Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common type of diabetes in the United States. Type two diabetics experience insulin resistance where the body does not use insulin correctly. The pancreas begins to create more insulin than needed but eventually will be unable to keep up with the body’s need. This causes the body’s blood glucose levels to fluctuate. Cells begin to be starved for energy which can eventually affect the liver, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and heart.
Type 2 diabetes is commonly treated with lifestyle changes, oral medication, and insulin shots. Some type 2 diabetics may not need certain medications at first but due to the condition worsening over time, they will need to seek medical attention later. This article seeks to show a lifestyle change through a vegan perspective and how that can benefit someone suffering from type 2 diabetes but does not offer any substitutions in place of a trained medical professional.
What actions can be taken to fight this unsought disease? Following a plant-based diet may lead to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and can greatly aid in the control of a current diagnosis. A review released in June 2016 in the Journal PLoS Medicine stated a plant-based diet may decrease the likelyhood of developing type 2 diabetes. A vegan diet may also have benefits for already existing type 2 diabetics, according to a review published in May 2017 in the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology. In the Diabetes Journal published in 2006 conducted a controlled study that showed better glycemic and lipid levels in type two diabetics when following a low-fat vegan diet.
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with a vegan diet due to most vegetables, fruits, and grains being low on the glycemic index. This means that eating certain foods has a lower risk of spiking a diabetic’s blood sugar. This diet can also help in producing healthy biofilms that develop and coat the lower intestine.
These biofilms work so that glucose cannot penetrate areas in the gut further lowering a person’s glycemic index. Doctor Joel Fuhrman, the author of The End of Diabetes, advises that eating green and leafy vegetables as well as cooked mushrooms and beans helps the most when trying to create these biofilms.
Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to obesity as about 80% of type 2 diabetics are reported as overweight according to the National Institute of Health. A vegan plant-based diet will reduce saturated fat intake, fight heart disease, and lower cholesterol. This combined effort will lower the glycemic index and help control the weight of a type 2 diabetic.
Keeping an eye on carbohydrates and sugar is the best method when starting a vegan diet to help combat type 2 diabetes. While these are some good starting tips it is not information that should be used in place of a diabetic certified dietitian who can better help develop a full meal plan. Counting carbohydrates can best be done by always reading the labels on your packaging and limiting your protein intake.
Regulating portion sizes can also add ease to counting carbohydrates. When choosing grains for your vegan diet, make sure to select grains high in fiber. Fiber is a strong nutrient in regulating the body's glucose. Eat plenty of vegetables at every meal, especially adding low starch vegetables to most of your diet. Add healthy fats to your vegan diet by using olive, sunflower, avocado, and sesame oils that are full of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
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