Type 2 diabetes is a condition when the body does not respond well to insulin, and in its advanced stages, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. So, this is a complicated disorder that affects different biological functions. Also, surveys show that people who were diagnosed with prediabetes could prevent it from progressing into type 2 diabetes. Often, this is done by bringing blood sugar levels back into normal range by following a plant-based diet. It means eating healthy plant-based food along with some animal protein to avoid the risk of deficiencies; read on to know more.
Difference Between Plan-Based Food And Processed Food
The biggest reason the plant-based diet helps to prevent the development of type-2 diabetes is due to its impact on blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Also, research shows that the impact is even broader. It lowers the risk of excess weight gain which in turn reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes; this applies to both short-term and long-term weight gain. Besides, in obese people, this diet aids in weight loss. Moreover, experts agree that the risk of developing type-2 diabetes is attributed to weight.
Multiple research and surveys show that the incidences of both types 1 and 2 diabetes are more common in obese people. According to health experts, the leading cause of obesity and overweight world over is eating processed food. However, it is difficult to be overweight if you eat a plant-based diet rich with whole foods. Plant-based food has lower calorie density, whereas processed food is calorie-dense. Because of the higher calorie content in processed foods, you end up consuming excess calories.
It is also a well-known fact that changes in nutritional habits have a significant impact on the heath of an individual. Even though people know this, they still deny the fact that what they put in their mouth affects their health. Recent research has shown that eating a plant-based meal rich with vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and nuts helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. However, refined sugar, grains, and starches also come under plant-based food, and eating them increases the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Studies show that lowering the consumption of red meat and other processed animal products and increasing the consumption of plant-based food with higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants protects the development of type-2 diabetes. Also, these studies suggest including healthy animal products like chicken, turkey, and organic eggs to reduce the risk of developing deficiency diseases.
Type-2 Diabetes Is Not Just Insulin Resistance
You should already know by now that unhealthy eating is a major cause of developing type-2 diabetes. This habit causes serious issues with food craving, metabolism, and relationship with food. Eating junk food regularly affects different aspects of hormones that are associated with body weight and food craving. So, by eating such food, we increase the insulin levels, and this blocks the production of the hormone leptin produced by adipose or fat cells.
Leptin secreted by the adipose cells and enterocytes in the small intestine plays a crucial role in managing appetite. The primary purpose of this hormone is to signal your brain that you are full after eating food. Excessive amounts of leptin cause leptin resistance, and this when combined with insulin resistance makes your brain think that you are starving. This causes insatiable hunger, craving for junk food and other types of carbohydrate-rich processed foods. But this can be reversed to a certain extent by changing your eating habits. You must reduce eating processed and packaged food, and increase eating whole foods, and the best way to do this is by switching to a plant-based diet.
Transitioning To A Plant-Based Diet
Switching toa plant-based diet is easier than you thought because this does not require you to cook time-intensive recipes or buying expensive diet products. You can begin by cooking whole food plant-based meal at home. Also, keep in mind that most processed readymade foods with vegan or vegetarian labels available in stores are not healthy. You must also reduce the intake of products like frozen vegan meats as well. So, it is important not to get duped by advertising phrases like “whole grain” or “low fat”. The best way to identify the worth of any packaged food including those with a vegan label is to look at the nutrition label.
You can eat breakfasts like a bowl of whole oats, berries, and eggs which is optional. The lunch can be a healthy serving of greens, whole grain bread, beans, and chicken as optional. For whole-grain foods, you can use wild rice, farro, or quinoa. Also, those with type-2 diabetes must be careful when consuming brown rice and sweet potatoes as they have high amounts of carbohydrates. This macronutrient has the biggest impact on blood sugar levels. Moreover, you will find that it is difficult to overeat on such a diet because the fiber from the food is filling.
Switching to a plant-based diet need not always be about eating fresh foods. Frozen vegetables and fruits can also be used for preparing meals when you are pressed for time.