Going vegan may help people manage diabetes

A study also found evidence that eating mainly plant-based foods improved people’s moods

A study also found evidence that eating mainly plant-based foods improved people’s moods

Vegans have long championed the health benefits of their diet and now they can point to research suggesting that cutting out meat and dairy can keep type 2 diabetes in check.

An analysis of past research showed people with the disease could manage their blood sugar better, lost more weight, and had less nerve pain when they followed a plant-based diet.

The researchers behind the review believe this is because a plant-based diet helped them better control their diabetes.

In the study, researchers from the University of London, the University of Northampton, and East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust looked at 11 clinical trials published between 1999 and 2017 which compared plant-based diets to other diets.

After looking at all the data, the authors concluded a plant-based diet, accompanied by "educational interventions", can significantly improve psychological wellbeing and general quality of life. The trials lasted for an average of 23 weeks.

'Adopting a vegan diet can improve quality of life and weight, and therefore the management of diabetes'. It regulates blood sugar levels in the body and further improves gut health.

There are several caveats to the findings, such as small sample sizes.

Around nine in 10 patients with the condition have type 2 diabetes, which is linked to lifestyle factors including obesity.

"Furthermore, plant-based diets could potentially improve diabetic neuropathic pain and the levels of total cholesterol, [low density lipoprotein] cholesterol and triglycerides in [type 2 diabetes]".

Also read: Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes? But it also notes that not all vegan diets are healthy.

Those following a vegan diet were able to discontinue the drugs they were taking for their diabetes or high blood pressure.

"There is no reason why you shouldn't choose to follow a vegan diet if you wish, but it's important to discuss the matter with your diabetes team if you have any queries or concerns".

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