A low-fat vegan diet was found to improve blood glucose and lipid control in type 2 diabetics, according to researchers at George Washington University School of Medicine.
Type 2s were randomly assigned to a low-fat vegan diet or a diet following the American Diabetes Association guidelines. After 22 weeks, they were then evaluated. Forty-three percent (21 of 49) of the vegan group reduced their diabetes medications. In addition:
- A1C fell 1.23 points in the vegan group compared with 0.38 points in the ADA group
- Body weight decreased 14.3 pounds in the vegan group compared to 6.6 pounds in the ADA group
“Among those who did not change lipid-lowering medications, LDL cholesterol fell 21.2 percent in the vegan group and 10.7 percent in the ADA group,” write the researchers.
“After adjustment for baseline values, urinary albumin reductions were greater in the vegan group (15.9 mg per 24 hours) than in the ADA group (10.9 mg per 24 hours).”
—Diabetes Care, August 2006
Neal Barnard, MD, was a lead researcher in this study.
Q. What is a sample vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner?
A. A typical breakfast might be old-fashioned oatmeal topped with cinnamon or fresh fruit, along with a half cantaloupe, or perhaps vegetarian sausage or bacon. Rye or pumpernickel toast (without butter) would be fine, too.
For lunch, some good choices are split pea, lentil or vegetable soup, followed by a veggie burger or bean burrito.
Dinner might start with a green salad, followed by pasta marinara with steamed broccoli or spinach. Fresh fruit makes a good snack for vegans.
Vegans should take a daily multiple vitamin to make sure they get enough vitamin B12.
Q. What are some resources our readers can look into if they are considering a vegan diet?
A. The Web site of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (www.pcrm.org) has the diabetes plan and recipes. This autumn, we will be launching a new, noncommercial Web site, called NutritionMD.org, which will have practical tools for clinicians and patients, including a diet makeover function. In February 2007, Rodale will be releasing a guide for people with diabetes who are interested in following a vegan diet.