A whole-food, plant-based diet shows some pretty remarkable benefits to diabetes management. See what Toby has to say about this eating plan.
Many of you have asked me to post more information about plant -based eating, specifically, whole food plant- based eating. So, that is what we are going to talk about today. If you are ready to press the stop or pause button, don’t touch that button. It’s worth listening to a quick review of the research because it is something I know you will want to hear about. I’ll also give you some quick tips on how to incorporate plant -based eating into your eating plan.
There are many studies showing improvement in blood sugar management and even placing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in remission. One of the studies conducted on people with type 2 diabetes compared a group who met with a dietitian for an individualized meal plan with consistent carbs, low-fat, and decreased calories for weight loss versus a second group that followed a 100% plant-based, Low-Fat/low Oil plan, low glycemic index foods and No carb limit, no calorie limit and took a Daily multi-vitamin. The 100% plant-based group’s A1C reduced 3 times lower, lost twice as much weight and nearly (43%) half of the participants in the plant-based eating group were taken off their diabetes medications. I love those outcomes!
Here are the 6 basic things you’ll focus on when you follow a whole food plant-based plan:
- Avoid all animal products-so this means no dairy, fish poultry, and meats. Just plant-based foods.
- Go low fat. The goal is to keep any food you are eating to be under 3 grams of total fat per serving. The amount of fat grams for the whole day is limited to 20-30 grams. The reason being that we want to reduce the intralipid fat in the cells- the fat that is within our cells and increases insulin resistance.
To keep the fat lower, we need to reduce the amount of oil, nuts, avocado (even though these items are plant based). Use cooking methods of steaming, stir-fry, bake, grill, or braising. Use
Cookware likeNonstick pans and parchment paper on baking sheets. Ways you can substitute for oil include Sauté with water or vegetable stock; Use apple sauce instead of oil in baking or Use fat-free dressings and condiments
- Fill up on fiber. Filling up on fiber is where you will make the biggest change in feeling full. Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate, and it helps keep blood sugar steady. That’s super important for us and Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol. The goal is to consume 40 grams or more of fiber per day. Add fiber slowly and make sure to drink plenty of water.
- Choose WHOLE plant foods. Apples instead of apple juice or wild rice or brown rice instead of white rice.
- Choose low glycemic index foods. Those are foods that have a slower rise in blood sugar. For instance, sugar will spike your blood sugar whereas fresh fruit will give you a slower rise.
- And Take vitamin B12 supplement. If you are following a plant-based eating plan since we get Vitamin B12 from animal sources…fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. And research has found that people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, tend to be deficient in vitamin b 12. Taking the medication, Metformin, increases your risk for being deficient in B12. I have more details about vitamin B12 in my video titled what you need to know about vitamin B12.
Please keep in mind, whenever you make any changes to your diet, you may need to:
- Check your blood sugar more often. Changing your eating habits is a lifestyle change and we know food affects blood sugar levels. It’s good to watch for any new patterns of your blood sugar.
- Work with your diabetes educator or doctor to adjust your dose of medications that lower blood sugar. Those medications may need to be lowered whether you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
- Make sure to also Monitor your blood pressure as there can be changes with lowering your blood pressure when following a Whole food plant-based eating plan.
- And compare your cholesterol levels before following a whole food plant-based eating plan and during because you also may need to have your doctor Lower your cholesterol medications, if you are on any statins now.
I have more resources on plant based eating right here on my channel- Eat more plants for diabetes health video; How do I get adequate plant-based protein? Video and what about plant-based milks video. Until next time, Cheers to your health.