We all know that following a healthy and balanced diet is a vital part of diabetes management. Speaking of diet, it is said that following a vegetarian diet might help us control some of the diabetes symptoms. And also reduce the risk of related complications.
However, the benefits depend on the kind of diet we choose to follow. That means that a vegan who doesn’t consume animal products and a vegetarian who consumes dairy products will have different results.
The good thing about the vegetarian diet is the fact that it is rich in all the good stuff. These are healthy fats, fiber, phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins, and it is low in dietary cholesterol and saturated fat.
Even if we just have veggie meals once in a while, we’ll still enjoy the benefits.
Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
A strict vegan diet is actually free of cholesterol, high in soluble fiber, and low in saturated fat. A vegetarian diet might lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is a typical complication related to diabetes.
Improves Insulin Response and Blood Glucose Control
Consuming nuts, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits, might help improve our control over blood glucose and our body might be more responsive to insulin. That, in turn, can lead to reducing the risk of complications related to the disease and taking fewer drugs.
However, we should be aware that even a vegetarian diet might come with adverse effects on our blood glucose. That can happen if we follow a vegetarian diet that is abundant in simple carbs – mainly starches, like white bread, potatoes, and white rice.
Promotes a Healthy Weight
Often vegetarian diets are lower in calories in comparison to non-vegetarian diets. This is why the vegetarian diet is good for weight management and for those who want to get in better shape.
In addition, vegetarians have lower BMI, i.e., body mass index. This is in comparison to people who don’t follow a vegetarian diet.
Having a healthy body weight is extremely beneficial for those with diabetes. It is like that since a healthy weight might lower the risk of complications related to the condition, and also improve the control over blood glucose levels.
Lower Risk of Obesity and Stroke
Generally speaking, vegans and vegetarians are more deliberate in their choices of food, and they are far less likely to pick food according to emotions and binge eating. These two habits lead to obesity.
According to one study in Belgium, following a vegetarian diet, will lower the chance of being obese and having a stroke.
Lower Risk of Cataract Development
According to one research, there is a strong connection between diet and the chance of developing cataracts. There is a higher chance for meat-eaters and a lower chance for vegans and vegetarians.
Change Eating Habits
If we want to try out the vegetarian diet, we should know where to start. The great thing about the vegetarian diet is that it doesn’t take any effort. Moreover, we will feel better about ourselves; we will have more energy and feel fresh.
Vegetarian meals can be very easy to prepare. For breakfast, we can have a veggie scramble or omelet, whole-grain waffles or pancakes, match, and mix cottage cheese, fruit, and yogurt, or have high-fiber cereal.
It’s simple, right?
Vegetarian Meals Which Are Fast to Prepare
For lunch, we can prepare a green salad with nuts, corn, and beans, or a veggie burrito with beans, green peppers, and sautéed onions.
We need to stock different dry beans. We can easily make them in batches. Then we can freeze the leftovers so we can take as much as we want whenever we need to.
Remember, a side of grains or beans on the plate might occupy the room where previously we would usually put meat. Moreover, we can consume tofu stir-fry, cornbread, and chili-based on beans, pizza with vegetables, vegetable lasagna, bean burritos, and tacos.
And, we can prepare whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and barley. We can easily stir the grains in salads, soups, and stews.
Word of Caution
If anyone is considering following a vegetarian diet, it might be useful to consult a dietitian who might help them make an eating plan which offers the proper number of calories and the needed nutrients in order to maintain a healthy weight.
Remember that in any diet; it is vital to be in a suitable calorie range in order to get leaner in case that is the primary goal. So, who would try to follow a vegetarian diet?