Is it advisable for a type 2 diabetic to try a vegatarian diet?

Amy Campbell


Thanks for your question – it’s a good one! Actually, a lot of people with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) follow vegetarian eating plans. Vegetarian diets, if planned properly, can be very healthy and offer certain benefits to people with diabetes. First, many people find that they lose weight once they switch to a vegetarian way of eating. Losing weight, if you need to, can improve glucose control and reduce insulin resistance. Second, a vegetarian diet can lower the risk of heart disease. And third, the foods that one usually eats on a vegetarian diet, like beans, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables can help improve blood glucose control. There are different kinds of vegetarian diets, so you need to decide what’s best for you. A vegan diet eliminates all animal products, including milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs and butter. A lacto-ovo vegetarian diet includes dairy foods and eggs, and a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy foods but no eggs. It’s a good idea to meet with a dietitian to create a vegetarian meal that will provide you with the amount of carbohydrate and calories that are right for you, as well as to make sure that you get enough of other essential nutrients needed for good health.

2 replies

diabeticvegetarian 2017-03-21 13:57:07 -0500 Report

Hello everyone… I was diagnosed with Type 11 diabetes within the past year & I have been vegetarian for nearly 30 years… I attended the (series of 4) diabetes classes, however could not get precise information from the dietitian and 2 nurses who lead the classes. I can't find any clear details on just what & how much of such food I can eat to make sure I get enough protein - although I did not consider it an issue prior to being diagnoses with diabetes. I relied on beans, grains, legumes, tofu, tempeh & some meat-alternatives; and consider Millet & Quinoa in particular to be my best veg options for protein. At the class one of the nurses did increase my carb total as I was constantly hungry and lost over 20 pounds. I was happy to lose the weight, but still find myself often simply feeling hungry. I am 71 years old, my A1C is now 5.6 and my doctor is very pleased with all aspects of my health. But with certain foods - what I used to consider a 'serving' is now (with counting the carbs) more than 'allowed'. It's frustrating when everyone else at the class fills up on meat, cheese, etc. without counting any carbs. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Caroltoo 2012-01-03 14:27:18 -0600 Report

How do you get a balance of all amino acids the body needs for health, when eating vegetarian? Beans and legumes make my BG spike and stay up for hours, so they aren't an option for me, which is a reason why I still use lean meat products though I also have lots of fruit and vegetables.

(Type 2: diet and exercise controlled).