Vegan Nutrition and Healthy Living

This is the first in a series of articles about the benefits of a vegan diet by author and vegan food coach, Gail Davis

A Low-fat Vegan Diet Offers a Clear Advantage in Treating Type-2 Diabetes

A new study published in the August issue of Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association found that a low-fat vegan diet treats type-2 diabetes more effectively than the standard diabetes diet, and may even be more effective than oral diabetes medications.

The objective of the federally funded study was to investigate whether a low-fat vegan diet improved glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with type-2 diabetes. The conclusion: While both a low-fat vegan diet and a diet based on American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines improved glycemic and lipid control in type-2 diabetic patients, the improvements were greater with a low-fat vegan diet.

“The [low-fat vegan] diet appears remarkably effective, and all the side effects are good ones—especially weight loss and lower cholesterol,” said lead researcher Neal D. Barnard, M.D., PCRM president and adjunct associate professor of medicine at George Washington University.  He went on to say that he hoped this study would rekindle interest in using dietary changes first, rather than prescription drugs.

Since the study found that a low-fat vegan diet treats type-2 diabetes more effectively than the standard ADA diet, these results clearly support a major change in the dietary treatment of diabetes.  This is good news for not only diabetic patients, but also anyone seeking to reduce their risk of developing the disease. 

Diabetes rates have escalated rapidly in recent years. More than 20 million Americans now have type-2 diabetes, which is linked to kidney failure, blindness, and cardiovascular disease. This study is just one of many which demonstrate that a low-fat vegan diet based on whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes offers profound health benefits.