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Do Vegans Get Diabetes?

A Vegan Diet Could Prevent, Treat And Even Reverse Type 2 Diabetes, Say Leading Experts This Diabetes Week (12-18 June).

A Vegan Diet Could Prevent, Treat And Even Reverse Type 2 Diabetes, Say Leading Experts This Diabetes Week (12-18 June).

Diet and lifestyle have long been regarded as the main causes of type 2 diabetes. Now research suggests that vegans reduce their risk of diabetes by 78% compared with people who eat meat on a daily basis. “Type 2 diabetes is almost always preventable, often treatable, and sometimes reversible through diet and lifestyle changes,” wrote Dr Michael Greger, internationally-renowned physician, in his best-selling book How Not To Die. “People who eat a plant-based diet have just a small fraction of the rates of diabetes seen in those who regularly eat meat. By switching to a healthy diet, you can start improving your health within a matter of hours.” This is partly because vegans are better able to control their weight. Carrying excess body fat is the number one risk factor of type 2 diabetes, with around 90% of those who develop the disease being overweight. Vegans, however, have lower levels of obesity on average than any other dietary group. It is also because, Dr Greger explains, the saturated fats found in animal products contribute to insulin resistance – the cause of type 2 diabetes – whereas monosaturated fats found in nuts and avocados may actually protect against the detrimental effects of saturated fats. As a result, people eating plant-based diets appear to have better insulin sensitivity, better blood sugar levels and better levels of insulin, which enables blood sugar to enter your cells. Type 2 diabetes is spreading fast. Over 21 million people have been diagnosed with the disease in the United States, a number that has roughly tripled since 1990, with devastating health implications. Diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, and stroke. Sandra Hood, state registered dietitian in the UK, said: “A plant-based diet can be very h Continue reading >>

Testing Out Vegetarianism

Testing Out Vegetarianism

I always wanted to be a vegetarian. It always sounded like such a noble cause: saving the animals, the environment, and my health all in one fell swoop. But my actual experience with vegetarianism is somewhat mixed. In high school, I quit eating meat altogether for about six months, much to the chagrin of my meat-loving family. Eventually the weight of fixing my own vegetarian dinners was too burdensome, so I decided to incorporate chicken into my meals. A few months after that, pork found its way back into my diet. I managed to avoid beef entirely for 10 years, before I finally broke down and had a hamburger. A lot people are probably similar to me. Vegetarianism sounds like the right thing to do, but you're not quite sure you can actually go all the way. October is also National Vegetarian Awareness Month, so for the past three weeks, my husband and I have taken on a new challenge: eating a vegetarian diet. Neither of us are interested in becoming full-time vegetarians, but we also realized that we were perhaps relying on meat a little too much. This would be our experiment to get us used to mixing more fruits and vegetables into our meal planning. Like many people with diabetes, I was a bit concerned that eating vegetarian might be a gateway to a diet full of pasta, cereal and bread — which in moderation isn't a bad thing, but it's hard to build a healthy diet based solely on carbs. Luckily it turns out that being vegetarian doesn't necessarily mean giving up all your favorite protein options. I discovered there are actually several different kinds of vegetarianism, with varying degrees of severity in diet restrictions: Ovo vegetarianism excludes all meat and dairy, but includes eggs Lacto vegetarianism excludes all meat and eggs, but includes dairy Ovo-lacto veget Continue reading >>

Balancing Your Blood Sugar Levels On A Vegan Diet

Balancing Your Blood Sugar Levels On A Vegan Diet

Getting your blood sugar levels correct can easily be managed through a vegan diet. Alessandra Felice shows us how it’s done… Glucose (the sugar in our blood) is essential to health because it’s required for the formation of ATP, the energy molecule in our bodies, which is necessary for every organ and cell to function. The two key hormones for blood glucose regulation are insulin and glucagon. When blood sugar is high, such as after a meal, insulin is released and helps to bring glucose circulating in the blood from the breakdown of food into the tissues for use and storage; when blood sugar is low, glucagon is released to break down glycogen (stored form of glucose in the tissues), causing the blood sugar to rise again. The body tries to maintain a constant balance between the two to function properly. But a state of continued elevated blood sugar can have a very negative effect on it as the body must release a consistent stream of insulin into the bloodstream to maintain healthy sugar levels. This will cause the tissues to become what is known as “insulin resistant”, due to the constant exposure to insulin, which causes more and more insulin to be released to remove circulating sugar that keeps rising as tissues are not responding to insulin anymore. Besides potentially contributing to diabetes, heart disease and other chronic metabolic diseases, long-term blood sugar imbalance may contribute to other conditions like increased fat storage in the abdomen, which is also dangerous for heart health and also cause inconsistent and poor energy. Balancing blood sugar is essential for our mental and physical health! Let’s take a quick look at what items or habits are best to reduce or eliminate to avoid blood sugar spikes. Avoid refined sugar and refined carbohyd Continue reading >>

