New research shows a healthy vegetarian diet can significantly improve blood sugar levels and potentially leave patients free of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at the George Washington University found eating a vegetable-based diet reduced levels of a key blood protein, which can lead to complications in type 2 diabetes.
New analysis from researchers in the United States and Japan were published in the journal Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy.
Improved diabetes management
The results found that a plant-based diet improved diabetes management significantly, with weight loss, lower cholesterol and improved blood pressure.
Subsequently, low-fat vegan diets were found to allow patients with type 2 diabetes to no longer take regular medicines and inject insulin.
“No drug came close to offering those with diabetes this kind of relief,” Study author Dr Neal Barnard, from the George Washington University School of Medicine in the US, said.
“One simple prescription could help reverse diabetes, improve blood sugar, and lower weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. And all this is possible, our analysis found, not with a new magic pill, but with tried-and-true simple changes to diet.”
Diet caution
Tracy Kelly, head of clinical care at Diabetes UK, was keen to urge caution with this approach, however.
“Longer studies have also shown that eating a vegetarian diet does not consistently improve glycemic control or reduce risk of heart disease, except where energy intake was restricted and people lost weight.”
If following such a diet, low amounts of carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain, should not be consumed, while a strong intake of vegetables should be the foundation of your diet.

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