News Ve­gan diet ‘could help’ di­a­betes man­age­ment

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

VE­GAN di­ets may help the man­age­ment of di­a­betes, a re­view has sug­gested.

Re­searchers found that pre­dom­i­nantly plant-based or ve­gan di­ets can help man­age blood sugar lev­els and weight among di­a­betes pa­tients. The study, pub­lished in the jour­nal BMJ Open Di­a­betes Re­search and Care, found that such di­ets could also “sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove psy­cho­log­i­cal health and qual­ity of life”.

The au­thors, from the Univer­sity of Lon­don, the Univer­sity of Northamp­ton and East Sus­sex NHS Health­care Trust, per­formed a sys­tem­atic re­view of all stud­ies rel­e­vant to type 2 di­a­betes pa­tients and plant-based di­ets – or eat­ing habits that avoid the con­sump­tion of most or all an­i­mal prod­ucts and sup­port high con­sump­tion of fruits, vegeta­bles, legumes, seeds, whole grains and nuts.

They iden­ti­fied 11 stud­ies con­ducted be­tween 1999 and 2017 with 433 par­tic­i­pants who had an av­er­age age of 55.

Af­ter look­ing at all the data, the au­thors con­cluded a plant-based diet, ac­com­pa­nied by “ed­u­ca­tional in­ter­ven­tions”, can sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove psy­cho­log­i­cal well­be­ing and gen­eral qual­ity of life.

Such di­ets were also linked to im­prov­ing pa­tients’ con­trol of their type 2 di­a­betes in­clud­ing blood sugar man­age­ment, weight loss and re­duc­tions in choles­terol lev­els. The au­thors point out that in the UK there are 4.5 mil­lion peo­ple with di­a­betes cost­ing the NHS vast sums of money.

Around nine in 10 pa­tients with the con­di­tion have type 2 di­a­betes, which is linked to life­style fac­tors in­clud­ing obe­sity.

Dr Kata­rina Kos, se­nior lec­turer in di­a­betes and obe­sity at the Univer­sity of Ex­eter, said: “What we learn from this sys­tem­atic re­view is that (low fat) ve­gan or plant-based di­ets are ef­fec­tive in pro­vid­ing more weight loss which un­sur­pris­ingly leads to im­prove­ment in di­a­betes and in di­a­betes and weight-re­lated com­pli­ca­tions. Di­ets in the in­ter­ven­tion and con­trol group were not matched for calo­ries in any of the stud­ies. The suc­cess of this diet in peo­ple with di­a­betes was prob­a­bly down to the fact a ve­gan diet tends to be low in calo­ries and some were specif­i­cally low in fat – a non-ve­gan low-calo­rie diet might work just as well to have the same ef­fect.”

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