The potential benefits of a vegan diet have been proven again! A new article concludes that for people with diabetes, reducing consumption of animal products improves glucose control, as well as increases weight loss.
In recent years, plant-based diets have become increasingly mainstream. Given that this diet functions as a healthy choice, researchers seem to add evidence of a vegetarian diet being used every week.
A recent study examined the effects of reducing meat consumption on diabetics.
In particular, the scientists wanted to know if reducing animal food intake could help improve glucose control and overall health. To investigate this, they combined and analyzed data from existing studies.
Diabetes: Physical and Mental
Diabetes needs no introduction. In the United States, it affects about 9.4% of the population, and about 15% of adults in some states have diabetes.
The negative effects of type 2 diabetes can be balanced with medication and lifestyle changes, but without proper control, it can have dire consequences. For example, diabetes increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, nephropathy (kidney damage) and vision loss.
In addition to the physical effects of diabetes, it can also have major psychological effects. People with diabetes often report low levels of mental health. The risk of developing depression in people with type 2 diabetes is twice that of the general population.
“The psychological aspects of diabetes can create a negative spiral because depression makes it difficult for people to eat healthy food, skip exercise, and have difficulty taking their medications regularly.” “It can lead to stress, which may make depression worse.”
Based on these results, the authors conduct existing research on how diet mental affects health in these individuals.
A vegetarian diet
There is scientific evidence that eating large amounts of red meat increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Likewise, research has shown that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and low-fat animal products can reduce the risk of developing the disease.
As a result, experts now consider a vegan diet to be the best option for preventing and controlling diabetes .
In 2018, the American Endocrine Association and the American College of Endocrinology released new guidelines. They write that diabetics “should strive to gain and maintain optimal weight through a vegetarian diet.”
Although the link between a vegan diet and the physical effects of diabetes has been documented, few studies have documented the psychological effects of this diet.
To achieve this goal, researchers conducted a study. In total, they conducted 11 randomized controlled trials that included a total of 433 participants. The results of their analysis were recently published in the journal BMJ.
Benefits of eating less animal products
This analysis showed that people who follow a vegan diet saw significant improvements in their physical and mental health. People with symptoms of depression also reported improvement.
In particular, the neuropathy associated with diabetes improved more in the plant groups than in the other experimental groups. Fasting blood sugar levels also fell sharply, which is an indication of improved blood sugar control.
Likewise, HbA1c levels – a marker of average blood sugar in recent weeks or months – have decreased for these people.
Improved weight loss in participants who reduced their intake of animal products; In fact, they lost nearly twice the weight in this way. Additionally, blood lipid levels decreased rapidly in the vegetarian diet groups.
Hyperlipidemia and weight gain are both risk factors for cardiovascular disease, so this is an important finding. The authors:
“A vegetarian diet combined with educational interventions can significantly improve mental health, quality of life, HbA1c levels , weight, and thus diabetes management.”
In six of the studies the researchers analyzed, people who followed a vegetarian diet were able to stop or reduce diabetes or blood pressure.
These results confirm previous claims about the physical benefits of a vegetarian diet. However, when it comes to psychological factors, the evidence accumulated thus far is somewhat limited. “The studies have had small sample sizes, and more work will be needed,” the authors say.
Research has shown that limiting meat intake can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and give people with diabetes more control over their blood sugar levels. Now, it appears that this issue could also help with the psychological aspects of this disease.
The transition to a vegetarian diet is a simple and cost-effective change. Given the significant impact of a vegetarian diet on the physical and emotional health of people with diabetes, this is a valuable change.