Advertisement

What are the benefits of a vegetarian diet for people with diabetes?

A vegetarian diet is a healthy option, even if you have diabetes. Research supports that following this type of diet can help prevent and manage diabetes. In fact, research on vegan diets has found that carb and calorie restrictions were not necessary and still promoted weight loss and lowered participants' A1C.

Vegetarian diets are naturally higher in fiber, much lower in saturated fat, and cholesterol-free when compared to a traditional American diet. The high fiber in this diet may help you feel full for a longer time after eating and may help you eat less over all. When fiber intake is greater than 50 grams per day on a vegan diet, it may help lower blood glucose levels.

This diet also tends to cost less. Meat, poultry, and fish are usually the most expensive foods we eat.
Laura Russell
Nutrition & Dietetics

Make sure if you decide to follow a vegetarian diet that the basis of your diet is vegetables and plant based foods. Many people just cut out meat and replace this with more carbs form breads, cereal, chips, crackers, french fries. This will likely not help with diabetes. Choose whole grains that also provide fiber and protein such as quinoa, lentils, beans, brown rice, flax, chia, etc. The focus of the meal should be on vegetables, so plan ahead to have an adequate supply ready for meals. Use fruits for snacks and choose low fat milk and yogurt for additional protein and nutrition at meals or for snacks. 

Continue Learning about Diabetes

Diagnosed with Diabetes? Try One of These Diets
Diagnosed with Diabetes? Try One of These Diets
When you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, knowing what to eat suddenly becomes a Very Big Deal. Forget about casually grabbing a cookie in the break r...
Read More
What was the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial?
American Diabetes AssociationAmerican Diabetes Association
The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) was a 10-year study sponsored by the National In...
More Answers
9 Keys to Preventing and Treating Diabetic Foot Issues
9 Keys to Preventing and Treating Diabetic Foot Issues9 Keys to Preventing and Treating Diabetic Foot Issues9 Keys to Preventing and Treating Diabetic Foot Issues9 Keys to Preventing and Treating Diabetic Foot Issues
Being proactive can help keep your feet healthy.
Start Slideshow
Eating Well, Living Well
Eating Well, Living Well

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.