By Paige Arden
In a world with 30 million Americans living with type 2 diabetes and nearly 84 million dealing with prediabetes, it is more important than ever to make health-conscious decisions when it comes to dietary plans.
The potential is there for veganism to be this relief. It is a well-known fact that the main proteins in a vegan diet are plant-based. However, it may not be obvious to link this to a better diet for those with diabetes.
Ingesting plant-based proteins rather than those of a typical omnivorous diet leave room for health benefits. It can enforce a significant reduction in saturated fat intake and lower a person’s cholesterol levels, all the while helping to prevent heart disease. All three of these benefits are reductions in the severity of problems that those with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk for.
Lifestyle and diet have been labelled as the main causes of type 2 diabetes. Scientists have done multiple studies and found that the lifestyle and diet of a vegan are perfect for preventing, treating or even reversing the common problem among Americans that is diabetes. Research shows that a vegan’s risk of diabetes is reduced by 78% compared to those who consume meat products on a daily basis.
One of the main causes of type 2 diabetes goes hand in hand with weight gain. Saturated fats are pretty much always found in meat. These saturated fats are important contributors
to the body’s resistance to insulin, which means that by cutting out meat, there is already a better chance of preventing diabetes.
Making the choice to cut out these saturated fats is often the reason why vegans are, statistically, less likely to be overweight. This lower percentage of body fat can be partly attributed to the fact that they are mainly ingesting monounsaturated fats, like those found in avocados or nuts, that can actually protect the body against any harm that saturated fats may cause. This puts them less at risk for a number of health problems such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
The fact is that switching to a vegan diet will not be enough to prevent or to cure or even to treat type 2 diabetes. Alone. A vegan diet by itself does not necessarily equate to a healthy diet. A lifestyle change must be made in order to fully reap the health benefits that a vegan diet can give. Vegan alternatives to junk food may not help diabetics, but vegan meals that include health staples such as vegetables and grains and veggie-based protein will.
To be able to turnaround the unfortunate case of type 2 diabetes as much as possible, a commitment to a more healthy life must be made. Veganism not only helps promote this but it actively encourages it by providing a community dedicated to helping others turn their life around. In other words, it may not be the answer, but it is an answer. Not only that, but with studies that prove that it works, a vegan diet can help turn around a person’s health and protect animals at the same time. Is there a better combination?