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Can a Diabetic Eat Vegetarian? Vegan Diabetic health information in a nutshell.

I get asked this question from time to time, so here is my answer.

There are many successful VEGAN and vegetarian diabetics.  The vegetarian diet is wonderful for all health issues and for general health.  In fact several doctors have researched and stated that a vegan diet can reverse type 2 diabetes.  The British Diabetic Association recommends a diet closely matching a vegetarian diet – stating complex carbs and fiber help with better metabolism.

What about carbohydrates? Aren't they bad for diabetics?

Carbohydrates come in 3 forms.  Fiber, starch, and sugar.  Food generally has a mix of these in their natural state (although honey is pretty much sugar).  Fiber is a diabetics friend!!!  It help regulate the glucose in the body.  When sugar is naturally mixed with fiber, like in whole apples, it has a less dramatic effect on the blood sugar levels.  Apple juice on the other hand, no fiber, can spike the blood sugar levels in both the diabetic and non-diabetic, but is more detrimental to the diabetic.  (As well as parents with hyper active children.)

Simple carbs can raise the blood sugar levels, then they can plummet after if all one ate was a refined, simple carbs - say a candy or glass of juice.  Complex carbs are usually better at keeping the metabolism balance.  Lots of fiber with the meal (particularly with the food in it’s natural state), and combine with fat and protein, should not affect her levels negatively either up or down too far.  In other words, whole grain bread, brown rice, etc.  Whole foods are the way to go.  

 

What about protein? Don't diabetic need protein and how can they get it without meat?

Of course, everyone needs protein. Diabetics do NOT need any more protein than the average person. This is a myth!!! Even some dieticians misinform by the way they answer questions on this one. Protein is amply found in the vegetarian's diet. Protein is found in whole grains, beans (better for a diabetic than meat, because it has fiber, meat has NO fiber.), nuts, seeds, and even potatoes!

 

For more information on Diabetics and Vegetarians:


A very good authority on the subject is Brenda Davis, RD – a register dietician who specializes in the vegetarian diet.  She has co-authored a book with a physician called. “Defeating Diabetes”  I highly recommend your friend gets a copy. Try Amazon or ebay for an inexpensive copy. Or maybe the library in your area has one.  

 

Get a whole food, low carb, NO sugar (no honey, etc.) cookbook here!


Other articles by doctors and the news:

http://www.pcrm.org/health/clinres/diabetes.html  
http://diabetes.webmd.com/news/20081001/vegan-diet-good-type-2-diabetes