Switching to this diet could prevent 75% of Type 2 diabetes cases

VIENNA, Austria — Adopting a plant-based diet may be the best strategy for people at risk for Type 2 diabetes. A new study conducted by researchers at the Medical University of Vienna reveals a healthy lifestyle that includes eating plant-based foods could potentially prevent at least 75 percent of Type 2 diabetes cases. While the benefits of a plant-based diet in diabetes prevention are well-established, this research sheds light on the key factors that make it effective.

The study found that adopting a more plant-based diet can significantly reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, even in individuals with a genetic predisposition and other risk factors for the condition such as obesity, advanced age, or lack of physical activity. Specifically, a healthy plant-based diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains was associated with a 24-percent reduction in diabetes risk. On the other hand, unhealthy plant-based diets high in sweets, refined grains, and sugary beverages were linked to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The research, conducted over 12 years, involved 113,097 participants in the UK Biobank study, a large-scale British cohort study. The findings go beyond the well-known benefits of reducing body fat and waist circumference associated with a plant-based diet.

“Our study is the first to identify biomarkers of central metabolic processes and organ functions as mediators of the health effects of a plant-based diet,” says study author Tilman Kühn, a professor of public health nutrition at the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna, in a university release.

The study identified several key biomarkers, including normal levels of blood lipids (triglycerides), blood sugar (HbA1c), inflammatory parameters (CRP), and the insulin-like growth factor (IGF1), which are associated with a lower risk of diabetes.

Furthermore, the study revealed that a healthy plant-based diet can have positive effects on liver and kidney function, which were previously underestimated benefits of such a dietary choice. Both the liver and kidneys play crucial roles in diabetes prevention, and the research demonstrated that a plant-based diet can improve their function, reducing the risk of diabetes.

This study underscores the potential of a healthy plant-based diet in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, even in individuals with genetic predispositions and other risk factors. It also highlights the importance of monitoring key biomarkers and organ functions for diabetes prevention through dietary choices.

The study is published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolism.

How To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle To Avoid Type 2 Diabetes

Preventing Type 2 diabetes is a combination of making healthy choices in diet, physical activity, and lifestyle. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and risk assessment based on your individual circumstances. Here is a list of ways to help avoid getting Type 2 diabetes:

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

2. Follow a Balanced Diet: Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit the intake of sugary beverages, sweets, and processed foods.

3. Control Portion Sizes: Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating and to manage calorie intake effectively.

4. Choose Complex Carbohydrates: Opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains (e.g., brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa) over refined carbohydrates (e.g., white bread, sugary cereals).

5. Monitor Sugar Intake: Limit the consumption of added sugars, including sugary snacks, desserts, and sweetened beverages.

6. Be Physically Active: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week, along with strength training exercises at least twice a week.

7. Lose Weight If Needed: If you are overweight, losing even a small amount of weight can significantly reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

8. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day and minimize sugary drinks like soda and fruit juices.

9. Limit Alcohol: If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of diabetes.

10. Quit Smoking: Smoking is linked to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Quitting smoking not only reduces this risk but also has numerous other health benefits.

11. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can affect blood sugar levels. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or mindfulness.

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  1. I’ve read many people with T2D getting off insulin and reversing the disease with a carbohydrate free high fat ketogenic diet. These people are all over YouTube claiming the keto diet cured their diabetes.

    The medical world seems filled with contradictions

    1. There are a lot of scientific studies about plant-based diets reversing diabetes, but also heart disease by slowly removing arterial plaque.

      So far, all I have heard about ketogenic is claims by people.

      Medicine does not know everything and advances slowly. I’ve been reading about plant-based diet studies that have been reproducible for decades now. Ketogenic, not so much.

      It might have to do with factors like weight and amount of processed food, as well as sugar and carbs.

      But, no one is going to do anything as long as 90% of the stuff you buy in the supermarket is processed junk food and supports a significant part of our economy. It is up to regular people to figure it out and find a way to change. Very difficult.

  2. There are several reasons for the contradiction in dietary science. Not the least is the difficulty in performing trials of various diets. To accomplish a true trial, the scientist would need to feed a specific diet to a group of people for a lifetime. No one wants to wait a lifetime for results, and it is almost impossible to control the eating habits of free-living humans. For these and other reasons, all diet trials are based on surrogate endpoints instead of actual outcomes.

    The researchers choose these surrogate endpoints with an eye to the results they wish to achieve. If they are trying to show the interaction between diet and heart problems, they will choose one set of surrogate endpoints and mostly ignore endpoints related to other body organs. A different study may select different surrogate endpoints. The result is a hodgepodge of results that shows one diet is better than another diet.

    Other research is conducted to get a specific result, and the procedures are slanted to that end result. An example of such studies was the studies paid for by the tobacco industries, which showed that cigarettes were not bad for your health. Other examples were the studies done by the sugar industry, which showed that it was the fat in the diet that causes health problems, not the sugar.

    The flawed result on fats, which was bought and paid for by the sugar industry, pervades our science on diet even today, and those studies were completed many years ago.

    The best explanation of diet I have found for the non-scientist can be found in the writings by Gary Taubes (https://garytaubes.com) and the reports of Weston A Price. (https://www.westonaprice.org)

    It is my view that the diet described in this report works, not because it eliminates red meat, but because it eliminates processed foods and seed oils, as well as sugar and other carbohydrates that are not associated with fiber.

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I have no connection with the above writers except as an avid reader.

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