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Health Tip

Diabetes and Plant-based Diets

A recent study looked at the prevention of diabetes in connection with plant-based diets, and what it found was very interesting.  In the study, researchers looked at data from more than 200 000 men and women across a 20 year span. Information was regularly collected about diet, lifestyle, medical history and the development of any new diseases. They found that having a diet that emphasized plant foods and minimized animal foods was associated with about 20% lower risk of diabetes.

 

However, not all plant-based foods are equal. Some are healthier than others. These researchers went on to classify a healthy plant-based diet as one being high in foods like: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes; and a less healthy plant-based diet as one being high in foods like: fruit juices, sweetened beverages, refined grains, and desserts. A comparison found that those who followed a healthy plant-based diet reduced their risk of diabetes by 34 %, while those who consumed a less healthy plant-based diet actually increased their risk of diabetes by 16%.

 

This study indicates that increasing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, while reducing animal products, may be beneficial in the prevention of diabetes.

 

Reference:

Satija, A., Bhupathiraju, S. N., Rimm, E. B., Spiegelman, D., Chiuve, S. E., Borgi, L., et al. (2016). Plant-Based Dietary Patterns and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women: Results from Three Prospective Cohort Studies. PLoS Med 13(6): e1002039. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002039

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