If you have diabetes, a healthy vegan diet may help you manage your blood sugar better. For those with type 2, research shows a vegan diet may control your glucose levels better than other diabetes diets.
Research suggests that compared to people who eat more animal foods, and especially meat, vegetarians and vegans have a lower risk of developing diabetes. In a study on nearly 3,000 Buddhists, those with a lifelong adherence to a vegetarian diet had a 35% lower risk of developing diabetes.
Beans and lentils are rich in nutrients, such as magnesium, fiber, and protein, that can help lower blood sugar. They’re particularly high in soluble fiber and resistant starch, which help slow digestion and may improve blood sugar response after meals.
Hemoglobin A1c levels decreased by 0.5 points in the vegan group compared with 0.2 points in the conventional group, a significant difference that was even more pronounced when the analysis was restricted to participants who were highly adherent to their respective diets.
Keto or Vegan Better for Diabetics?
A new study found a low-fat, plant-based diet could help people lose weight and burn body fat. But an animal-meat-based, high-fat ketogenic diet was found to be better for managing insulin and blood sugar.
Vegans can reach ketosis by relying on high-fat, plant-based products like coconut oil, avocados, seeds, and nuts. The vegan keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein diet that excludes all animal-based foods.
The Carb Concern
Vegetarians tend to eat other animal-derived products, including dairy, eggs, and honey, while vegans do not. Vegetarian and vegan diets can be heavy in carbs, from grains, bread, starchy vegetables, and fruits. However, following a low-carb vegetarian or vegan diet is entirely possible.
Prediabetes can be reversed. The most effective way to reverse prediabetes, or return to normal blood sugar levels, is to focus on exercise, healthy eating, and losing weight. Some medications may also work to stop prediabetes becoming diabetes, but none have been approved by the FDA.