Food & Drink Magazine

How Veganism Can Help Type 2 Diabetics

By Yonni @vegandthecity

Hi everyone,
I know this article is different from what I normally post but I found it fascinating.  It comes from guest blogger, Marc Castro, of the Diabetes Forum.  I knew following a vegan diet had remarkable health benefits but this only confirmed that for me.  I hope you find it educational and worthwhile,
Best,
Yonni
Diabetes is the metabolic condition where the body is unable to properly metabolize the hormone insulin for its regular functions. The hormone insulin is important for cells to be able to utilize blood glucose as fuel or building blocks for the cell’s normal functioning and recuperation. Without glucose, the cells dry up and die, leading to organ malfunction or even failure.
There are two types of diabetes. The first one is called Type 1 or juvenile diabetes, which presents itself as a genetic defect resulting in the non-production or rejection of the insulin produced by the body. The second is named Type 2 diabetes or onset diabetes and is brought about by lifestyle and dietary conditions that hamper the proper production of insulin.
One of the complications arising from diabetes is the rapid development of cardiovascular diseases. These conditions arise because of the thickened nature of the blood as unprocessed blood sugar courses through the veins. If there is a thickening of the blood vessel walls, a blood clot create a blockage resulting in a heart attack or a stroke. With the proper amounts of insulin, the blood sugar is either used up or properly processed, allowing for thinner blood, resulting in proper circulation throughout the body.
In a study conducted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), where participants were provided a low fat low glycemic vegan diet for twenty two weeks, the vegan diet provides significant help in managing diabetes. There were ninety nine participants in the study and all were suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
The participants recorded what they ingested throughout the study. This data collated were calculated and given weighted scores in the ADA’s Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI). This is a nine part diet index used to rate food and other macronutrients that affect the level of risk in developing chronic diseases.
The scores indicated that there was no difference at the start of the study and the end of the study. Compared to past research, there has been an established correlation between cardiovascular disease and AHEI. The higher the AHEI scores of the participant, the lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In this study, where the vegan diet was used, there was a vast improvement in lessening the risk of developing cardiovascular disease for Type 2 diabetics. Even with the increased amounts of vegetables, fruits, nut and soy proteins and cereal fibers together with the lowering of trans-fat intake, there was no increase in risk of developing heart disease.
Medically speaking, the vegan diet group showed significant reductions in weight and hemoglobin A1C levels were also low. Hemoglobin A1C levels indicate blood sugar levels, which means that the dastardly effects of diabetes is properly managed. Ultimately, veganism can provide a proper alternative diet to properly manage the diabetic condition of individuals for the long term.


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