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What is a vegetarian diet for diabetes?

A vegetarian diet for diabetics contains fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds and nuts, dairy products, soy products, eggs, and whole grains. A vegetarian diet for diabetes is known to help with weight loss and blood sugar control. Following a vegetarian diet for diabetes, you may be able to avoid some serious diabetes complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, blindness and other serious problems. The better control you have of your blood glucose, the better you will feel. The vegetarian diet may give you the benefit of improving blood glucose and improved overall health.

Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics

A vegetarian diet for diabetes is one that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, lentils, dairy or dairy alternatives. Multiple studies conducted by PCRM (Physicians committee for Responsible Medicine) conclude-- 

  • A whole foods vegan diet is safe for people who have type 2 diabetes and is as beneficial, if not more so, than a typical ADA diet.
  • Vegans have lower rates of type 2 diabetes than non-vegetarians 
Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Depending if you are vegan or lacto ovo vegetarian, this will determine what you will eat. Vegans eat no animal protein and your diabetes may be harder to control but it can be done. Vegetarians often eat eggs and dairy products. If you are either vegan or do consume some animal protein, you need to eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables, all kinds of beans, seeds, nuts, nut butter, fresh fruit, eggs, and low fat cheese. Whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, and whole grain breads and pasta are all good choices.

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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.