Vegan Diet

Vegan Diet

Tweet Many people instantly recoil at the idea of a vegan diet, but this attitude is gradually changing, particularly amongst people with diabetes. Can people with diabetes use a vegan diet to improve blood glucose control? Absolutely. By eating a healthy vegan diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat, but balanced enough to include fibre and protein, blood glucose levels can be made easier to control. This type of diet, particularly when combined with exercise, can help to lower blood glucose levels and better manage diabetes. What is a vegan diet for diabetes? A vegan diet effectively means cutting out meat, dairy and animal products whether you have diabetes or not. So what do you eat? Vegan diets, whether for people with diabetes or not, are usually based around plants. Particular foods eaten include vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes. Animal products such as meat and dairy are avoided, as are added fat and sugar. People on vegan diets often take vitamin B12 deficiency supplements. Isn’t a vegan diet for diabetics hard to stick to? Eating a vegan diet does require some compromise, but getting the right diabetes recipes and planning your diet well will make following a vegan diet for diabetes easy. When planning your vegan diet, you need to make sure that protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals are balanced. Vegan diets do not usually demand that portions be stuck to or calories counted, making them easier to follow than some diabetes diets. Can I lose weight using a vegan diet? Many people with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, have a firm goal to lose weight. Weight loss is well understood as one of the best ways of achieving diabetes control. Vegan diets with a lower glycaemic index and a higher level of fibre are an excellent way of losing wei Continue reading >>

Going Vegan Could Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Going Vegan Could Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Going vegan could prevent type 2 diabetes Excess weight is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Recent research, however, suggests one strategy that could help to prevent the condition in people who are overweight, and it involves giving up meat and dairy. Researchers say that a vegan diet could prevent diabetes in people who are overweight. Researchers found that overweight people who switched to a vegan diet for 16 weeks showed improvements in insulin sensitivity plus the functioning of beta cells compared with a control group. Beta cells reside in the pancreas and produce and release insulin. The vegan diet also led to improvements in blood sugar levels, both during fasting and during meals. Lead study author Dr. Hana Kahleova, of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C., says that the findings have "important implications for diabetes prevention." Dr. Kahleova and colleagues recently reported their results in the journal Nutrients. Type 2 diabetes arises when the body is no longer able to respond to insulin effectively which is a condition known as insulin resistance or the pancreatic beta cells do not produce enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. As a result of this, blood sugar levels can become too high. This can lead to serious complications, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetic eye disease, and nerve damage. It is estimated that more than 30 million people in the United States are living with diabetes, and type 2 diabetes accounts for around 9095 percent of all cases. Being overweight is one of the leading risk factors for type 2 diabetes. In fact, around 80 percent of people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Making lifestyle changes such as adopting a he Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Vegan Diets

Type 2 Diabetes And Vegan Diets

The only prospective study measuring rates of diabetes in vegans, the Adventist Health Study 2, found them to have a 60% less chance of developing the disease than non-vegetarians after two years of follow-up. Previously, a cross-sectional report from the Adventist Health Study-2 showed vegans to have a 68% lower rate of diabetes than non-vegetarians. A number of clinical trials have now shown that a vegan, or mostly vegan, diet can lower body weight, reduce blood sugar, and improve other parameters for type 2 diabetes. 2017 Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies A 2017 meta-analysis reviewed 14 studies published in 13 papers ( 17 ). Two were cohort studies and the other 12 were cross-sectional. Vegetarians had a lower incidence of diabetes in eight of the studies while there was no difference in the other five. Based on the pooled analysis of the studies, vegetarians had a 27% lower risk for diabetes compared to omnivores (OR 0.73, 95% CI: 0.61, 0.87). When the researchers looked at effects in different groups, they found that vegetarian men were less likely to have diabetes than omnivore men, but there was no difference in risk between vegetarian and omnivore women. The researchers also looked at different types of vegetarian diets and found that risk for diabetes was lowest among vegans and lacto-vegetarians. Pesco-vegetarians did not have a lower risk for diabetes compared to omnivores, although semi-vegetarians did. The main limitation of this meta-analysis is that most of the studies were cross-sectional. In addition, the studies were from diverse populations throughout the world where definitions and composition of vegetarian diets may differ. This might explain why among these studies, the findings were stronger in studies from North America, Europe, and the We Continue reading >>

