Vegetarian Diets Help Type 2 Diabetes

The Physicians Committee

Vegetarian Diets Help Type 2 Diabetes

September 2, 2003

Vegetarian diets provide a nutrient combination that is likely to be beneficial in treating diabetes and preventing complications, according to a review in the September supplement of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Not only does the diet help control blood sugar, but, because whole grains, nuts, viscous fibers, soy proteins, and plant sterols lower serum cholesterol concentrations, the diet also helps prevent cardiovascular complications. Substituting soy or other vegetable proteins for animal protein may also reduce the risk of diabetes-related kidney problems.

Most studies have not controlled for the effect of exercise. However, PCRM’s 1999 pilot study was appropriately controlled, and PCRM’s new study, beginning this fall, will put the diet to the test, while controlling for exercise.

Jenkins DJA, Kendall CWC, Marchie A, Jenkins AL, Augustin LSA, Ludwig DS, Barnard ND, Anderson JW. Type 2 diabetes and the vegetarian diet. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78:610S-616S.

Nicholson AS, Sklar M, Barnard ND, Gore S, Sullivan R, Browning S. Toward improved management of NIDDM: a randomized, controlled, pilot intervention using a low-fat, vegetarian diet. Prev Med. 1999;29:87-91.

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