Are you or someone you know living with diabetes? A recent study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has discovered that consuming a lower-carbohydrate, plant-based diet can lead to a longer life and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer for those with diabetes.
Source: PLANT BASED NEWS/Youtube
The study followed over 10,000 participants with diabetes from the Nurse’s Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Their diets were tracked for more than a decade, during which nearly half of them passed away, with approximately 1,400 succumbing to cardiovascular disease and 900 to cancer.
The findings revealed that those who consumed a lower-carb diet (30% to 40% of calories from carbohydrates), rich in fruits and vegetables and with fewer animal products or refined carbohydrates, had a lower risk of dying. This is in contrast to the typical American diet, where people often get 50% to 60% of their calories from carbohydrates, usually in the form of refined carbs like white bread, white rice, and processed foods made from refined wheat or white rice flour.
While truly low-carb diets, such as the ketogenic diet, may be viable in research trials, they can be difficult to maintain long-term in everyday life. Qi Sun, who led the study, therefore focused on a more realistic approach, examining the benefits of consuming 30% to 40% of calories frm carbohydrates.
The key, Sun suggests, is to avoid sugary drinks, refined carbs like packaged cookies, and unhealthy proteins and fats found in red meats and high-fat dairy products. Instead, he recommends “improving diet quality” by consuming more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which can be beneficial regardless of the specific healthy diet being followed. A high-quality diet may also contribute to better weight control.
So, how can you incorporate these findings into your life or the life of a loved one living with diabetes? It’s simple! Here are some tips to help you make the switch to a healthier, lower-carb, plant-based diet:
- Incorporate more whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread, into your meals.
- Fill your plate with a colorful array of fruits and vegetables, aiming for at least 5 servings per day.
- Limit your consumption of red meats and high-fat dairy products, opting for lean proteins like chicken, fish, or plant-based alternatives.
- Cut out sugary drinks and replace them with water, herbal tea, or other low-sugar beverages.
- Avoid processed foods, such as packaged cookies and white bread, which are high in refined carbs and unhealthy fats.
Now it’s time for action! Make a positive change in your life or the life of someone you care about by adopting a healthier, plant-based, lower-carb diet. Share this information with friends and family to help spread awareness about the benefits of this dietary approach for people with diabetes. Together, we can empower each other to live longer, healthier lives and create a sustainable, health-conscious future!
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