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Can a Plant-Based Diet Reduce Your Diabetes Risk?

Going to a plant-based diet can help reduce your diabetes risk, but even more, your whole life will improve!

We all want to live better, feel better, and look better. We all know that what we eat plays a role towards those wants. What if you felt healthy, ate kinda healthy, but had a little extra weight and your doctor just informed you that you were at risk of developing type II diabetes?

As kids, we are taught early on about the food pyramid. Our parents make us our favorite sandwiches for lunch, and we happily play at recess not thinking twice about what we are eating or how it’s affecting our bodies. Now, fast forward back into your doctor’s office as you’re being told about your diabetes risk, or worse, a diagnosis. What if you were told that a plant-based diet could dramatically reduce your risks, or better yet, reverse a recent diagnosis?

A plant-based diet has been shown for many years to help your body reduce the risks for type II diabetes. This lifestyle change may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking to make a dietary change to guide your health in a new direction, a plant based diet may be for you.

What Causes Type II Diabetes?

It’s safe to say that while a genetic link may make you more susceptible, it does not solely cause type II diabetes. Your lifestyle and eating habits are another main component. Those with type II diabetes are unable to utilize the insulin that the body makes correctly. When your body isn’t using that insulin correctly, sugar collects in the bloodstream (instead of going into your cells) and gives you a high glucose, or blood sugar result.

Additional risk factors for type II diabetes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High blood triglycerides levels
  • High blood pressure
  • High fat diet
  • Increased BMI levels (outside of a healthy standard for your body type)
  • Extra weight accumulation in the abdomen and thighs
  • Increased cholesterol levels

While none of that sounds pleasing to read, they are all controllable through diet and exercise. That is called body awareness - being aware of how we treat our bodies. Remember, the better we treat ourselves, the better our bodies will treat us.

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based lifestyle is based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (beans). Meats, dairy, eggs, highly refined foods such as refined sugar, oils, and bleached flour are avoided. It’s centered on the concept of whole, unrefined plants.

Sounds scary? Don’t let it. A plant-based diet has many sources of culinary enjoyment by knowing how to prepare your meals. There are also additional sources you can add, such as tofu and spices, to enhance these meals further. As more people are looking for alternative lifestyle choices instead of taking prescription medication. {myriausz} This may be for you!

How Can a Plant-Based Diet Help You Fight Type II Diabetes?

Since a plant-based diet centers the concept of being low in fat, it is particularly low in saturated fats as well. These unwanted saturated fats are found in dairy and meats and some oils. Studies have shown that a diet higher in these fats cause the body to be more resistant to optimal function. Reducing these fats from your diet will reduce weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol—all high contributing factors to type II diabetes.

Helpful Tips When Starting a Plant-Based Diet

Pay attention to your body, especially if you are already taking diabetes medication. Your body may go through a transition phase. But don’t give in. Your body will adjust!

Tofu is great at grabbing flavors from whatever you are cooking with, and there are so many different types of tofu.

Most successful changes in life don’t happen overnight.

If you can’t start cold turkey, do Meatless Monday every week and go from there. Little by little, you will forget your old eating habits as you progress to a new healthier you!

You will reap additional surprises like better sleep, better digestion, less inflammation, and your skin will even look better!

Start your new plant-based lifestyle now with this great tempeh salad dinner recipe!

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