With World Diabetes Day on November 14th, we thought there’s no better time to introduce you to the benefits of a plant-based diet. Besides improving your overall health, plant-based living can help manage and even prevent diabetes and related side effects. Keep reading to find out more.
Studies and Results
Several studies have been conducted on the health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. One such study, completed over 72 weeks by Neal Barnard, M.D., compared the effects of a plant-based lifestyle with one that included moderate carbohydrates on those with Type 2 diabetes.
Although both groups showed weight loss, the plant-based groups had significantly reduced cholesterol levels. Meanwhile, studies on pre-diabetic patients showed that those with plant-based diets had better weight management and a lower risk of progressing to Type 2 diabetes.
It’s easy to see how plant-based lifestyles can improve diabetes. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains is also full of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats. Meanwhile, a balanced plant-based diet is low in sugar, unhealthy fats, and empty carbohydrates (and calories). A healthy plant-based diet also rates lower on the glycemic index, offering an even influx of glucose so your blood sugar can avoid those troublesome highs and lows.
Preventing Side Effects
One harmful side effect of diabetes is the loss of vision, circulation, even limbs and major organs. This is due to damage to the blood vessels and arteries. The root cause is a buildup of fats in the blood vessels and along the arterial walls that occurs from higher blood glucose levels. Cutting out high fat and sugar or carb-rich foods can have an immediate effect by leveling blood glucose levels and significantly reducing harmful fats in the bloodstream.
Best Plant-Based Options
A balanced plant-based diet includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes. Some of the best plant-based foods for keeping blood sugar steady are:
-Dark Leafy Greens
-Beans and Legumes
-Berries including strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
-Nuts, especially almonds, pecans and walnuts
A wonderful way to start your day is with a Chia Seed Pudding (pictured above) topped with fresh berries and chopped nuts.
Taking the Plunge
Whether you’re currently suffering from Type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, are at risk, or are merely trying to live your best, healthiest life, a plant-based lifestyle can be a literal life changer. So how do you get started?
If your body is already under stress from diabetes or other ailments, take it slow. Talk to a doctor or dietician about a plant-based diet. Armed with The 22-Day Revolution or The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook, you’ll have a guide on how to transition to a healthy, plant-based diet. They help you not only understand the health benefits of a plant-based diet, but provide you with a 22-Day meal plan and plenty of easy and delicious recipes.
In just a few weeks you will notice a difference, and you could be doing more – saving your life!