Can a Vegan Diet Be Beneficial to Diabetics?

With all the data in, it's clear that diet is a major factor in both preventing and controlling diabetes. It's important for anyone with diabetes, or at risk for it, to consider adopting a healthy diet plan for life.

One option you might wonder about is a vegan diet. Here is what you need to know.

What's a Vegan Diet, Anyway?

Vegans eat no meat (no beef, pork, poultry or seafood) and no meat products (no eggs, milk, cheese or anything foods containing dairy).

Vegans do partake of an abundance of vegetables, fruits, legumes and some carbohydrates (those made without eggs, milk, etc.).

Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Ideally, vegans consume a great deal of vegetables. Since plant foods are low in saturated fats, calories and cholesterol-free, this can help keep all those important diabetes 'numbers' under control: weight, cholesterol, sugar and blood pressure, for example.

Caveats

Just because something is vegan doesn't necessarily mean it’s healthy. Vegans who consume a lot of rice or potatoes, for example, may be getting more carbohydrates than they need.

Vegans can also be at risk for certain issues with malnutrition, depending on how well balanced the diet is, and depending on how well the body is absorbing nutrients.

Veganism can also be difficult to maintain because it is so restrictive.

Making the Transition

If you're considering a vegan diet, consult your health care professional. You might want to ease into it slowly to help yourself adapt to this new way of eating as well, and monitor yourself for potential problems.

Done right, a vegan diet can be very healthy and satisfying.

Photo: Hella Wella