Five Reasons a Plant-based Diet May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
- 2 Minutes Read
Statistics show that without a healthy lifestyle, 15-30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. If you are looking for a practical approach that may help prevent type 2 diabetes, consider a plant-based diet. Learn five reasons why a plant-based diet may help lower type 2 diabetes risk.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that 86 million American adults, more than 1 out of 3, have prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition where an individual's blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes. Statistics show that without healthy a lifestyle, 15-30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. The CDC also estimates that by 2030, the number of people with type 2 diabetes will have doubled (1).
If you are looking for a practical approach that may help prevent type 2 diabetes, consider a plant-based diet. A plant-based diet is simply based on foods derived from plants (vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits) but with few or no animal products. You may wonder how a diet rich in carbohydrates could possible lower diabetes risk when most plant foods are rich in carbohydrates. While carbohydrates have the biggest impact on raising blood glucose, the type of vegetarian diet showing promising results for diabetes risk reduction is one that includes minimally processed, nutrient-rich, high-fiber foods.
Five reasons a plant-based diet may help prevent type 2 diabetes risk:
Plant-based diets include a wide spectrum of eating patterns from vegan (eliminates all animal products) to semi-vegetarian (consumes dairy and/or egg and meat ? one time per month and < one time per week). Studies suggest that the protection against type 2 diabetes appears to be strongest with the vegan and lacto-ovo vegetarian (includes dairy and egg but no meat or fish) diets.
Not ready to go vegetarian? If you are at risk of type 2 diabetes, consider incorporating more plant foods and less animal foods on your plate. Perhaps try a Meatless Monday or include some vegetarian dinners in your week. For more information on a plant-based diet, go to the Vegetarian Resource Group or to The Power Plate.