Posted on November 25 2022
What if you could start down the road to better health with just one slight change? And what if attempting to make that small change could actually prevent you from developing heart disease, obesity, or even diabetes?
Research shows that a very small percentage of diabetes is genetically associated, and even then, can be reversed or well controlled based on your lifestyle and nutritional habits. So if lifestyle and nutritional changes are to be blamed, shouldn't you work on fixing that first?
Great health comes from one simple mantra—sustainable lifestyle changes.
A part of sustainable lifestyle changes is sustainable nutritional changes. This means, not going on a ‘diet plan’, but rather changing the way you eat itself and how food is cooked at home. Think of making a change long- term, VS for a few months.
A plant- based lifestyle is the most impactful and scientifically proven to be effective for diabetes management. See this blog to understand more:
- Indian Vegetarian Diet for Type 2- Diabetes Reversal.
- Indian Diet Chart For Type 1 Diabetes Management.
What is a plant-based diet?
As the term indicates, a plant-based diet incorporates everything from plants, starting from fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and legumes.
Plant-based diets are much more varied than vegan or vegetarian diets because they do not eliminate your consumption of animal-based foods; instead, you are choosing more foods from plant sources percentage-wise.
Think of an 90%- 10% lifestyle, where 90% of what you are eating is plants.
So maybe a cup of fresh fruits and dairy free chilla for breakfast, a spinach and amla salad with brown rice and daal for lunch, maybe a cob of corn for snack and a thick minestrone soup for dinner with lentil pasta. But wait, fruits and rice for diabetes! Is’nt that bad!! On the contrary, watch this to understand more:
Now, while your weekday’s can be nourishing foods like mentioned above, maybe your Sunday brunch can include a little bit of dairy if you wish. This way, you are still eating mostly plants for your fittest self.
This nutrition plan entails eating a large proportion of whole, unprocessed foods from the ground. It's about discovering and exploring the rewarding impacts of whole foods in their organic forms and using them to improve your health.
Additionally, a plant-based diet promotes and supports excellent health, including lowered inflammation, experiencing no jarring cravings throughout the day, and having a sound immune system.
Imagine feeling energised to engage in healthy activities like working out or attending a few yoga classes and enjoying quality time with friends and family—well, that is all a plant-based diet has to offer!
Why does a Keto diet make diabetes worse?
Fad diet's have taken over the social media off late. They worse among the lot is a Keto diet.
Where health experts approve a plant-based diet that is healthy and safe for the human system, some gym rats and 'keep-fit freak' people still take the keto diet as gospel truth and are duped by the keto concept.
But a Keto diet is the worse possible approach to help manage diabetes, or any health condition for that matter.
Watch this to understand why a Keto diet can have temporary relief for diabetes patients but might make long term health way worse:
Diabetes- A Global Pandemic.
While diabetes (both type 1 & 2) is a rapidly rising condition worldwide and has become a global epidemic with nearly 422 million cases (can reach 700 million by 2045), a plant-based lifestyle is an excelelnt approach to help manage the same.
2019 witnessed 463 million cases of diabetes globally, which is 9.3% of the earth's population, recorded by the International Diabetes Federation. By 2030, the prevalence will rise to 578 million (10.4%).
In 2015, diabetes contributed to 12% of the cost of healthcare globally and resulted in 15 million deaths. In addition, the macrovascular and microvascular complications of diabetes drastically decrease the quality of life. It results in a mortality slope.
The picture seems scary—isn't it?
If you wish not to be affected by this global pandemic, a plant-based approach is a solution. The plant-based eating pattern in clinical practice is surprisingly effective in reducing the prevalence of type 2 diabetes contrasted to non- vegetarian diets.
Checkout this remarkable study for instance that compares a standard calorie restricted diet for diabetes management VS a ‘brown rice’ based plant- based diet.
Participants were either asked to follow a standard diet prescribed for diabetes management, and restricting their calories, or eat as much as they wanted on a whole- food plant- based diet. The standard diet participants had to measure their food before eating and stay in a specific macro nutrient range. The plant- based group could eat all they wanted, as long as it came from unprocessed plants.
What happens in 12 weeks?
Not only did the plant based group lost more weight, their HbA1C levels also reduced remarkably more than the other group.
Diabetes reversal on a plant-based diet.
Particularly in an ageing and more sedentary population, nutritional choices can gravely trigger insulin resistance. And the habit of overeating calorie-dense junk and processed foods, fast foods, animal-based food, and sweet beverages can worsen the condition.
