Research suggests that following a vegan diet, which includes a variety of plant-based foods, can help prevent and manage diabetes.
New Delhi: Diet plays a vital role in the prevention and development of certain health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. Now, a new study suggests that not just the kind of food you eat but even the order in which it is eaten could reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A number of studies have shown that a balanced vegan or plant-based diet may be the best for keeping diabetes and body weight in check.
According to a study, eating rice first and then a vegetable and meat resulted in post-meal blood sugar spikes compared to other orders, indicating that the sequence in which food is consumed can affect blood sugar levels. The findings give a simple but effective way to prevent high blood sugar levels especially after eating in diabetics.
How a plant-based diet can help diabetics manage weight and blood sugar
Research suggests that following a vegan diet, which includes a variety of plant-based foods, can help prevent and manage diabetes. The fact is that vegan diets are naturally high in fibre but low in cholesterol and saturated fat when compared to a non-vegan diet. Researchers have also found that vegan diets with a lower glycemic index and a higher level of fibre are an excellent way to lose weight and improve body mass index (BMI).
Plant-based foods are chock full of vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals, all of which help boost your overall health and reduce total body inflammation. If you’re living with diabetes, focusing more on eating plant-based foods is a simple way to increase your nutrient intake, control weight and improve blood sugar control without affecting your energy levels.
Foods to eat on a plant-based diet
Essentially, a plant-based eating pattern includes a variety of whole foods rich in fibre such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. These food components have been found to be protective against diabetes among many others.
For instance, whole grains – such as whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, brown rice have been linked to a reduced risk of developing diabetes. Similarly, some fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens, root vegetables, blueberries, grapes, and apples, have been associated with lower diabetes rates. Legumes have been shown to improve insulin resistance and protect against metabolic syndrome. Nuts can be a very healthy choice for diabetics as greater consumption of the food has been found to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
Adopting a plant-based diet does require some compromise, however, planning your diet well in advance and getting the right diabetes recipes will make it much easier for you to follow. Just ensure that you include all important classes of nutrients – protein, fibre, carbs, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals – in a balanced manner while planning your meals.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.