To effectively manage diabetes, dietary and lifestyle changes are as important as the medication i.e., insulin tablets or injections. It is a well-known fact that a plant-based diet is effective for managing blood sugar levels. This is mainly due to the lower calorie density of plant-based foods. Also, consuming more of them helps to prevent the development of this metabolic disorder, especially for those who have a genetic predisposition.
Diabetes And Eating Habits
Often, dietary habits and body weight are the two major factors that play undisputed roles in type 2 diabetes. So, apart from using medications, the strategies for treating this condition involves eating low glycaemic food and managing body weight by doing regular exercise. Studies have shown that individuals who follow a plant-based diet consume fewer calories, saturated fats, have lower BMI, and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol levels. Also, they get more potassium, vitamin C, and fiber from plant-based food. These nutrients help to keep the systemic inflammation that is common in type 2 diabetes patients to manageable levels.
Plant-Based Diet And Diabetes
The goal of following a plant-based diet is to eat more whole foods that are plant based and minimize or avoid consuming animal-based food. This also includes reducing the consumption of highly processed plant-based food made using refined sugar and flour, junk food, etc.
To increase the health benefits of following a plant-based diet, you must also use the right methods during plant-based food preparation. This is because certain plant nutrients are available to your body only if you process them in the right way. For example, cooking ensures that minerals like calcium and iron are more easily absorbed by the body from food like spinach, collard greens, broccoli, etc. Likewise, lycopene which is found in high concentration in tomatoes is readily absorbed by the body when tomatoes are cooked. This compound is a powerful antioxidant, and it protects cells and tissues from oxidative stress which is common in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Benefits Of Following A Plant-Based Diet For Diabetes
Consuming whole foods like whole grains and food products made using them lowers the spike in blood glucose levels. Likewise, including more fruits and vegetables in meals ensures that you consume lower saturated fats, which contribute to systemic inflammation. Also, starchy foods like sweet potatoes have a lower glycaemic index, and it is rich in beta carotene, fiber, and potassium.