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The Physicians Committee



BREAKING MEDICAL NEWS April 30, 2009

Improving Diabetes with a Low-Fat Vegan Diet

April 30, 2009

A new report from PCRM researchers, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that a low-fat vegan diet helps people with diabetes lose weight and improve their blood sugars and cholesterol. Earlier publications had shown that the diet is effective over the short term. The new publication shows that benefits persisted for a year beyond the initial 22-week study period. Vegan group participants lost on average 9.7 pounds, compared to 6.6 pounds for people on a more conventional diabetes diet. Improvements in hemoglobin A1c levels (a measure of blood sugar over time) and total and LDL cholesterol were also greater in the vegan group. Recent reports from the same group showed that nutrition improvements were greater in the vegan group and that acceptability of the diet was comparable to seemingly more permissive diets.

Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJ, Turner-McGrievy G, Gloede L, Green A, Ferdowsian H. A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled, 74-week clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:1588S–1596S.

Turner-McGrievy GM, Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJA, Gloede L, Green AA. Changes in nutrient intake and dietary quality among participants with type 2 diabetes following a low-fat vegan diet or a conventional diabetes diet for 22 weeks. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;108:1636-1645.

Barnard ND, Gloede L, Cohen J, Jenkins DJA, Turner-McGrievy G, Green AA, Ferdowsian H. A low-fat vegan diet elicits greater macronutrient changes, but is comparable in adherence and acceptability, compared with a more conventional diabetes diet among individuals with type 2 diabetes. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:263-272.

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