Researchers have found that consuming primarily a plant-based diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Lead author Ambika Satija said, “This study highlights that even moderate dietary changes in the direction of a healthful plant-based diet can play a significant role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. These findings provide further evidence to support current dietary recommendations for chronic disease prevention.”
The study included information from over 200,000 Americans who completed questionnaires about diet, lifestyle, medical history, and current health. Information was collected over the course of 20 years.
The researchers found that those individuals who closely followed a plant-based diet had a 20 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to those who consumed more meat and less plants. Additionally, the healthier the foods, the greater the risk reduction was.
A healthier version of a plant-based diet, which included whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by 34 percent.
Even those who opted for less healthy foods but still followed a plant-based diet saw a 16 percent risk reduction. These less healthy foods included refined grains, potatoes, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Senior author Frank Hu said, “A shift to a dietary pattern higher in healthful plant-based foods – such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds – and lower in animal-based foods, especially red and processed meats, can confer substantial health benefits in reducing risk of type 2 diabetes.”
An alternative study also found that consuming three or more servings of whole grains a day lowered the risk of premature death by 20 percent, compared to eating fewer or no servings of whole grains daily.
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Testosterone helps regulate blood sugar, low testosterone raises type 2 diabetes risk in men: Study.