Vegetarian and Vegan Diets for Diabetics

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets for Diabetics

Yes, vegetarian diets have been proven to be great, safe, and healthy even for people with diabetes. However, the diet itself does not guarantee a healthy life. Diabetics must also make smart food choices and control food portions.

Vegetarian diets and diabetes

Questions have been posed whether vegetarian diets are safe for people with diabetes. The answer is a big yes. Vegetarian diets are healthy, regardless of a diabetic condition. In fact, research indicates that adherence to a vegetarian diet helps manage and even prevent diabetes. Research also shows that vegan diets promote weight loss even without the common restrictions on calorie and carb intake. 

Vegan diets for people with diabetes

People with diabetes can also choose to go the vegan way— by avoiding all animal products altogether. Research has proven that eating a plant-based diet can help manage and prevent diabetes. In spite of common perceptions, a vegan diet with fruits, beans, and a mix of veggies, soy products and whole grains is not only a good source of protein, but also a source of other vital nutrients. 

About vegan diets and their benefits

Vegan diets contain higher fiber content. They are also cholesterol free and contain a very low amount of saturated fats as compared to the average diet. Higher fiber intake allows you to feel full for longer, thus reducing food cravings considerably. Therefore, this diet plan will help you eat less food during the day. If the fiber content in a vegan diet is anywhere above 50 grams a day, it also helps lower the levels of blood glucose. Vegan diets can also cost less, because they exclude the more expensive dairy, poultry, meat, fish, etc.

How to execute vegan diets for the best results

Portion control is always very important. Vegetarian diets do not automatically offer a direct ticket to better health. It is important to note that plant based foods are also quite high in carbohydrates. Therefore, eating more of these foods raises the blood glucose levels. Paying attention to hunger cues and maintaining portion size can help solve that. 

Vegans and vegetarians, especially when also diabetic, must make sure they focus on food nutrition content. Plant-based foods contain different nutrients and sugars in different portions. It’s important for diabetics and vegetarians to research the nutritional values and sugar contents of the fruits and vegetables they eat, since fresh produce does not have a “nutrition facts” label printed on the side. Diabetics also should stay away from sugary foods and drinks, refined grains and salted foods.

Bottom line

People with diabetes have the option to choose vegetarian diets. However, portion controls and making smart food choices are still necessary. Vegetarian diets offer great health benefits. These benefits cannot only help you prevent and manage diabetes, but also other serious illnesses.