A Vegetarian Diabetic Diet – Benefits for Managing Diabetes

A vegetarian diabetic diet may help you manage your diabetes. Switching to a vegetarian diet may not be a complete cure for your condition, but it does have some known benefits.

There are different types of vegetarian diets and your benefits will vary depending on what diet you follow. A strict vegan diet is based only on plant foods. A lacto vegetarian diet allows the consumption of milk products along with the plant foods. A lacto-ovo vegetarian diet allows the consumption of milk products, eggs and plant foods.

Benefits of a vegetarian diabetic diet

  1. It may help you lose or control your weight. Vegetarian diets are typically lower in calories then traditional or non-vegetarian diets. By maintaining your body weight within a normal range you improve your blood sugar management.
  2. It may help reduce your risk of diabetic complications such as cardiovascular disease. A vegetarian diet tends to be lower in cholesterol and saturated fats while at the same time being higher in fiber. These factors combine to lower your risk of heart related complications.
  3. It may possibly help your body become more responsive to insulin. A vegetarian diet is naturally high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes and these dietary ingredients combine to improve blood sugar management and may also improve your body’s ability to respond to insulin.

"Consumption of a low fat, plant-based diet, coupled with regular exercise, can possibly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A plant-based diet, rich in legumes and slowly digested grains, may improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and facilitate the successful management of type 2 diabetes"(1).

Tips for following a vegetarian diabetic diet.

Making any change to your diet should first be discussed with your doctor. Diabetes and food are closely related and you should be sure a diet change is right for you before making the shift. Follow these tips for a smooth transition into a vegetarian diabetic diet:

  1. Continue to monitor your blood sugar levels to stay in your target range.
  2. Eat small meal every few hours during the day to help keep blood sugar levels steady.
  3. If at anytime you feel sick, shaky or dizzy contact your doctor.

A vegetarian diabetic diet may be the right choice for you. Discuss this option with your doctor and take steps to better your diet and your health today.

(1) Vegetarian Journal (2009). Diabetes and a vegetarian diet. Retrieved from http://www.vrg.org/journal/diabetes.htm


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