A Diabetic Vegan: An Interview With Adrian Kiger

A Diabetic Vegan: An Interview With Adrian Kiger

Adrian Kiger is a writer who grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia. She’s had type 1 diabetes since she was eleven. After years of struggling with weight issues and blood sugar levels, she found a diet that works for her – vegan. Adrian, who has written a children’s book “Veronica, the Vegetarian Diabetic,” talked to ASweetLife about her path to veganism and how it’s helped her improve her health. You’ve been a type 1 diabetic for 25 years. Did you (or your parents) change your diet when you were diagnosed? My mom had always been a gourmet cook and paid a lot of attention to the quality of food in our house, even I before my diabetes came along. We, my dad and two younger brothers, ate only whole wheat bread, wholesome foods, and a big salad that accompanied supper, which we ate together as a family almost every night. Absolutely no sugary cereals or sodas were around. My mom prepared most things from scratch and always had a garden. When I came home from the hospital after being diagnosed, there was Crystal Light drink mix in the house. It was new on the market at the time. There were a lot of sugar-free products too. Other than that, there wasn’t much of a need for a big, dramatic change. My mom also began making some sugar-free desserts. The biggest change was the fact that suddenly someone in the house had diabetes, and the intensity around food was heightened. What led you to become a diabetic vegan? Were you a vegetarian first? I was not a vegetarian first. Although I have never eaten a lot of meat, I did love a good cheeseburger and a tasty piece of salmon. But I never really liked the smell of cooked meat, so I rarely made it for myself at home. My best friend from childhood was raised completely vegetarian, so I was exposed at a young age to the Continue reading >>

Is A Vegetarian Diet Better For Diabetes?

Is A Vegetarian Diet Better For Diabetes?

Research suggests that well planned, vegetarian diets that are rich in whole grains, fiber, legumes, nuts, and unsaturated fats can help improve blood sugar and may even prevent diabetes. Here, a registered dietitian and type 1 tells you what you need to know. Vegetarian diets are becoming more mainstream. The words meatless Monday, vegan and plant based are the new buzzwords in today’s nutrition frenzy. But you might be skeptical to try a vegetarian diet if you have diabetes fearing you will consume too many carbohydrates and no animal protein to stabilize your blood sugars. Eggs, cheese, meat, fish and other protein sources have long been considered “safe” for people with diabetes because they don’t raise blood sugars as do carbohydrates found in grains, fruits, and legumes—all cornerstones of the vegetarian diet. But it turns out, following a meatless Monday or vegetarian approach may be beneficial to your waistline as well as your diabetes control. New research points to the protective effects a plant-based diet can have on people at risk of developing diabetes or with existing diabetes. Vegetarians and vegans tend to live longer and have a lower risk of developing diabetes as well as other chronic conditions like heart disease, hypertension, certain types of cancers and obesity. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recent position paper, a well-planned vegetarian diet that is rich in whole grains, nuts, and soy, seeds, fruits, and veggies can be nutritionally adequate and suitable for all life stages. The key word here is well-planned. Vegetarians can be at risk for nutritional deficiencies, in particular, iron, vitamin D and calcium if not appropriately planned. People with diabetes may need to consider additional factors if choosing to ad Continue reading >>

Vegetarian Diets And Incidence Of Diabetes In The Adventist Health Study-2

Vegetarian Diets And Incidence Of Diabetes In The Adventist Health Study-2

Vegetarian diets and incidence of diabetes in the Adventist Health Study-2 S. Tonstad ,a,* K. Stewart ,a K. Oda ,b M. Batech ,b R.P. Herring ,a and G.E. Fraser c aLoma Linda University School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion and Education, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA aLoma Linda University School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion and Education, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA bLoma Linda University School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA bLoma Linda University School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA aLoma Linda University School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion and Education, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA aLoma Linda University School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion and Education, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA bLoma Linda University School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA cLoma Linda University, Department of Cardiology, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA *Corresponding author. School of Public Health, 24951N Circle Drive, Nichol Hall Room 1519, Loma Linda, California 92354, USA. Tel.: +1909 747 2607, +1 909 747 0471; fax: +1 909 558 0471 The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. To evaluate the relationship of diet to incident diabetes among non-Black and Black participants in the Adventist Health Study-2. Participants were 15,200 men and 26,187 women (17.3% Blacks) across the U.S. and Canada who were free of diabetes and who provided demographic, anthropometric, lifestyle and dietary data. Participants were grouped as vegan, lacto ovo vegetarian, pesc Continue reading >>

What Causes Type 2 — Genes Or Food?

