Vegan beats ADA diet...
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) found that low-fat vegan diets reduce the risk for heart disease in diabetics patients. The interesting part is that the patients on low-fat vegan diets had better results than those following the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association's guidelines.
The ADA published the results of this study in the October 2008 issue of their journal. The study lasted 22 weeks, and included 99 people who had type 2 diabetes. Some were asked to follow a low-fat, low-glycemic vegan diet, and some were asked to follow the ADA recommended diet. They were assigned randomly.
The vegan diet took out cholesterol entirely (cholesterol only comes from animal foods), lowered total fat and saturated fat, and increased fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamin K and C. Their diet was based on grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes (beans). These participants ate no animal products and few fatty foods, and ate lots of sweet potatoes, rye bread, pumpernickel bread, and other low-glycemic-index foods. They didn't have any restrictions on calories or portion sizes.
Following the ADA guidelines, the other group had guidelines on calories, carbohydrates, and saturated fat based on their current body weight and eating habits.
Just under half of the patients who followed the vegan diet reduced or eliminated their insulin medication, whereas only 26% of patients in the ADA group lowered their medicinal needs!
The study used a scoring system called the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), which measures the quality of nutrients in food, as well as a few other factors. The vegan study participants showed huge improvements in every area of the AHEI, whereas the ADA group's AHEI score didn't improve.
Both groups were able to lower their a1c, which shows blood sugar levels over the long-term, but the vegan group lowered them significantly more. Oddly enough, the diet of a vegan beats ADA diet, proven by the ADA study.
“Two out of three people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke, so it is hugely significant to find that a low-fat vegan diet can treat diabetes and dramatically reduce heart disease risk,” says lead author Gabrielle M. Turner-McGrievy, M.S., R.D., a doctoral candidate in nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “These findings should encourage anyone with diabetes to talk to their physician about adopting a vegan diet to manage their disease and reduce the risk of a heart attack.”