Type 2 diabetes is one of the most problematic health conditions society faces today. Sadly, with the rise of convenience foods and promotion of animal foods for certain diets, Type 2 diabetes has become more of a problem than ever before. Thankfully, there’s hope. Since diabetes is a blood sugar issue, it’s important to monitor blood sugar to prevent insulin resistance that leads to diabetes to start with. Managing insulin is easy to do on a whole foods vegan diet, which dramatically lowers blood sugar and can prevent, treat and reverse Type 2 diabetes.
A whole foods vegan diet comprised of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices is rich in fiber. Fiber is the key component to filling you up without any calories. Fiber is found in all plant foods but is not found in any animal foods. Fiber swells in the digestive tract, slows down your blood sugar, and helps prevent spikes in insulin surges while still allowing insulin to provide energy to the cells. Though the recommended amounts of fiber lies around 30 grams a day, most people eating a plant-based diet get much more than that if they eat whole foods.
Fiber isn’t the only benefit of a plant-based diet, though. Phytochemicals, vitamins such as B vitamins and Vitamin C, along with minerals like magnesium and chromium, are all found in plant foods. How do these affect your blood sugar directly? Magnesium and chromium lower blood sugar levels that lead to insulin spikes while Vitamin C and B vitamins help fight stress that can alter insulin levels and cause them to spike. While animal foods have B vitamins and some vitamins, they essentially get them from plants, so why not just eat plants to start with? Plus, animal foods have directly been linked to higher insulin levels, despite popular myths behind high-protein diets rich in animal foods.
The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine has found the problem with insulin isn’t carbohydrates like most people assume. Insulin is actually helpful to the body when it can do its work within the cells. Fat, however, blocks insulin from getting into the cells where they can do their work and be released, so people become insulin resistant overtime with too much fat in the diet. Since most all animal foods are largely made of fat or have a large percentage of fat overall, eating a plant-based diet can significantly reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar levels.
Through various studies at the American Dietetic Association, a low-fat vegan diet has been found more effective at reducing weight and blood sugar, which reduces Type 2 diabetes risks and current conditions, than any other diet alone. Eating a whole foods vegan diet rich in leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, grains, moderate nuts, seeds, beans legumes, herbs and spices is one of the best ways to stay full, have energy, and keep your blood sugar steady all day long.
Try out these plant-based recipe ideas to get you started: Baked Falafel and Cucumber Noodle Salad with Mint Tahini Dressing, Spicy Bean and Coconut Burgers, Vegan Pumpkin Burgers, Dandelion Green Smoothie, Hearty Barley Lentil Soup with Potatoes, Warm Potato Salad with Spinach and Chickpeas and Mini Quinoa Chickpea Cakes.
For more benefits about a plant-based diet, check out these five awesome videos.
Lead image source: Hearty Barley-Lentil Soup with Potatoes
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