Plant based foods as part of a healthy diet are a good choice for achieving glycemic control.
Findings from population studies show that soy consumption is inversely related to the development of type 2 diabetes, moreover soy protein can be beneficial in diabetic nephropathy.
Plant-based eating is associated with better blood glucose control. Reasons for this are likely to be due to the many positive features found in plant-based diets. For example, plant-based foods and eating patterns are typically low in saturated fat and rich in fibre. Fibre is important as it helps glycemic control, may improve satiety and is useful in maintaining body weight. Plant-based eating has also been associated with better weight management - particularly important as obesity is considered a major risk factor for diabetes.
Data from the Seventh-day Adventist Health Study (including 22,434 men and 38,469 women) found that as the intake of animal products decreased and consumption of plant-based products increased, there was a reduced prevalence of diabetes. Prevalence of type 2 diabetes decreased from 7.6% in non-vegetarians to 2.9% in vegans.
Information from the Adventist Health Studies provides an insight into weight status as people progress from a vegan diet through to an omnivore diet. As more animal products are included in the diet, BMI gradually increases.
Plant-based eating, that includes eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole-grains, nuts and seeds and limiting the amount of energy-rich foods, is a simple and effective way to manage weight.
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