Veganism is one of the most chosen lifestyles in recent times. One of the reasons for this spike is the health benefits of plant-based foods such as prevention of diabetes, lower risk of chronic diseases, etc. One of the immediate benefits of a plant-based diet over processed food is the impact the former has on blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. Plant-based diets is known to help in weight loss as they do not contain fats.
Being a diabetic, you would want to know the best food for diabetic patients and how to cure diabetes naturally with vegan food. So, we tell you everything about the link between veganism and diabetes and if it is even possible to reverse Type 2 diabetes.
Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
Here are the other benefits of a plant-based diet:
Plants provide better nutrition as they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, which help in the prevention of diabetes. Fiber helps in maintaining the waistline, improves heart health, gut and blood sugar.
Adopting a vegan diet can help you in improving your heart health as it may lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It not only lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure, but also helps in maintaining sugar levels. Plant-based diets also help in quelling inflammation, thus improving heart health and enabling the prevention of diabetes.
Prevention of diabetes
Studies have indicated that people who adopt a vegan lifestyle tend to have higher insulin sensitivity in comparison to lacto-ovo vegetarians or people with an omnivorous diet. Moreover, research shows that meat-eaters are doubly at risk of having diabetes in comparison to vegans.
Vegans or people who follow a plant-based diet tend to be on the lower side of the BMI when compared to their omnivorous counterparts. Moreover, studies show that people adopting plant-based diets are more likely not just to reduce weight but keep it off in comparison to otherwise and thus help in the prevention of diabetes.
Reduces cancer risk
It has consistently been proven that regular eating of veggies, fruits, and legumes reduces the risk of cancer. Moreover, the phytochemicals in plants also help in preventing cancer.
The Perfect Plant-Based Diet
Whether you are starting a plant-based diet, or want to gradually increase vegan foods, or remove meat and dairy from your diet, here is a list of recommendations that can help in maintaining a healthy, balanced diet:
Protein is one of the most concerning nutrition in a vegan diet. Here are a few plant-based food options that are rich in proteins:
- Beans and legumes
- Vegetable-based milk such as almond or soya
- Soya products such as soya cheese and soya milk
Although the foods mentioned above are loaded with proteins, these are equally sourced with carbohydrates. Therefore, it is important to check the glycemic index and choose foods that are high in fibre.
It is essential for the body to get its doses of vitamins for better function and a healthy nervous system. Foods that are fortified with Vitamin B12 include:
- Some plants and yoghurts
- Breakfast cereals
- Yeast extract
- Some types of spread
Calcium is another important nutrient that is essential to your body for strong bones. It is comparatively difficult to have a calcium-rich diet from a dairy eater. Therefore, it is important to choose dairy alternatives, such as:
- Red kidney beans
- Whole-grain breads
Omega-3 is an important nutrient for improving heart health. As people with diabetes are always at a higher risk of diabetes, it is needed for them to include foods rich in omega-3 to be part of their diet. Plant-based foods that are high in omega-3 are:
- Flaxseed or rapeseed oil
- Soy-based foods
Another nutrient present in meat is iron, which is present in the following plant-based options:
- Dried fruits
- Beans and pulses
- Dark green vegetables
Vegans must consume more fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C as it helps in increasing the absorption of iron in the body.
Veganism and Prevention of Diabetes
Studies have shown a significant impact on the prevention of diabetes, especially Type-2 when people consume foods that are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, please note a plate full of plant-based options can still increase your sugar levels if you are not mindful. The key is to maintain the portions and eat in moderation.
For assistance, you should consult a diabetes educator who can customise your diet plan according to your needs. And, in all this, do not forget to monitor your sugar levels regularly!