A vegan diet consists of only plant-based foods, unlike vegetarians who abjure meat, fish, seafood, and chicken and consume only plant-based foods and dairy products. Vegans do not consume dairy products. Europe is the world’s largest vegan market, followed by North America. The latter, though, is still mainly meat-consuming.

People with diabetes should consume foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals but low in added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Plant-based foods have all these features. Many professional bodies engaged in diabetes treatment are now recommending a vegan diet to manage diabetes effectively. Research shows that a vegan diet can reverse diabetes.

The vegan diet is wholly plant-based. A plant-based diet has features that are different from those coming from animal sources. Individuals with a high level of lipids who turn vegetarian will see a reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol, and blood pressure. A low-carbohydrate plant-based food lowers lipids in the blood reducing heart disease risk.

According to the American Diabetes Association, nutrient-dense foods are the best for individuals who have diabetes. These foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals but low in added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats. These nutrients are available in non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, cucumbers, etc. These should be consumed as far as a possible whole and minimally processed. Other food recommendations are apples, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, and oatmeal.

A diabetic diet can include starchy vegetables like corn, green peas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, plantain, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and green lentils. Avoid refined, highly processed carbohydrate foods, foods with added sugar, sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea or coffee, juice, white bread, white rice, sugary cereal, sweets, and snack foods like cake, cookies, candy, and chips. Nuts like peanuts, walnuts, and almonds have a lot of fiber and healthy fat. Keep the portion size small, as these contain a lot of calories.

Dr. Neal Barnard, associate professor of medicine at George Washington School of Medicine, recommends a vegan diet for people with diabetes. According to him, a vegan diet can even reverse diabetes. (Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes published his book in 2007)

The diet recommendations of Dr. Neal Barnard are more by the current day’s thinking, which claims that the link between the gut, diet, and lifestyle diseases like diabetes is intimate. Effective restoration of gut microbiota reversal and repair of gut microbiota to good health is possible through dietary changes.

Additional reading:
Natural Solutions for Diabetes

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