The Vegan Diet How-To Guide for Diabetes
Diet changes are the cornerstone to treating type 2 diabetes. Current diet recommendations require restricting portion sizes, measuring and weighing foods, and limiting the total amount of carbohydrate. However, evidence suggests that a different dietary approach may be more effective and easier to follow.
The evidence favoring a new approach came first from comparisons of various populations around the world. People whose diets were based mainly on plant-derived foods—that is, rice, noodles, beans, and vegetables—were less likely to develop diabetes, compared with people whose diets are fattier or centered on meatier dishes. For example, among people following traditional Japanese diets, diabetes was rare. Studies show that when people moved from Japan to the U.S. and adopted a Western diet, they were much more likely to develop diabetes.
These studies suggested that meaty, fatty diets cause the body to be more resistant to insulin’s actions. Clinical research studies have shown that adopting a low-fat, plant-derived diet does indeed improve insulin sensitivity, help with weight loss, and reduce blood sugar and cholesterol.
Part of the value of a low-fat, plant-based diet is that it is very low in saturated fat—that is, the kind of fat that is found especially in meats, dairy products, and tropical oils (coconut, palm, or palm kernel oil). To cut fat effectively, you’ll want to do two things:
The first step is to avoid animal-derived products. Needless to say, this eliminates all animal fats. It does something else, too: It eliminates animal protein. While we need protein, we do not need animal-derived protein. Animal proteins accelerate kidney damage in people who have already lost some kidney function. They also increase the loss of calcium from the body (through the kidneys and into the urine), potentially increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Plant sources of protein do not present these problems.
The second step is to avoid added vegetable oils. Although oils are often thought of as healthier than animal fats, they are just as high in calories. For the healthiest diet, you will want to keep oils to a minimum. This guide covers both of these steps.
It also helps you select the most healthful carbohydrate-containing foods, and provides many other ideas for healthful foods to choose.
The way of eating explained in this guide does not require weighing or measuring, and you will never go hungry!