Eating Plants and Feeling Better with Type 2 Diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes (T2D) can be a very challenging medical condition, with special attention needed to diet and blood sugars, the inconvenience of frequent doctor’s appointments and the psychological impact of fearing complications from the condition.

Scientific evidence has been accumulating that a whole food plant-based approach to nutrition not only prevents T2D, but can treat it in many cases. The 2018 American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology T2D treatment guidelines state that patients should strive to eat a primarily plant-based meal plan to manage their condition. Up until late 2018, however, no study had specifically looked at the effects of plant-based nutrition on the psychological aspects of T2D.

To fill that gap, researchers from the United Kingdom looked at 11 studies (433 people), which included the psychological impact of plant-based nutrition in T2D. They published results in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and Medical News Today published this overview for the general public.

The study found that plant-based diets were not only associated with significant improvement in blood sugar levels, weight, and cholesterol levels, but also with greater feelings of emotional and physical well-being, less depression, and increased quality of life and general health.

Better participants demonstrate this effect too. As they start incorporating more whole plant foods and less dairy, eggs and meat, they start to feel more energetic, as well as more confidence in their ability to manage their condition generally, and their nutrition specifically.