It’s no mystery why Type II diabetes is on the rise in Western countries such as the United States. Obesity and heart disease are also on the rise. Obesity and lack of exercise are major contributors to the development of Type II diabetes. A switch to a plant-based diet such as a vegan or vegetarian diet has often improved the symptoms of many patients with Type II diabetes, especially those who also have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.
Helps Take Off Excess Weight
Type II diabetics usually are instructed to lose weight through eating less and exercise. This is easier by following a plant-based diet than a diet of junk food and meat products. Plant-based diets tend to be lower in calories and saturated fats that promote obesity. Be sure not to cut out all fats. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about what plant-based fats such a olive oil are better for you.
Reduces Risk of Heart Disease and Strokes
According to a 2008 study by the American Diabetes Association, going on a vegan diet helped lower diabetics risk of developing cardiovascular disease which could lead to potentially crippling or lethal heart attacks or strokes. In th study, diabetics that followed a vegan diet for 22 weeks saw not only decrease in weight and hemoglobin AC1 levels. They ate more fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins and fiber than other groups in the study.
Improved Insulin Stability
Studies have also shown that diets heavy with meat and saturated fats make it more difficult for diabetics to gain benefits from their insulin. A meaty diet seems to cause the body to “ignore” insulin and therefore a diabetic had problems controlling those all-important blood sugar levels.
You Are Not Stuck With Bland Foods
It’s a common misconception that all vegans or vegetarians eat are carrot sticks and wheat germ. There are many rich, flavorful vegetarian and vegan foods available at reasonable cost, from veggie burgers to Hampton Creek brownies. Diabetics can still eat sweets and drink sweet drinks as long as they consume small portions, eat a wide variety of foods and exercise regularly. Diabetes is not curable, but diabetics can still eat well and manage their condition.