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Lowfat vegan diet for type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes, affecting at least 8 percent of adults. Researchers at George Washington University recently investigated the use of a lowfat vegan diet as a way of treating adults with type 2 diabetes. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group, with 50 participants, was instructed about a standard diet for diabetics, the kind most doctors and dietitians recommend. This diet was low in saturated fat and promoted weight loss by reducing calories. The other group, with 49 participants, was instructed on a lowfat (10 percent calories) vegan diet. The vegan diet did not limit portion sizes or calories. Both groups reduced their intake of calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, but greater reductions in saturated fat and cholesterol were seen in those following the vegan diet. Participants on the vegan diet increased their carbohydrate intake. Both groups lost weight and had lower blood total and LDL cholesterol levels. Those following a vegan diet had a greater reduction in blood total and LDL cholesterol levels, possibly because of the lower saturated fat in their diet.

During the study period, 43 percent of vegan diet participants and 26 percent of the other participants reduced the amount of diabetes medication they used. This adjustment was done under a doctor's supervision. This study suggests that a lowfat vegan diet can be used to treat type 2 diabetes. However, people with diabetes should not attempt dietary or medication changes without medical supervision.

By Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, FADA

Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJA, et al. 2006. A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 29:1777-83.
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Title Annotation:Scientific Update: A Review of Recent Scientific Papers Related to Vegetarianism
Author:Mangels, Reed
Publication:Vegetarian Journal
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Words:294
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