Plant-based diet improves insulin sensitivity in obese adults without diabetes

Jack Woodfield
Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Plant-based diet improves insulin sensitivity in obese adults without diabetes
Overweight adults with no history of diabetes had improved insulin sensitivity and beta cell function after eating a plant-based diet, researchers reveal.

The study, published in the journal Nutrients, recruited 75 participants and randomised them either to a low-calorie, plant-based diet or to make no dietary changes for 16 weeks.

The scientists at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit research organisation in Washington, measured participants' pancreatic beta cell function (the cells which produce insulin) before the study began and at 16 weeks, to assess their insulin sensitivity.

The plant-based diet followed by participants was based on vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes. Meanwhile, the control group made no dietary changes; and neither group altered their exercise or medication regimens.

The researchers determined that a plant-based diet increased insulin sensitivity at meal times, an also improved beta cell function. Moreover, diet group participants experienced reduced blood sugar levels during the study. These benefits were not observed in the control group.

"The study has important implications for diabetes prevention," said lead study author Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D. "[The findings] add to the growing evidence that food really is medicine and that eating a healthful plant-based diet can go a long way in preventing diabetes."

Research is continuing to uncover that eating healthily can help to combat obesity and reduce rates of type 2 diabetes, so it is unsurprising that a plant-based diet has shown to be effective.

However, some fruits, legumes and whole grains, which the diet in this study was based on, can contain higher levels of carbs, which are detrimental to blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity and weight loss.

This is why eating a low carb diet based on plant-based foods is so effective because it is sustainable for keeping blood sugar levels well controlled.

Our Low Carb Program has already helped thousands of people with prediabetes avoid developing type 2 diabetes, and enabled people with type 2 diabetes to reduce dependency on medication.
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