A new prescription for type 2 diabetes: A low-fat vegan diet
Diabetes rates are on the rise and Washington is no exception: One in three adults has elevated blood sugar and a third of children are on their way to full-blown diabetes, which, at $85,000 or more over the course of a lifetime, is expensive to treat. Our medical systems aren’t equipped for this influx and our bodies can’t handle it.
The question isn’t “How did we get here?” but “How can we fix it?” and fast.
One solution, regardless of your health insurance plan, is already available: A plant-based vegan diet—centered around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes—combats insulin resistance and significantly improves blood sugar control. This approach, funded by the National Institutes of Health in a landmark study in 2003, lowers A1c by 1.2 percentage points, an amount better than metformin. More recently, a vegan diet was shown to treat the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain, the pain or tingling sensation in your feet and hands.
The “side effects” of a low-fat vegan diet are all positive:weight loss, low blood pressure, and healthy cholesterol. In a five-month study in the workplace, participants even saw gains in productivity, reduced absenteeism, and alleviation of anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
The best part is it’s easy to follow. So how do you get started?
Build your meals around the new four food groups: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
Vegetables: All vegetables, especially the dark leafy green, red, and orange varieties. Swap sweet potatoes for white potatoes.
Fruits: Favor apples, pears, and fresh cantaloupe over var Continue reading