What Causes Type 2 — Genes Or Food?

There’s a major split in the Type 2 diabetes world. Some believe Type 2 is all about diet (and maybe exercise.) Others say it’s mostly a genetic illness and that diet doesn’t make much difference. Who’s right? This disagreement came to the forefront in the controversy over TV chef Paula Deen. When Deen told the world she had Type 2 diabetes, some people blamed the high-sugar and high-fat food she cooks on her shows. (One signature dish is deep-fried cheesecake.) But Deen denied her diet had much to do with it. She pointed out that many people eat like her and don’t get diabetes. She said her genes were at fault, even though no one else in her family has diabetes. Bloggers jumped in; some to attack Deen, some to defend her. On Diabetes Self-Management, Jan Chait wrote, “Psst! Food does NOT give you diabetes!” Some doctors agreed. Dr. Terry Simpson wrote, “It is more a matter of genetics than anything else. For those who are unlucky enough to have the genetic code that predisposes them to diabetes, the odds are they will become its victim… Even the most “in shape” individual, who eats “right” who has the genetics for diabetes can no more avoid that than you can avoid a car accident if someone misses a stop sign because they are texting.” I beg to differ. Blaming genes without referencing diet makes no sense at all. There has been an increase in diabetes worldwide of 100% to 400% (depending on location) in the last 20 years. Genes don’t change that fast. The environment has changed. People are more sedentary and more stressed now. But the number one change has been the mass consumption of sugars and refined carbs. Dr. Robert Lustig at University of California San Francisco blames sugars for most of the diabetes increase. Our bodies just weren Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes Likely To Be A Serious Risk For Vegans?

Is Diabetes Likely To Be A Serious Risk For Vegans?

Is diabetes likely to be a serious risk for vegans? First of all, vegan only says what someone DOESNT eat - meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey, etc. It doesnt tell you what a person actually eats. You need to determine what kind of vegan diet you mean, because there certainly are junk food vegans, although the risk of developing diabetes is lower because vegans generally eat a lower fat diet with much more fiber, that doesnt mean that vegans cant also develop diabetes. But in general vegans have a much lower risk than everyone else, so you are more likely to be diabetic if youre NOT vegan. But that is comparing a standard american diet to any vegan diet. However, if youre talking about a healthy vegan diet, such as a whole food, plant based diet, then that will actually prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes in the majority of cases. So that means no processed food whatsoever, no sugar, no oil and of course no meat, fish, dairy, or eggs. Eating low fat has also been shown to be beneficial for preventing/reversing type 2 diabetes. If youd like to know more about this diet, I highly recommend you check out some books by Dr Neal Barnard as well as other specialists that are using a whole food vegan diet to treat a range of diseases, including heart disease, MS, lupus, fibromyalgia, and many more. I will list some videos and books for you, which have long lists of references to the clinical studies which support a WFPB diet in treating most lifestyle diseases, but you can also go to pubmed and search for articles yourself, to see that this method has more than enough scientific support. It is so well documented at this point that its a travesty that this is not the default treatment option already. Based on overwhelming evidence, there are some health insurance companies that hav Continue reading >>

Should You Go Vegetarian? The Benefits Of A Plant-based Diet For People With Diabetes

Should You Go Vegetarian? The Benefits Of A Plant-based Diet For People With Diabetes

What if you were told you could lose weight, lower your blood glucose and blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and slow the progression of type 2 diabetes—or prevent it if you don’t yet have it? It sounds too good to be true, but more and more research indicates that a plant-based eating plan may help people with diabetes. What the Studies Show In a 72-week study published by Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, people with type 2 diabetes followed either a low-fat vegan diet or a moderate-carbohydrate plan. Both groups lost weight and improved their cholesterol. When people who didn’t complete the study or had medication changes were omitted from the study analysis, there was a significantly greater decrease in A1C and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the vegans. A study of nearly 100,000 members of the Seventh-day Adventist church, which promotes a vegetarian diet, showed that the vegetarians had a lower rate of type 2 than nonvegetarians. “The closer people follow a vegan diet, the more they stay at a healthy weight and prevent type 2,” says Michael J. Orlich, M.D., assistant professor of preventive medicine at Loma Linda University in California. Orlich was involved with the study. Not eating red and processed meats may help prevent type 2 even without factoring in body weight. Two long-term, ongoing studies by the Harvard School of Public Health tracking nearly 150,000 health care providers showed that people who ate an additional half serving of red meat daily for four years had a 50 percent higher risk of developing type 2. Cutting back on red-meat intake by more than a half serving a day reduced this risk by 15 percent. “Study after study has tightly linked eating a plant-based diet with decreasing a number of Continue reading >>

