- Diet & Weight Loss
Manage Diabetes with a Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarian Diet Can Help Diabetes
Being a diabetic can put a damper on your diet because you have to better monitor what you eat and how it affects your blood sugar levels. Because a vegetarian diet includes high fiber foods, it gives diabetics better chance to help control the blood sugar levels, especially as it excludes meats that are loaded with fats.
A vegetarian diet consist of a lot of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that are great foods that can help adjust your high and and low blood sugar levels. By changing to a vegetarian diet, you won't be able to cure your diabetes, but you can better control it. Plus, you'll be able to better control your weight which can actually make your body more receptive to insulin. And, being that by switching to a vegetarian diet, you can better
control your weight and cholesterol, which can help reduce risks of
heart disease, lethargy, bone and joint problems, kidney disease, and other related diabetes related health conditions.
Being that vegetarian diets contain a lot of fiber, if you have Type 1 diabetes, you may be able to switch to a lower dosage of insulin. A high-fiber, vegetarian diet has also been proven to help those with Type 2 diabetes reduce their need for their medications, as well.
If you have diabetes, it's recommended that you take at least 9 services of vegetables and fruits, and up to 6 servings of whole grains a day in order to reach the full benefit of switching to a vegetarian diet.
Just remember that before you change your diet, you should really consult your doctor and/or dietitian so that you can determine the right number of calories that you need to consume on a daily basis in order to maintain a healthy weight and blood sugar levels.
Switching to a Vegetarian Diet
If you have spoken to your doctor, and together you have worked the best vegetarian diet that you need, you can go ahead and get started.
Just remember that it will be very important that you monitor your blood sugar levels frequently throughout the day, especially in the beginning as your body is making the adjustment.
If you don't want to make the switch all at once, you can still benefit from a gradual change to a vegetarian diet. Start by cutting out red meat and pork, followed by weaning yourself off of chicken and turkey.
When switching to a vegetarian diet, you'll find fast food for lunch and dinner isn't going to be an option, unless you buy a salad, so if you're not much of a cook, you may need to learn. Below, you'll find a few vegetarian cookbooks that you may want to check out if you've decided to switch to a vegetarian diet.
If you have decided to eat better, but you don't necessarily want to be a full-on vegetarian, you can have a semi-vegetarian diet, an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet, or a macrobiotic vegetarian diet.
- Semi-Vegetarian: No red or white meat (beef, pork, venison); do include chicken, fish, grains, dairy, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
- Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian: No meat of any kind (beef, pork, venison, poultry, fish); do include eggs and dairy into the diet. (Ovo vegetarian diet includes eggs but no dairy; Lacto vegetarian diet includes cheese and dairy but no eggs.)
- Macrobiotic Vegetarian: (A diet that is generally not recommended from a nutritional standpoint when at its highest level) No meat, poultry, dairy, or eggs. Slowly eliminates, fish, fruits, and vegetables, until the diet consists of just brown rice and grains.
Depending on what vegetarian meal plan you and your nutritionist decide upon, you will want to make sure that you keep with a minimum consumption of sweets and fatty foods, consume more whole gains, vary your fruits and vegetables, and choose fat free or nonfat milk and dairy (if you choose that diet).
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Please be aware that the advice in
this article should in no way replace that of a licensed physician. If
you have any questions, please consult a doctor or nutritionist so that
you can discuss your diet plan and how to manage your diabetes while on a vegetarian diet.