Does switching to a vegan diet cure diabetes?
At this time, there is no cure for diabetes. However, nutrition and meal planning are a key part of managing diabetes, and following a vegetarian or vegan diet can certainly be helpful. A vegan diet, as you may be aware, is basically a plant-based diet. No animal products are consumed, so that means that meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, butter, milk and yogurt are avoided. Instead, a vegan eats fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods (like brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat pasta), legumes (chick peas, black beans, lentils), nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Some people who are vegans also include soy products, such as tofu, soy milk, and tempeh in their diets, as well. When it’s planned carefully (ideally, with the help of a registered dietitian), a vegan diet can provide all of the nutrients that one needs to stay healthy. Studies have shown that following a vegan diet can help with losing and maintaining weight, lowering the risk of heart disease, and improving diabetes control by lowering A1C and blood glucose levels. If you’re interested in following a vegan diet, (or simply eating fewer animal foods and more plant-based meals), talk to your healthcare provider and ask for a referral to a dietitian. And just keep in mind that a vegan diet will not cure your diabetes, but it can help to improve your overall health.