A vegan diet is a plant-based diet that eliminates all types of animal-based food products and byproducts. It has gained popularity in the last couple of years due to its ability to prevent health issues like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and certain types of cancer. Studies have shown that it helps to manage blood sugar levels better than other diabetic diets. Apart from this, you can also follow this diet as a preventive measure as it also boosts your immune system and gut health. Read on to know how a vegan diet is useful for people with diabetes.
Healthy Vegan Diet
A healthy vegan diet focuses on eating whole foods that are minimally or not at all processed. This means it avoids highly processed plant-based food like white bread, cookies, fries, baked goods made using refined flour, starches, and sugar.
Listed below are the whole and minimally processed foods that you must include in your vegan meal to get the maximum health benefits:
- Whole grain bread
- Brown rice
- Leafy greens
- Fortified foods
- Soy products like tempeh and tofu
Benefits Of Eating Healthy Vegan Diet For People With Diabetes
The main reason animal-based food increases the chances of developing type-2 diabetes is due to the saturated fats contained in them. On the other hand, plant-based food mostly contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are beneficial for health. For example, saturated fats lead to inflammation, while healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated and they help to reduce inflammation. Also, plant-based food is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, minerals, and dietary fiber that helps maintain blood cholesterol levels.
Listed below are the benefits of a vegan diet:
- Prevents or reduce neuropathy due to nerve damage which happens in diabetes
- Lowers blood cholesterol
- Improves the sensitivity to insulin
- Help in weight loss
- Helps to get A1c level under control
- Helps to maintain good gut microbiome
- Lowers high blood pressure
In short, a healthy vegan diet helps to reduce the symptoms of metabolic syndromes.
Vegan Diet And Diabetes
Just like any diabetic diet, a vegan diet only helps to lower or maintain healthy blood glucose levels, but it cannot cure the disease. Also, it improves insulin sensitivity so that it lowers the amount of insulin that you must administer. Furthermore, you must consult with the physician when switching to a vegan diet for managing diabetes.
Listed below are the important points that you must keep in mind while following a vegan diet:
- Get adequate amounts of calories
- Eat a wide variety of plant-based food
- Plan your vegan meal
- Monitor your blood glucose levels after switching to a vegan diet
- Sometimes doctors prescribe vitamin supplements
On a final note, if you are planning to switch to a vegan diet for managing diabetes, it will be good to consult with a registered dietician.