Vegan diet and diabetes: everything you need to know

In recent times, India has seen a huge growth in plant-based eating practices. Many people turn to a vegetarian diet, or a vegan diet due to health concerns and also concern for the environment.

“A 2019 survey found that about 69% of Indians are willing to give up meat for herbal options. For people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, a plant-based (vegan) diet or a vegetarian diet is best as it helps to manage and prevent or even reverse type 2 diabetes, according to studies. A vegan diet is part of vegetarianism that excludes meat, fish, eggs, poultry, dairy products, and honey. A healthy vegan diet also avoids processed and refined foods like artificial foods with additives and olive oil, ”said G Prakash, deputy chief medical officer of the Jindal Naturecure Institute.

Veganism can help diabetes in different ways

The expert said that plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and legumes can help in the treatment of various chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes. Since foods like non-starchy vegetables, many types of fruits, seeds, nuts, and beans tend to have a low glycemic index, there is less chance of an increase in blood sugar when eaten.

“The other positive aspect of a vegan diet is that the low glycemic load also improves healthy gut biofilms. Intestinal biofilms are fine protective barriers that build up around bacteria in the intestine and make it difficult for glucose to penetrate. This, in turn, slows down the glycemic effect in the diet, ”he explained.

The vegan diet has a low glycemic load and also improves healthy gut biofilms (Photo: Getty / Thinkstock)

He added that most people with type 2 diabetes are “either obese or overweight, consuming low glycemic index foods also helps fight fat storage and prevent insulin resistance“.

The other benefit of a vegan diet is that it helps lower cholesterol, saturated fat, and the risk of heart disease; all of these can be beneficial for a person with diabetes mellitus.

Studies have also shown that a vegan diet can

* Lower blood pressure
* Improves nerve damage
* Easier metabolic syndrome
* Help keep A1c level under control

Maintain Key Nutrients in a Vegan Diet

“If it is true that a vegan diet is beneficial for people with diabetes, some plant-based foods have lower nutrient content than non-vegetarian foods. However, with good planning and a varied diet, it is possible to provide the body with everything it needs, ”he said.

Here are some specific considerations to take into account when planning a healthy and nutritious vegan diet:


At first, many vegans may panic about whether they are consuming the right amount of protein. This is not only a big deal as the majority of us get enough protein throughout the day. There are also many vegan foods that are known to be rich sources of protein like

Legumes and beans
Seeds and nuts such as tahini, cashews, peanuts, etc.
Soy products
Vegetable milk


For strong bones, it is important to make sure that the vegan diet contains adequate amounts of calcium. Calcium is essential throughout life, but it is especially important as children grow older. Vegan foods that contain sufficient amounts of calcium include:
Red beans

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is crucial for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the maintenance of healthy blood cells. In animal products, this vitamin is found naturally, but vegans must compensate for this by adding foods to their diet like

Nutritional yeast
Algae / algae
Enriched vegetable milk

“There are many other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, iron, iodine, zinc and selenium, which can be supplemented by consuming lots of vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, nuts. , dried fruit and cereal for breakfast. ”He shared.

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