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Can a Vegan Diet Really Help Those with Diabetes?

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As the number of fast food chains continue to rise in North America, so does the incidence of type 2 diabetes in a large amount of the population.  Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition that occurs when your body stops producing insulin, the digestive hormone that pulls glucose from the bloodstream into cells for energy. When an individual develops type 2 diabetes, insulin injections are the usual course of action to help the body remain in control of all its functions. Type 2 diabetes, if left untreated, is linked to blindness, kidney failure, and even limb amputation.

Switching from the typical North American diet which is high in fat, meat, dairy and fried foods to a low fat, vegan diet can make the difference between night and day for a diabetes sufferer. In a study planned by Dr. David Jenkins, head researcher in nutrition and metabolism at the University of Toronto, found that after 22 weeks of having two groups, one eating a low fat, vegan diet and the other one following the typically American Diabetes Association recommended diets, found that those one the vegan diet lose almost twice as much weight, reduced both cholesterol and blood sugar, and cut down their medication nearly 43 per cent. The findings were astounding to say the least.

The low fat, vegan diet contained no animal products – no meat, poultry, fish, dairy or eggs. The only fat that was consumed was from plant based foods such as avocados, nuts, and seeds. All carbohydrates that were consumed contained no white sugar, flour or white potatoes. There was no restrictions given for calories and there was no minimum wait time in between meals.

The new food groups that were consumed included whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Eating a varied diet is the best way to get a whole range of vitamins and minerals and will help keep you satisfied. The patients in the study were also given a B12 supplement as this particular vitamin is often low in persons who eat a plant based diet. More information on the B12 vitamin can be found

Obviously, a vegan diet can, like any other diet, have its own unhealthy dishes that can make pre-existing diabetes conditions worse. Regardless of the type of diet you eat, reducing your intake of high Glycemic Index foods such as white sugar will go a long way to helping keep your condition under control.

 


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