With rising insulin costs, this finding could be huge for people with Type 2 Diabetes.

By Dan Nosowitz
Updated March 05, 2019

Of all the trendy diets out there—Whole30, paleo, intermittent fasting, keto, whatever Tom Brady’s thing is—there’s one that shows, over and over, just how good it is. A new study, published in the Swiss journal Nutrients, adds to the pile of evidence, by finding that patients with Type 2 diabetes can be helped by making just minor changes in the direction of the diet. And its name is...the vegan diet.

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The benefits of a plant-based diet are wide-ranging and overwhelmingly positive; plant-based diets can be cheaper, have massively beneficial impacts on the environment, and, according to a series of studies, might be one of the best tools for coping with Type 2 diabetes. About nine out of ten diabetes cases are Type 2; it’s largely, though not entirely, the result of obesity and a lack of exercise.

A review of studies on the topic, from late last year, found overwhelmingly that a plant-based diet not only reduces blood glucose levels, but also improved the mood and feeling of well-being in diabetic patients. The new study goes even more granular, simply swapping out a beef burger for a tofu-based veggie burger. The two groups were also given different drinks—green tea for the veggie burger group, cafe latte for the beef group. The results were immediate and striking, with an increase in insulin production showing up right away.

The study isn’t really a last-word type of conclusion; it’s limited in scope, with a lot of variables that could screw things up, including the choice to offer different beverages. What it’s meant to do is provide a choice that diabetic patients might face in their everyday lives: beef burger or veggie?

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What is clear is that a plant-based diet is consistently associated with a better life for those with Type 2 diabetes. Switching diets is more likely to result in patients needing fewer medications, losing weight, reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease, and in some cases, a complete management solution for this type of diabetes. And switching to a plant-based diet doesn’t mean removing fats, carbohydrates, or even sugar; all that stuff is widely available in the form of plant oils, grains, nuts, and fruits. It’s probably the most delicious diet that might also save your life.


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