications by controlling their blood glucose naturally. Exercise works in a similar fashion to control glucose level. A plant-based diet combined with a healthy exercise regimen could potentially reverse the impact of diabetes altogether.

Eating Smart

You still need to be careful not to overeat when consuming a plant based diet. Eating smart and healthy is still important. This requires understanding the sugar and fat levels of certain vegetables. Carrots, for example, are plants that are still high in sugar.

A vegan diet for controlling or preventing diabetes must be designed carefully. When planned and followed properly, it can work as well as nearly any medication.

References: [1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671114/ [2] http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/29/8/1777

Louis Venter is the creator of DiabeteScoop.com, a website that is devoted to providing the most up-to-date information and news for diabetics and those in their support network.

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