Eating a plant-based diet may stave off risk of developing type 2 diabetes, revealed a latest study. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where your body is not able to respond to the insulin produced. Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common metabolic disorders afflicting millions across the globe nowadays.
For the study, researchers analysed more than 300,000 people who followed a plant-based diet, such as vegetarian or vegan diet or some similar variant. The findings revealed that people who followed the plant-based diet strictly had the lowest chances of developing diabetes as opposed to those who were flexible with their diet and ate foods or products derived from animals occasionally. The findings published in The Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine
Among the plant-based dieters too, adults who chose ‘healthy’ plant-based foods low in sugar, fat and salt, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, happened to have the lowest risk.
Plant-based diets improved insulin sensitivity and also reduced weight, both of which can slash the risk of type 2 diabetes.
For the studies, researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in Boston, Massachusetts, used nine studies that investigated the link between a plant-based diet and type 2 diabetes.The review included data from 307,099 participants, of which 23,544 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
People with the highest adherence to plant-based diets had a 23 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those with weaker adherence to the diets.
Plant-based dietary patterns are gaining immense popularity around the world, the researchers said. Which is why they thought it was important to quantify their overall association with diabetes risk.
The researchers said that the current study provides the most comprehensive evidence to date for the link between plant-based diets and reduced type 2 diabetes risk.
While the mechanism is not clear, but a ‘healthy’ plant-based diet with a mix of foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes may prove to have beneficial effects.
The mechanism is not clear, however the researchers provided some suggestions.
Healthy diets and plant-based foods have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and blood pressure, reduce weight gain, and alleviate systemic inflammation, all of which can contribute to type 2 diabetes risk.