According to Vegan Life Magazine, veganism is one of the fastest-growing lifestyle choices in the world. But, is following a vegan diet beneficial for all? Does it provide the essential nutrients required for your body’s sound functioning, especially if you are diagnosed with diabetes? Before you get into the intricate details of veganism and diabetes, let us first understand what veganism is.
What is veganism?
The Vegan Society defines veganism as a way of living where you consciously exclude (as far as possible) all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, and other purposes. You follow a strict plant-based diet in veganism, avoiding meat, dairy, eggs, honey, and products like leather.
Many people are adopting vegan dietary habits for different reasons, such as growing concerns about animal welfare and the planet. But, the most important factor for the change in dietary preference is the awareness about the health benefits of a vegan diet.
Plant-based foods, particularly vegetables, fruits, pulses, seeds, and nuts, which constitute a large part of the vegan diet, have proven beneficial in treating several diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc. In fact, many scientific studies have shown people following a vegan diet are less likely to be overweight, which reduces the risk of many other diseases.
Vegan diet and diabetes
A vegan diet is low on saturated fat content and high in fibre, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. As a result, they fit perfectly within the dietary guidelines that doctors usually recommend for people diagnosed with diabetes.
Doctors recommend that diabetes patients, particularly those who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, should lose weight. It is one of the best ways to keep blood sugar levels under check. Since a vegan diet is high on fibre content, it aids in losing weight and improving BMI (Body Mass Index).
Studies in the past have shown that people who follow a low-fat vegan diet are able to control their blood sugar levels more efficiently than those who consume meat and dairy products. Also, many researchers have corroborated that a vegan diet helps in improving kidney function.
Is a vegan diet hard to follow for diabetes patients?
People who have diabetes have apprehensions about switching to a vegan diet because they believe it will be hard to follow . The truth is that eating a vegan diet does not mean you must compromise on foods that you love, but it requires you to balance your protein, fat, minerals, and carbohydrates intake. Also, a vegan diet does not need you to cut down on the portion, making it easier to follow than other diabetes diets.
Thus, there is no reason why you should not choose a vegan dietary regime if you wish. But, it is advisable that you discuss your dietary preference with your doctor or dietician, who may recommend a specific vegan dietary routine to suit your specific needs.
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