Plant-based Diets Help with Blood Sugar Regulation
For the 18 million Americans battling Type 2 diabetes, plus the many more at risk, it is important to address lifestyle habits, including diet. While no one diet is right for everyone, there are characteristics of a plant-based diet that may be helpful in managing or reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
A plant-based diet, which consists of vegetables, fruits, legumes like black beans, lentils and soybeans, whole grains, like oats, quinoa and brown rice, as well as nuts and seeds, has been shown in several studies to help manage Type 2 diabetes. The key components of the diet that may contribute to managing diabetes include a decrease in saturated fat, an increase in fiber and an increase in phytonutrients; compounds from plants that offer health benefits such as antioxidants. A study published in the journal Nutrients also found that a vegan diet helped reduce blood glucose and enhanced insulin secretion by boosting beneficial gut hormones that also assist with weight loss.
To manage or prevent diabetes, consider moving toward a plant-based diet by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption at every meal and snack, replacing refined grains with whole grains, and swapping meat for legumes, such as choosing a black bean burger for dinner or hummus with veggies at snack time.
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