Healthy diet helps fight rise in diabetes

Posted: Sunday, July 06, 2008

The alarming news that nearly 24 million people in the U.S., particularly Native Americans and Alaska Natives, now have diabetes - an increase of more than 3 million people in two years - and that 57 million others have pre-diabetes, should prompt everyone to eat a healthy vegetarian diet.

Studies show that the saturated fat, cholesterol, and heme iron found in animal products put people at risk of developing diabetes - or worsening the disease if they already have it.

According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians and vegans have lower rates of diabetes than meat-eaters do.

One study, published in Diabetes Care, revealed that 43 percent of the diabetics who ate a low-fat vegan diet reduced their need to take medications to manage their disease, compared to only 26 percent of those who followed the diet recommended by the ADA. The vegan group also lost more weight and significantly lowered their cholesterol.

"Best of all," said the lead researcher, "the vegan diet appears to be easier. Instead of having to count calories, portions, and carbohydrate grams, the vegan group simply changed the type of food they ate." Visit for more information and a free vegetarian starter kit.

Heather Moore

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, Va.

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