Vegan Diet Can Prevent Diabetes, According To New Study

Patients tried a low fat whole foods plant-based diet
A plant-based diet can offer myriad health benefits (Photo: Adam Jaime)

A plant-based diet can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in overweight adults, according to a new study.

As part of the study, overweight patients with no history of diabetes switched to a low-fat vegan diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes with no calorie limit for 16 weeks.

A control group made no diet changes. Neither group changed exercise or medication routines.


Based on mathematical modeling, researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [PCRM] determined that those on a plant-based diet increased meal-stimulated insulin secretion and beta-cell glucose sensitivity, compared to those in the control group.

The plant-based diet group also experienced a decrease in blood sugar levels both while fasting and during meal tests.

Researchers believe the improvements can be attributed to weight loss (including loss of body fat) of the test group, saying their fasting insulin resistance decreased (i.e. improved), and their beta-cell function improved as a result.


PBN interviews PCRM President Dr. Neal Barnard


Lead study author, Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D, said: "The study has important implications for diabetes prevention.

"Type 2 diabetes affects approximately 30 million Americans, with 84 million more suffering from prediabetes.

"If nothing changes, our next generation - the first expected to live shorter lives than their parents - is in trouble.

"A third of young Americans are projected to develop diabetes in their lifetimes.

"Fortunately, this study adds to the growing evidence that food really is medicine and that eating a healthful plant-based diet can go a long way in preventing diabetes."

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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