But, by making small nutritional and lifestyle tweeks, anyone can prevent, heal and even reverse diabetes.
The Diabetes Prevention Program conducted research with people nearly 60 years or older. The study shows a healthy lifestyle decreased 71% risk of type 2 diabetes amongst the 20% of participants and offered a pool of benefits.
Top 10 reasons a plant- based diet is the best for diabetes management:
1) It helps you keep a slimer waist line:
An effective weight loss program is one that is sustainable long- term. Counting calories, measuring your food, depriving yourself of food is an unhealthy approach and cannot be a lifetime change. Fad diet's require you to do just that.
Many studies show that vegan's have a lower BMI when compared to meat eaters and even vegetarians. A whole food plant- based diet is the fastest way to lose and maintain your weight loss.
On a plant- based diet, you can eat how much ever you want to eat and will still lose weight because it is so fibrous and nutritious. I mean think about it, how many apples can you eat in one go anyways? Compare the same with a grill cheese sandwich or chicken wings.
Obesity is the provoking factor that fans the flames of severe conditions like cancer and diabetes. There cannot be a debate on how managing your weight is imperative to staying healthy for the long term.
In fact, recent studies show how excess weight can increase 65-70% risk for arterial hypertension and physically compress the kidneys.
An online survey showed that 75% of respondents were unaware that they were cuddling with cancer risk due to excess weight or obesity. Hence, reducing excess fat would reduce the risk of cancer too. Just merely dropping your body weight is enough to see your HbA1C levels go down.
Plant-based foods are rich in fibre content and have a naturally low glycemic index that keeps the stomach fuller for a longer time and stems appetite. As a result, you can manage and control your weight and set yourself free from potential health hazards.
2) You can not consuming toxins on a plant- centric diet:
The World Health Organization is highly concerned about the effects and risks developed by red and processed meat consumption that can lead to severe impacts like diabetes type 1 and cancer.
In fact, American Heart Association also suggested adopting a plant-based organic food regimen to live a healthy life and give the heart a little nutritional boost.
Red meat and meat-based products have high-level toxic element concentrations and 'Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis,' (a foodborne zoonotic pathogen) that causes inflammation in the intestine and is the lead driver of Johne's Disease.
Even worse, meat is hazardous for breastfeeding women as, as the infants can develop type 1 juvenille diabetes due to meat glycotoxins or paratuberculosis bacteria.
Animal agricultural industries also often pump the cattle with growth hormones to increase meat production, which can further trigger the onset of diabetes in humans when consumed.
Plant's on the other hand, are steroid free, growth hormone free and bacteria free. Even inorganic plant's and much safer to consume that grass- fed meat.
3) Low in saturated fats:
Saturated fat, an unhealthy form of fat, is common in dairy products and food items like palm, coconut oils, and red meat.
Saturated fats clog the cell wall, making it difficult for insulin to do its job. Thus, the need for your body to produce more insulin and eventually insulin resistance. This is the main cause for diabetes.
The above picture might seem 'sugar' to you, but really its fats! This about whipped cream, milk, ice cream and butter. All the fat clogs your arteries, instantly disabling them and making them resistant to breaking down sugars.
In fact, elevated consumption of saturated fatty acids triggers the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and dyslipidemia, accompanied by a blood sugar levels increasing.
Plant's are naturally low in saturated fats and make no cholesterol at all. Cholesterol's only come from animals, not plants. A serving of eggs for breakfast already takes you 150% over your daily limit of cholesterol. Add dairy products and meat on top of that and you have a recipe for a heart attack.
4) Improves insulin resistance:
The human body demands fibre to keep the internal machinery functioning like a finely tuned engine. You would definitely not overlook pouring timely fuel into your car - would you?
Fiber is what helps clean up clogged cell walls so insulin can do a better job. Thus, improving insulin sensitivity.
But, reports say, most adults barely consume the recommended amount of fibre daily. The RDA for fiber per day for an average adult is roughly set to 25 grams. A diabetic most definitely needs more. The average American eats less than 15 grams of fiber a day.
Foods like fruits, whole grains, and vegetables are sources of fibre, a type of carbohydrate that regulates your body's functioning and lowers your risk of diabetes, particularly type 2, heart problems, and cancer.
An NIH-funded study from 2003 found that a plant-based diet halved blood sugar levels 3x times more effectively than a conventional diabetes regimen with restricted carbs and calories.
Participants experienced dramatic health gains, weight loss, greater insulin sensitivity, and a decline in HbA1c levels within weeks of adopting a plant-based diet.
