For the study, the scientists at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit research organisation in Washington, examined 75 participants and put them in a randomized groups either in a low-calorie, plant-based diet or to make no dietary changes for 16 weeks.
As part of the study, scientists made a note of the pancreatic beta cell function (the cells which produce insulin) before the study began and at 16 weeks, to assess their insulin sensitivity.
The plant-based diet followed by participants was based on vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes. Meanwhile, the control group made no dietary changes; and neither group tweaked their exercise or medication regimens.
The findings revealed that a plant-based diet increased insulin sensitivity at meal times, which can prove to be a blessing in diabetes management. In addition to this the special diet also improved beta cell function. The diet was based on vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes. On the other hand, the control group made no dietary changes; and neither group altered their exercise or medication regimens.
The participants in the plant-based diet group also experienced reduced blood sugar levels during the study. The control group participants did not experience such benefits.
According to the researchers, the findings add to the growing evidence that food really is medicine and that eating a healthful plant-based diet may prove to be a significant intervention in diabetes prevention.
However one must pick the fruits and vegetables wisely. Some fruits, legumes and whole grains, which the diet in this study was based on, can contain higher levels of carbs, which are detrimental to blood sugar levels and diabetes management. But some of these fruits and veggies are low in carbs and effective in keeping blood sugar levels in control.