Research Showing a Plant-Based Diet

Prevents and Reverses Type 2 Diabetes

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“Improving adherence to overall and healthful plant-based diets over time was associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the subsequent years in prospective cohorts of U.S. adults, whereas decreasing adherence to such plant-based diets was associated with a higher risk of the development of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent years.”

Diabetes care: american diabetes association, 2021

“Epidemiological studies have found a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes among vegetarians compared to nonvegetarians. This reduced risk is likely a function of improved weight status, higher intake of dietary fiber, and the absence of animal protein and heme iron in the diet. Interventional studies have shown that vegetarian diets, especially a vegan diet, are effective tools in glycemic control and that these diets control plasma glucose to a greater level than do control diets, including diets traditionally recommended for patients with diabetes (e.g., diets based on carbohydrate counting). Vegetarian diets are associated with improvement in secondary outcomes such as weight reduction, serum lipid profile, and blood pressure. Studies indicate that vegetarian diets can be universally used in type 2 diabetes prevention and as tools to improve blood glucose management.”

Diabetes spectrum: american diabetes association, 2017

“Plant-based diets, in general, demonstrated improved weight control and cardiometabolic outcomes related to lipids, cardiovascular end points, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, A1C, and fasting glucose, and a lower risk of diabetes compared with usual diets and in some cases standard health-oriented diets such as the American Heart Association (AHA), American Diabetic Association (ADA), and Mediterranean diets. Preliminary studies suggest plant-predominant diets practiced as part of healthy lifestyle interventions may stabilize or even reverse type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The acceptability and sustainability of plant-predominant diets where measured were generally similar to other health-oriented diets. Plant-predominant diets can play a major role in reversing the obesity and chronic disease epidemics. In the setting of sustained lifestyle intervention programs, they may arrest or even reverse type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

Nutrition reviews, 2022

“The plant-based vegan diet proved to be superior to the control diet in improving body weight, fat mass, and insulin resistance markers.”

Nutrition & Diabetes, 2018

“Observational and clinical trials indicate a benefit of vegetarian and vegan diets for diabetes management. Observational studies show a significantly reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes in individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Because observational studies can be confounded by other healthful behaviors, clinical trials have been conducted to determine the effects of vegetarian and vegan diets in management of type 2 diabetes. Evidence from these studies indicates low-fat vegan diets are at least as effective as more conventional diabetes diets for weight reduction and glycemic control, and are significantly more effective for lipid management. Individuals adopting such diets typically have favorable changes in macronutrient and micronutrient intake, although planning for nutrient adequacy is important with any therapeutic diet.”

Nutrition Reviews, 2009

“There is a general consensus that the elements of a whole-foods plant-based diet—legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, with limited or no intake of refined foods and animal products—are highly beneficial for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes. Equally important, plant-based diets address the bigger picture for patients with diabetes by simultaneously treating cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, and its risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, hyper-lipidemia, and inflammation.”

Journal of Geriatric cardiology, 2017

“A vegan diet is mostly adopted in order to improve body weight and body composition, as well as the typical alteration of metabolic syndrome. Accordingly, this dietary pattern seems to be useful in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases if well-planned by a nutritionist.”

Nutrients, 2021

“In this large population-based cohort, higher adherence to an overall plant-based diet is associated with lower longitudinal insulin resistance, and lower risk of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, indicating a protective role of diets high in plant-based foods and low in animal-based foods in the development to type 2 diabetes.” 

European Journal of epidemiology, 2018