Both America and Canada make November an awareness month for diabetes, a disease that affects over 400 million people around the globe. A connection has been made between poor nutrition and the worldwide rise of type 2 diabetes.1
Considered to be a global epidemic, type 2 diabetes develops when the body is unable to produce enough insulin or use it effectively to channel sugar circulating through the blood into cells for energy and storage.
The effects of the resulting internal inflammation caused by long-term high blood sugar levels include blindness, lower-limb amputations, heart attacks and stroke. Diabetes is deadly.
Planting the Positive
The good news is that recent research shows adopting a primarily plant-based diet can prevent as well as treat type 2 diabetes. This food intake includes eating fruits, legumes, nuts, vegetables and whole grains while limiting or eliminating refined foods and animal products.
The benefits of this lifestyle choice include improved insulin sensitivity, increased fiber and phytonutrient intake, more interactions between food and gut microbiota, weight loss, and decreased saturated fat and diabetes biomarkers termed advanced glycation end products (AGEs).2
One study published in May 2017 concluded that the case has never been stronger for using a plant-based diet to reduce the burden of diabetes and improve overall health.2
Another study published in June 2021 documented:
• A plant-based eating pattern is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
• A plant-based eating pattern is effective for treating type 2 diabetes.3
America: 1 in 10 people bit.ly/AMStats
Canada: 1 in 16 people bit.ly/CANStats