The plant-based diet consists of high-quality plant foods including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts. Recently, a research study links following this type of diet can lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Moderate Dietary Changes
The study from Harvard reveals even moderate dietary changes moving toward following the plant-based diet plays a significant role in health (including decreased diabetes risk factors). According to Satija (lead author), this revelation provides further support for individuals to follow the dietary recommendations for prevention of chronic diseases.
In this particular study, published in PLOS Medicine, scientific distinctions were made comparing healthy plant-based diets to less healthy diets. Findings include diets which include sugary foods and drinks can be detrimental to personal health.
During this research, diets which contained animal fats were also investigated. Individuals who ate a plant-based diet with low amounts of animal fats found a decrease in risk of Type 2 diabetes by twenty percent (20%). Eating a healthier version of the plant-based diet provides participants with a decrease of risk by thirty-four percent (34%).
Impact of Decreasing Animal Foods
The study revealed individuals who lower the servings of animal foods even from five or six servings (5-6) to four (4) servings a day can lower the risk of developing diabetes. Professors of Nutrition at Harvard remind us individuals need to move toward a more plant-based diet to significantly decrease risk factors and improve overall health.
Increased Fiber & Lower Fats
By following a more plant-based diet, individuals will naturally increase fiber intake and decrease the consumption of unhealthy fats. Eliminating red and processed meats is equally important in gaining the greatest health benefits. Adding more plant-based foods to the diet may also increase healthy microbiomes within the gut.
Furthermore, plant-based diets are considered more heart healthy (WebMD). Always follow doctor recommended guidelines for needed nutrients within the diet to ensure you include the vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health.