- Vegan diet includes vegetables, cereals, fruits and high dietary fiber
- Fibre-rich foods can be protective against diabetics
- Vegan diet restricts meat, dairy and any other animal-derived foods
Vegan diet for type 2 diabetes: There has been a remarkable increase in the number of type 2 diabetics over past three decades. Thus, controlling type 2 diabetes has become the most important public health challenge globally. Vegan diet can help in managing type 2 diabetes. Since India has been experiencing a paradigm shift in its culture over the last few decades, there has been a rise in the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Uncontrolled and prolonged diabetes is known to increase the risk of micro and macro-vascular complications like myocardial infarctions, lower extremity amputations and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder, hence lifestyle management is the key factor in its management.
Vegan diet for type 2 diabetes: Know how going vegan can help type 2 diabetes patients
In this article, we are going to talk about vegan diet can help reversing type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that low-fat, low glycaemic index (GI) vegan diet is known to improve the glycaemic control to a large extent. Raw foods containing high dietary fibre are known to be related to reduction of cholesterol and reduction of postprandial glycaemia.
Vegan diet includes vegetables, cereals, fruits and high dietary fiber which is known to be associated with cholesterol reduction, reduced urinary loses of glucose, lowering of postprandial glycaemia.
Plant-based whole-foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts are rich in fibre. Studies show that these foods are protective against diabetes. On the contrary animal products which include foods like meat, egg, poultry and dairy products are known to be high in saturated fat and have been linked to insulin resistance, heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Vegan diet, when compared to omnivorous diet, is known to lower systolic blood pressure and has a lower glycaemic index. It contains higher amount of dietary carbohydrates, non-starch polysaccharides and polyunsaturated fats.
The results after having vegan diet showed a significantly lower fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels which in turn reduce the requirement of anti-diabetic medication. In this situation, the medication has to be monitored on a day-to-day basis and its dosage be adjusted accordingly to avoid any episode of hypoglycemia. Vegan diet also reduces the percentage of people requiring insulin and oral hypoglycemic agents to maintain their blood glucose levels at normal level.
Vegan diet has a big impact on sugar levels which causes reduction in the requirement of anti-diabetic medication as well as insulin. Reduction of insulin causes significant weight loss which is an additional benefit for diabetes patient.
There is substantial evidence that obesity and predisposition to diabetes can be reduced if one goes for vegan diet. In already diagnosed diabetics these dietary modifications will lead to a better glycaemic control thus helping diabetes reversal process.
(Dr Pramod Tripathi, an MBBS from BJ Medical College, Pune, is founder of Freedom from Diabetes)
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