A vegan diet rich in whole foods — mainly fresh fruits, vegetables, and plant-based proteins including beans, grains, nuts, and seeds, can help to mitigate the onset and effects of type-2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association says in its 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes.
The comprehensive report cites 35 studies pointing to the benefits of a plant-based diet, and also notes that doctors and nutritionists should “always” include “education on lifestyle management.”
According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, “A plant-based diet can prevent, reverse, and manage diabetes.” The group recommends the elimination of animal and high-fat foods, replacing them instead with low-glycemic foods rich in healthy plant-based fiber.
Another recent study also found that cutting all carbohydrates from the diet may not be the smartest choice for people wanting to decrease the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Diets such as paleo and ketogenic that tout their weight-loss benefits avoid fiber-rich plant-based foods such as whole grains, lumping them in unfairly with highly processed and nutritionally void refined grains commonly found in baked goods. But whole grains can play an instrumental role in slowing the body’s absorption of sugars because of their high fiber content. Whole grains are also rich in necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Type-2 diabetes affects more than 300 million people worldwide, and millions more are suspected of suffering from the disease without an official diagnosis.