January 27, 2022

A plant-based diet can prevent diabetes

I have an idea, a critical one actually, but one so simple it hardly can be called, “an idea.” Our soaring problems with diabetes in the U.S., and the health related disease that results comes directly from our addiction to processed foods loaded with refined sugar along with our high protein high fats food plans. So the “big idea?” — Eating a healthy, local, low fat organic plant-based diet will prevent diabetes.

Simple right? Well, no. Because that switch is harder than we think.

People turn to comfort food in times of distress, like we’ve been experiencing for more than a year now. Cake, cookies and mac & cheese may feel good for the time being, but the long-term effects are not worth it. Refined sugars along with a high fat diet accelerate weight gain, obesity, heart disease, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cancer.

According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes. That’s about 1 in 10—yes, 1 in 10! And approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. People over age 45 are most likely to develop type 2 diabetes, however, more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it.

Not only does a large population have diabetes, it’s also costing us. In 2017, the total cost of diagnosed diabetes on the American healthcare system was $327 billion, and is expected to grow to $490 billion by 2030.

A plant-based diet can prevent diabetes.

Don’t worry—a plant-based diet can prevent diabetes, so let’s get you back on track.

Eating a diet high in fatty foods can cause fat particles to build up inside our cells where they interfere with insulin’s ability to move sugar out from our bloodstream and into our cells. The glucose remains in our bloodstream instead though and eventually leads to diabetes. A plant-based diet is low in fat, which allows insulin to function properly.

Studies show that a plant-based diet controlled blood sugar three times more effectively than a traditional diabetes diet that limited calories and carbohydrates. Within weeks on a plant-based diet, participants saw dramatic health improvements. They lost weight, insulin sensitivity improved, and HbA1c levels dropped.

Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, President, Physicians Committee, tweeted “A plant-based diet is a powerful tool for preventing, managing, and even reversing type 2 diabetes. Not only is this the most delicious ‘prescription’ you can imagine, but it’s also easy to follow. Unlike other diets, there’s no calorie counting, no skimpy portions, and no carb counting. Plus, all the ‘side effects’ are good ones.”

I highly recommend the book Mastering Diabetes not just for those who currently have diabetes, but for anyone who wants to avoid it. The authors are diabetics themselves and offer a science-backed approach to preventing diabetes and lessening its impact through a plant-based diet.

Oh, and when you go to reach for that sugary comfort food, grab a bowl of fruit and balance it with some mineral salts ie celery, cucumbers, spinach or have a hot cup of nettle leaf tea with some raw honey and all its medicinal benefits. You’ll get the satisfaction of a sweet taste with none of the unhealthy effects of refined sugar.