Researchers tracked adherence to and healthfulness of a plant-based diet in participants from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and monitored diabetes rates. Those who strayed away from a healthful plant-based diet had a 12% to 23% increased risk for type 2 diabetes when compared to those who consistently followed a healthful plant-based diet. Results also showed that improved adherence to healthful plant-based diets rich in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables lowered the risk for diabetes. Increased fiber intake and consumption of polyphenols from plant-based foods and reductions in animal fat consumption improve weight, gut microbiota, inflammation, and other biomarkers associated with type 2 diabetes.
Chen Z, Drouin-Chartier JP, Li Y, et al. Changes in plant-based diet indices and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes in women and men: Three U.S. prospective cohorts. Diabetes Care. Published January 13, 2021. https://doi.org/10.2337/dc20-1636.