Vegetarians are less likely to have diabetes, compared with nonvegetarians, according to a new study from Taiwan. Among 4,384 Buddhists, the women and men who avoided all meat products had an approximately 70 and 45 percent reduced risk for diabetes, respectively. The lead author notes that the omnivorous participants consumed a predominantly plant-based diet with little meat and fish, suggesting that even modest animal consumption can increase the risk for diabetes. Other population studies have also found that as animal product intake increases, so does risk for diabetes. In addition, the vegetarian group had higher intakes of fiber, folate, vegetables, and whole grains and lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Chiu THT, Huang HY, Chiu YF, et al. Taiwanese vegetarians and omnivores: dietary composition, prevalence of diabetes and IFG. PLOS One. Published online February 11, 2014.