Fiber could be the key. And guess what, just like only animals make cholesterol, fiber is only made by plants
5) A plant- based diet excludes Dairy:
Cheese addict much? Did you know cheese actually has compounds terms as casomorphins, that are as addictive as drugs?
So if you constantly feel this compelling need to munch on cheese, it probably is an addiction.
Saturated fats from dairy products, count towards the primary source of diet-related heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease.
Furthermore, studies have connected dairy consumption to a higher risk of prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers.
Nations with the highest dairy consumption, also show the highest cases of diabetes and, ironically, also the highest risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures. Dairy does not support stronger bones, contrary to what we are taught growing up. Read this article for more information:
Conversely, a plant-based diet is healthier because it contains less saturated fat than conventional dairy and meat-based diets. In fact, plants have all the nutrients your body needs, unlike dairy products, including fibre, healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
6) A plant- based diet is naturally low in toxic proteins:
Did you know the average lifespan of a body builder is 48 years! The optimal protein intake for the body is no more than 0.8 grams/ kg of bodyweight. Excess proteins lead to kidney stones, gall bladder stones and even tumours.
Due to being low in saturated fat and protein concentrations, a plant-based diet effectively eliminates diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who want to put off or forgo dialysis and preserve their well-being can benefit from whole-food, low-protein, plant-based diets since they are nutrient-dense and healthful.
Contrary to consuming more protein, low-protein diets—particularly those enriched in plant sources—decrease intraglomerular pressure. It also stops proteinuria.
Animal protein is prone to oxidation, mainly when processed or exposed to extreme cooking temperatures. It produces chemical toxins and promotes inflammation.
Grilling meat further increase the AGE (advanced glycation end- products) content in the meal, contributing directly to oxidative stress in the body. This slows down your recovery, further stiffens your blood vessels and contributes to insulin resistance.
Fruits, vegetables, and legumes have high concentrations of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Those modulate this inflammatory state and decrease intraglomerular pressure.
According to the well-known Lifestyle Heart Trial conducted by Dean Ornish, 82% of patients who followed a plant-based diet plan not only stopped atherosclerosis but also saw a reversal of CKD.
7) It is rich in superfoods:
8) Improves overall gut health:
The high levels of dietary fibre, phytochemicals, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and vegetable protein in plant-based diets encourage a surge in commensal bacteria and a drop in harmful bacteria.
Your gut health determines any and every illness one might be facing. There was one remarkable study down where a sample of healthy gut bacteria, from a healthy non- diabetic individual was implanted to a diabetic patient. Within just a few days, the diabetic patient started experiencing symptoms of reversal.
This is how powerful your gut health can be. Foods like dairy and meat cause gut inflammation and give rise to the bad gut microbiome. Fruits, whole grains and particularly pulses on the other hand destroy the bad bacteria and give growth to the good once. the more good bacteria you have, the better your insulin sensitivity.
A plant- based lifestyle also seems advantageous to human health by encouraging the spread of various species or even a more diversified gut microbial system.
9) Keeps the heart happy:
Diabetes puts you at a risk of heart diseases and increase your risk of a heart attack. Even if your diabetes is well managed, you want to make sure, you take steps towards maintaining a healthy heart.
Plants naturally contain minimal saturated fat and salt, which can promote the onset of heart disease. A diet heavy in cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre derived from plants can effectively deter plaque buildup in the bloodstream. It might lower your likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, cardiac events, or experiencing strokes.
A recent study enrolling 214,108 men and women discovered lignans - a plant compound abundant in whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and flaxseeds - to be tied with a significant reduction of the risk for coronary heart disease.
Adults who ate more dietary fibre—found in foods like fruits and vegetables—were found to gain more from the study and could reverse their heart risks and diabetes.
10) Ensures you live long:
Would you concur that a slight transformation in your food regime is a promising approach to driving down your chance of catching chronic diseases and managing them more effectively?
Cutting through the disagreement, a little serving of plants offers a wealth of nutrients - and this is the best investment you can make in your health as there is an old saying, "health is the real wealth." Just a modest serving of food high in plants will prolong your life - tried and tested!
The Final Statement
To experience these advantages, you must supplement a plant-based diet with routine physical exercise, limited to no alcohol abuse, and a commitment to kicking the smoking habit out of life.
Make small, but sustainable lifestyle changes for longevity. Maybe start by making your breakfast all plant- based and oil- free. You will be supposed by the number of options you come up with. Maybe explore dairy alternatives and stick to almond milk or soy milk.
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