Washington, June 19 (PTI): Vegan and vegetarian diets can help people suffering from diabetes lose weight and manage cholesterol, a study has found.
Researchers reviewed nine trials that assessed the effectiveness of vegan and vegetarian diets for diabetes patients.
The results, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, show that those who ate a plant-based diet lowered their cholesterol, lost weight and improved other cardiometabolic risk factors when compared to those who ate a non vegetarian diet.
People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who do not have diabetes.
“The link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease is strong. Sixty to seventy per cent of people who have type 2 diabetes die of heart disease,” said Hana Kahleova, director of clinical research at US-based non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
“The good news is that this study shows that the same simple prescription – eating a plant-based diet – can reduce our risk for heart problems and improve type 2 diabetes at the same time,” said Kahleova.
Researchers suggest that plant-based diets, which centre on fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, benefit both glycemic control and cardiovascular health, because they are low in saturated fat, rich in phytochemicals, high in fibre, and often rich in low-glycemic fruits and vegetables.
Previous controlled trials and prospective cohort studies have shown that a plant-based dietary pattern is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality.