Managing type 2 diabetes can be tough, but a new study from Kyungpook National University in South Korea offers some good news.
It turns out that a vegan diet might do a better job at controlling blood sugar levels compared to a typical diabetic diet.
The Study in a Nutshell
Researchers wanted to find out if a vegan diet could offer benefits to Korean people with type 2 diabetes. This is the first study of its kind focusing on Asians, who generally eat more plant-based foods compared to Westerners.
They took a group of participants, all diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and divided them into two groups. One group followed a vegan diet, meaning they didn’t eat any animal-based foods, even fish.
The other group followed the conventional diet that doctors usually recommend for diabetes, based on guidelines from the Korean Diabetes Association.
The team tracked the blood sugar levels of these folks for 12 weeks, measuring something called HbA1c, which gives an idea of your average blood sugar over a few months.
They checked this level at the start, then at 4 weeks, and finally at 12 weeks.
What Did They Find?
At the end of the 12 weeks, both groups saw a drop in their HbA1c levels, which is a good thing. But the people on the vegan diet had slightly better results.
Their HbA1c levels went from 7.7% to 7.1%, whereas the other group went from 7.4% to 7.2%. In simple terms, both diets helped, but the vegan diet was a bit more effective in controlling blood sugar levels.
Even more interesting, those who strictly followed the diets saw even more significant improvements, especially in the vegan group.
And these benefits weren’t because people were eating fewer calories or losing weight; the vegan diet itself seemed to make the difference.
So, What’s Next?
The researchers suggest that maybe it’s time to think about adding a vegan option to the list of diets recommended for managing type 2 diabetes.
But they also said we need more studies to understand why the vegan diet has this effect and whether it would continue to offer benefits over a more extended period.
So, if you have type 2 diabetes and are looking to control your blood sugar, a vegan diet could be something to consider.
But always remember to consult your healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet.
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