A worthwhile article for those looking for a more natural method of controlling their diabetes, from one of the foremost medical organizations in the world, the Mayo Clinic.
Could switching to a vegetarian diet cure my diabetes?
According to Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D., changing to a vegetarian diet probably won't cure your diabetes. But it may offer some benefits over a nonvegetarian diet — such as helping to better control your weight, reducing your risk of some diabetes-associated complications and possibly even making your body more responsive to insulin.
There's no single vegetarian eating plan, although people who eat a vegetarian diet generally fall into these groups:
Veganseat only plant-based foods. They don't eat foods from animals, including meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs and cheese.
Lacto-vegetariansconsume milk and milk products along with plant-based foods. They omit eggs as well as meat, fish and poultry.
Lacto-ovo vegetarianseat eggs, milk and milk products, such as cheese and yogurt, in addition to plant-based foods. They omit red meat, fish and poultry.
The benefits of a vegetarian diet depend on the type of diet you choose and the particular food choices you make when following the diet. For most, however, eating a vegetarian diet:
Promotes a healthy weight.Vegetarian diets are often lower in calories than are nonvegetarian diets, which can help with weight management. Also, people following vegan diets tend to have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than do people who follow a nonvegetarian diet. A healthy body weight can improve blood sugar control and reduce your risk of diabetes complications.
Improves blood sugar control and insulin response.Eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts — features of a vegetarian diet — can improve blood sugar control and make your body more responsive to insulin. This may mean taking less medication and lowering your risk of diabetes-related complications.
Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.A strict vegan diet is cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and usually high in soluble fiber. A low-fat vegetarian diet can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease — a common complication of people who have diabetes.
If you have diabetes, talk to a dietitian before switching to a vegetarian diet. A dietitian can help you create an eating plan that provides all the needed nutrients and the right number of calories to maintain a healthy weight.
Article courtesy of MayoClinic.com.