Here’s one more reason to fill up your plate with crunchy fresh veggies!  We know that vegetables provide a wide array of health benefits, but could they help prevent diabetes as well?  Type 2 diabetes is rare among people who consume vegetarian or vegan diets.  A number of studies have been performed to examine why herbivores have a lower risk for blood sugar woes.

A recent study divided participants into groups based on their preference for animal products, and then looked at the rate of type 2 diabetes among them.  The groups ranged from vegan (those who consume no meat, eggs, or dairy) to non-vegetarians (people who consume animal products on a regular basis).   There are many categories in between, such as lacto-ovo vegetarians who consume eggs and dairy but no meat.

Researchers found that the incidence of diabetes went up as consumption of animal products increased.  The participants who ate animal products regularly were more than twice as likely to have type 2 diabetes than the vegan participants!

The researchers concluded that a diet based mostly or entirely on plant foods “provides substantial protection against obesity and type 2 diabetes.”  Vegetarian diets tend to be rich in nutrients that are associated with a reduced risk for diabetes, such as fiber, complex carbohydrates, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and E- just to name a few!  Vegetarian diets also tend to be low in nutrients associated with an increased risk for obesity and diabetes, such as saturated fat.

It's certainly not necessary to avoid meat altogether to reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes, but this research suggests that an increase in plant foods can help keep your blood sugar in check.  Next time you’re fueling up be sure to pile those leafy greens, beans, and tubers high on your plate!



This article is a repost of one I wrote for Pinnacle Physical Therapy.
 


Comments

04/26/2013 10:45pm

Hello, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this information. It does really make sense that eating more and more veggies could have such a significant impact. Last year, I actually created an infographic about hidden sugars and how America's sugar consumption could be playing a pivotal role in the skyrocketing rates of type 2 diabetes.

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05/06/2013 12:17am

Yes, I have actually seen a similar infographic. The most shocking aspect of this infographic was that it showed a number of food items that are have a much higher sugar content than you might guess. The other thing that I learned from this was that if you are in danger of developing diabetes, then you may want to limit how many fruits you eat.

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07/29/2013 12:08am

I do agree with your blog. Vegetarianism can certainly reduce the risk for diabetes. We must try to include more vegetables with our lunch and dinner. Vegetables like cabbage and carrot are rich with vitamins C and E. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful information.

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