How I Reversed My Diabetes And Stopped All Medications With A Plant-based Diet

How I Reversed My Diabetes And Stopped All Medications With A Plant-based Diet

I grew up at the tip of southern Texas with four brothers and three sisters. When I was eight years old, my father abandoned our family, and my mother was left to raise eight children on her own. In search of better employment, she moved us to the Chicago area in 1982. In high school, I thrived as an athlete and earned a football scholarship to the University of Michigan. In those days, I could eat whatever I wanted and did not have weight issues, because I was so physically active. At twenty-one years old I was 6’2″ and weighed 305 pounds. A Family Medical History Filled With Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer As a young adult, I witnessed my beloved mother, the rock of our family, battle type 2 diabetes and the complications that come with it. She suffered from kidney failure, vision problems, and heart disease. After 33 years of fighting diabetes, she passed away in April of 2002. I miss her dearly. Just two months later, my oldest brother David passed away from pancreatic cancer. Out of eight siblings, my sister Jill is the only one who has not been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. But she, too, has felt its impact personally, since she donated one of her kidneys to our mother. My sisters Carol and Sandra, and my brothers Martin and Joe (my twin), have all struggled with the disease for years. Just two months ago, Joe also suffered a heart attack. Martin suffers terribly: he has had a pancreas and kidney transplant, is legally blind, had his right leg amputated, goes to dialysis three times a week, and takes 25 medications every day. My Own Struggle With Diabetes I have also struggled with diabetes. I was diagnosed with the disease the same year that it claimed my mom’s life. At that time, I began taking five different oral medications including Metformin and Continue reading >>

Meat-based Diets Linked With Type 2 Diabetes; Vegans Everywhere Get Smug

Meat-based Diets Linked With Type 2 Diabetes; Vegans Everywhere Get Smug

Meat-based diets linked with type 2 diabetes; vegans everywhere get smug A 14-year study has SHH! Please stop crowing, Meat causes diabetes! Meat causes diabetes! It is not quite that simple. Can you slow your roll? Get back to me when youre ready to listen, OK? As I was saying! A 14-year study of more than 66,000 European women shows that a diet high in acidic foods leads to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Youd think this means oranges cause type 2 diabetes, right? But actually meat, cheese (NOOO!), and fish boost the acid in your kidneys and pee WAY more than citrus fruits. (Fruits and veggies, believe it or not, LOWER your bodys acidity at least your potential renal acid load.) Chronic acidosis a condition caused by increased acidity in the blood and body tissues reduces insulin sensitivity, the ability of the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar Over a period of 14 years, 1,372 new cases of type 2 diabetes were recorded. Women whose potential renal acid load (Pral) scores were in the top 25 percent had a 56 percent greater risk of developing diabetes than those in the bottom 25 percent. Recap: Eating more fruits and veggies MIGHT help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes not to be confused with type 1 diabetes , the kid version with no known cause and eating tons of meat and cheese might do the opposite. This is shocking, as no one before has suggested eating produce could have health benefits. You heard it here first. Continue reading >>

Vegetarian Diet: Can It Help Me Control My Diabetes?

Vegetarian Diet: Can It Help Me Control My Diabetes?

Could switching to a vegetarian diet cure my diabetes? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. A vegetarian diet probably won't cure your diabetes. But it may offer some benefits over a nonvegetarian diet — such as helping to better control your weight, reducing your risk of some diabetes-associated complications and possibly even making your body more responsive to insulin. There's no single vegetarian eating plan. For example, some allow dairy products while others don't allow any animal products (vegans). The benefits of a vegetarian diet depend on the type of diet you choose and the food choices you make when following the diet. For most, however, eating a vegetarian diet: Promotes a healthy weight. Vegetarian diets are often lower in calories than are nonvegetarian diets, which can help with weight management. Also, people following a vegetarian diet tend to have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than do people who follow a nonvegetarian diet. A healthy body weight can improve blood sugar control and reduce your risk of diabetes complications. Improves blood sugar control and insulin response. Eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts — features of a vegetarian diet — can improve blood sugar control and make your body more responsive to insulin. This may mean taking less medication and lowering your risk of diabetes-related complications. But even a vegetarian diet can have adverse effects on blood sugar if it is rich in simple carbohydrates — especially starches, such as potatoes, white rice and white bread. Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease. A strict vegan diet is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and usually high in soluble fiber. A low-fat vegetarian diet can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease — a common complication of Continue reading >>

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