Eating a plant-based diet - or a diet rich in healthy plant-based foods - can drastically reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.
The research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, analyzed nine studies with almost 310,000 participants, more than 23,000 of whom had type 2.
It found that those who followed a mainly plant-based had a lower risk of developing the condition, with those on a vegan diet, having the lowest risk of all.
The researchers differentiated between healthy and less healthy foods. The first category included fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. The second featured white flour and sugar among others.
The researchers found that the association was stronger for people whose diets emphasized healthy plant-based foods.
They cited antioxidants and combatting inflammation as benefits of these types of foods.
"Plant-based dietary patterns are gaining popularity in recent years, so we thought it was crucial to quantify their overall association with diabetes risk, particularly since these diets can vary substantially in terms of their food composition," said first author Frank Qian, who conducted the research as a masters student in the Department of Nutrition.
"Overall, these data highlighted the importance of adhering to plant-based diets to achieve or maintain good health, and people should choose fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, tofu, and other healthy plant foods as the cornerstone of such diets," added senior author Qi Sun, Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition.
The news around plant-based diets cutting diabetes risk comes amid developments in Europe, after the Natural Food Interaction [NFI] diet has been tested at a National Institute.
The personalized plant-based protocol has shown an unprecedented 95+% type 2 diabetes remission rate and research will be published in September.