Are you overweight and somewhat worried that you could be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? It would appear that there is little need for concern if you do just one thing. Yes, sounds like good news. Yes, information gives us the power to act. How much do you know about the vegan diet? Would you be willing to try it at least for awhile, especially if your numbers start to look better/more promising?
There is some information which targets the prevention of type 2 diabetes via the vegan diet option. Wait a minute! I know there are opposing arguments, but, please, allow me to share some information, some of which is my own story and then make an informed decision.
A Personal Journey
I was diagnosed with diabetes awhile back. I can still remember the day. I felt defeated and I was sure that I would have been dead by now. In the true spirit of who I am and what has helped me to grow, I turned to research. Yes, after seeing my doctor, I started to do a thorough research of this monster called diabetes and I made some lifestyle changes.
I started eating mostly whole foods and I became more active. I must admit, that I still struggle to maintain an exercise routine on a daily basis, but, I continue to try and I know that every attempt is taking me closer to my goal. I will continue later, but let us take a look at the research findings.
The Results – Vegan or Not?
Today I will share with you a more recent research I was blessed to read, more so because it confirms that I am really healthier when I embrace a vegan diet for a few days out of the week. Yes, you read correctly, “a few days out of the week.” I hate trickery. With me, what you see is what you get. I cannot go completely vegan. I do believe we need a bit of animal protein to be truly healthy. I also love my meat.
A Bit of Personal Information
I am however eating more fruits and vegetables and I only consume meat about two days per week. I have no intention to stop eating eggs and dairy, but, I made some changes for my health and the rewards are truly magnificent! But, let us talk about this latest bit of information concerning going vegan in order to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Back to the Research
There is yet another research which concluded that if we are willing to give up eating meat and dairy products, then people who are overweight could definitely avoid being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, they looked at a 16 weeks duration of the vegan diet and the following was observed:
- Improvement in sensitivity to insulin.
- Improvements in how beta cells functioned.
- Blood sugar levels during a fast and post-meal also showed significant improvement.
Beta Cells 101
After you are finished reading this paragraph, please see the references below for more information. Note that beta cells both produces and releases insulin and they (beta cells) live in our pancreas. Our blood sugar level is regulated by a hormone called insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs if our beta cells in the pancreas fail to produce enough insulin. It also occurs when the body becomes insulin resistant. This means that our body fails to respond to insulin in a way that will control our blood sugar levels.
Please click and read this article about beta cells.
Type 2 Complications
Unfortunately, when our blood sugar levels get out of control, there are a number of ill-health that follows. Please take the time to educate yourself about some of the risk factors for diabetes. Please click and read some risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
The following can become a reality when you are diagnosed with diabetes:
- Kidney problems
- Nerve damage
- Cardiovascular issues
- Eye diseases
Another Look at the Study
This study was done using 75 participants, which was a combination of men and women between the ages of 25 and 75 years. They were without a history of diabetes and everyone was either overweight or obese. As was previously stated, this was done over a sixteen weeks period.
So, what did they eat? Some ate what could be considered a low-fat vegan diet. Be patient. This meant that they consumed fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. Interestingly, they did not count calories. Yes, it was an “all you could eat low-fat, vegan diet”.
No dietary changes were made in the other group. This group was referred to as the control group. They were not more physical than before they were selected for the study and they also continued to take their medications. The note about physical activity and medication was also true for the vegan group.
Vegan Group Results
This is what happened to the vegan group:
- They had an increase in insulin secretion following their meals.
- Improvements in insulin sensitivity became their reality.
- Improved fasting and post-meal blood sugar readings/levels.
- BMI saw huge reductions.
How Smart are You?
I love when experience becomes our teacher. However, in today’s world of smart technology, I embrace “smart.” I also love to learn from another man’s experience. Yes, I consider that even smarter than having my own experiences. Especially those that could change my life in a negative way, or, worse yet, end my life.
More About My Journey
I have been studying health-related topics for over a decade now and I am never afraid to experiment with food. One thing I am pretty sure about is that food was given to us to preserve and to heal the body. In my experiment I discovered a few things:
- My blood sugar and blood pressure readings are either excellent or close to perfect when I include mostly a plant-based diet as a part of my lifestyle. This means that I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, grains (bulgur, oats, barley, hominy corn), nuts and seeds (chia and flaxseeds). I also love to eat peas and beans.
- I have more energy when I stay away from processed foods and include more of the above foods.
- I feel less pain generally when I consume a diet rich in whole foods.
- When I start eating processed meats, I feel sluggish and my tendon hurts.
- Eating meat more than two days per week has the same effect.
- I prefer the lack of smell in the restroom when I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I also “go” easier and the feeling I experience after a nice and easy go to the restroom is difficult to describe. It leaves me feeling relaxed and clean.
The point I am making is that I am not vegan, but, most of my days I eat vegan and I am healthier and happier than I have been in years. I give God the glory.
A Napoleon Hill Interjection
I am currently studying Napoleon Hill and he says we were given a lot of blessings at birth and one that I received was good health, so I no longer ask for health, I just praise the Almighty and thank Him for good health.
This faith also pushes me into action and so I continue to do what I need to in order to walk into that healthy me – full of energy and determination. Go ahead and click the book to the right. It is worth reading.
Please see below for a list of articles worth reading:
Here are some resources worth reading:
Until next time, be blessed and remember the blessings you received at birth included good health and a sound mind.