Type 2 Diabetes and Vegan Diets

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way that the human body processes glucose (blood sugar).It causes the glucose levels in the blood to rise higher than normal. Type 2 diabetes means that the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or it resists insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, making up about 90% of all known diabetes cases.

A vegan diet is one that excludes all meat, eggs, dairy products, and any other animal products. This is purely a plant-based diet.

Researchers carried out 11 studies which looked at the effects of a vegan diet on adults with type 2 diabetes. The researchers said they found evidence of improved mental well-being, quality of life and diabetes control.

After the study was complete, researchers concluded that plants based diets can significantly improve psychological health, weight and HbA1c levels meaning the management of diabetes as a whole. 

A vegan diet will improve blood sugar control and insulin response and will as reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

What to eat

Every diabetic individual has different requirements when it comes to their diet. These requirements are based on what the individual’s goal is. While one person may want to reach a target blood sugar level, another person may have a target weight in mind. This goal will influence a person’s food choices. 

Vegan diets tend to be lower in saturated fat, higher in fiber, fruit, and vegetables. As a result, a vegan diet fits well with the dietary guideline for most diabetics.

The recommended food groups for vegan diabetics include: 

  • Proteins; nuts, seeds, butter (cashew, tahini, peanut, almond, and Brazil).
  • Beans and pulses; butterbeans, chickpeas, lentils)
  • Vegetable milk; soya, almond, hempseed
  • Quinoa
  • Soya products
  • Tofu; soya cheese, soya milk
  • Vitamins: b12…plant kinds of milk, yogurts, some cereals, some spreads, yeast extracts
  • Calcium; Almonds, oranges, kale, red kidney beans, chickpeas, tahini
  • Omega 3; Flaxseed and rapeseed oil, walnuts, soya-based foods
  • Iron; Bread, breakfast cereals, dark green vegetables, nuts. Dried fruit.

Before getting started on your vegan diet ensure that you, talk to your doctor, count your carbs, use the right type of oil, watch your portions and choose high fiber grains. You also want to make sure that all the above-mentioned food groups are balanced.

A vegan diet won’t cure or reverse your diabetes but you will be able to see some benefits.

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