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The Physicians Committee



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Help Your Patients: Diabetes Resources for Health Professionals

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The Vegan Diet How-To Guide for Diabetes

General Tips

 Trying New Foods and New Tastes:

  • Explore new recipes, new books, and new products.
  • Be strict with yourself. It is easier than teasing yourself with small amounts of the foods you are trying to leave behind.
  • Focus on the short term.
  • If you have trouble finding recipes you like, please discuss this with group leaders or participants. There are always solutions.

Convenience Foods:

  • Fat-free meat substitutes are quick and can ease the transition.
  • Buy prepared salads that are fat-free or have no added fats.
  • Use frozen vegetables or canned vegetables instead of fresh.
  • Canned beans
  • Try low-fat (less than 5g fat per meal), vegan frozen meals (Amy’s, Mon Cuisine, Cedarlane Natural Foods, and Dr. McDougall ).

On-the-Go: Travel Tips

  • Request nondairy vegetarian meals for flights
  • All hotels will have oatmeal, pasta with tomato sauce, potatoes, and vegetable plates, even if they are not on the menu.
  • Bring along instant soup cups or instant oatmeal.

Dining Out: Look for ethnic restaurants, especially Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, and Italian, as they normally have many vegetarian dishes.

  • Japanese: vegetable sushi; miso soup (ask for vegetarian broth)
  • Chinese: rice with steamed vegetables (no oil)
  • Mexican: bean burrito, hold the cheese, sour cream, and guacamole; Spanish rice. Ask the waiter to bring out warm corn tortillas to dip in the salsa and tell them to take away the fried chips.
  • Italian: pasta e fagioli (soup); pasta marinara; ask that oil be kept at an absolute minimum.
  • Thai: vegetarian selections with rice; avoid coconut milk
  • Indian: rice dishes or breads (beware of curries—they are very fatty)
  • Middle-Eastern: tabouleh; hummus with whole wheat pita
  • American: vegetable plate; salad bar; baked beans; spaghetti; fruit plate; for salads, ask for no dressing, or try lemon or lime juice, ask that fatty toppings, such as cheese, bacon, eggs, olives, and avocados, be left off


Step 1: A Vegan Diet: Avoiding Animal Products

Step 2: Avoiding Added Vegetable Oils

Step 3: Low Glycemic Index

Step 4: Go High-Fiber

Step 5: Volumetrics

Step 6: Focus on the New Four Food Groups

Meal Suggestions

General Tips

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