Plant-Based Diets for Diabetes | Diabetes Weight Loss
"Plant-Based Diets for Diabetes" I’ve talked about the role meat may play in increasing the risk of diabetes, and the potential protectiverole of healthy plant foods.
But plant-based diets not only appear to guard against getting diabetesin the first place, they may successfully treat the diseasebetter than the diabetic diets patients are typically placed on, controllingweight and cholesterol.
Diets based on whole plant foods canresult in significant weight loss without any limits on portionsize or calorie counting, because plant foods tendto be so calorically dilute.
Here's a 100 calories of broccoli,tomatoes, strawberries, compare that to a 100 caloriesof chicken, cheese, or fish.
People just can't seem to eat to enoughto compensate for the calorie deficit so lose weight eating whole plant foods.
And most importantly, it works.
A plant-based diet beat out the conventionalAmerican Diabetes Association diet in a head-to-head randomizedcontrolled clinical trial, without restricting portions,no calorie or carb counting.
A review of all such studies found thatindividuals following plant-based diets experience improved reductions in bloodsugars, body weight, and cardiovascular risk, compared with those followingdiets that included animal products.
And cardiovascular risk iswhat kills diabetics the most.
They're more likely to get strokes,more likely heart failure.
In fact, diabetes has been proposed asa coronary heart disease risk equivalent, meaning diabetic patients withouta history of coronary disease have an equivalent risk to thosenon-diabetic individuals with confirmed heart disease.
A newer study used a technique toactually measure insulin sensitivity.
Improved on both dietsin the first three months, but then the veg diet pulled ahead.
And look at their LDL cholesterol.
That's what we see when peopleare put on plant-based diets; cholesterol comes down so much it canactually reverse the atherosclerosis progression, reverse theprogression of heart disease.
We know about the beneficialeffect of vegetarian diets on controlling weight, blood sugars,cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and oxidative stress comparedto conventional diabetic diets, but what about quality of life, mood? How did people feel after makingsuch a dramatic change in their diets? In this randomized controlled trial,study subjects were assigned either to a plant-based dietgroup or control group.
Vegetables, grains, beans, fruits, andnuts, with animal products limited to a maximum of one dailyportion of low-fat yogurt, and the control group gotthe official diabetes diet.
Quality of life improved on bothdiets in the first few months, but within six months, the plant-based group clearly pulled ahead.
Same thing with depression scores.
Dropped in both groupsin the first three months, but started to reboundin the control group.
Bottom line, the more plant-baseddiet led to a greater improvement in quality of life and mood.
Patients consuming a vegetarian dietalso felt less constrained than those consuming the conventional diet.
People actually felt the conventional diabetic diet was more restrictivethan the plant-based diet.
Disinhibition decreasedwith a vegetarian diet, meaning those eating vegetarianwere less likely to binge.
And the veg group folkstended to feel less hungry, all of which helps withsustainability in the long term, which is, of course, criticalfor changing diet.
So not only do plant-based dietsappear to work better, but they may be easier to stick to.
And with the improvement in mood, patients may exhibit desiredimprovements not only in physical, but also in mental health.