Veggie Hope for Diabetics
If you or a family member has diabetes, researchers now say a vegetarian diet can reduce or even eliminate the need to take insulin to control blood sugar. Doctors at Georgetown University say a small but significant study shows two-thirds of patients were able to reduce or totally forgo medication by eating a diet based on grains, vegetables, beans and fruit.
The diet contains no calorie limits and doctors say patients had a dramatic reduction in blood sugars and lost on average 16 pounds in 12 weeks. While the study looks at only 11 patients and was intended as a pilot, doctors say the results are so striking they decided to publish.
The Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit health and research group, is also involved and the study results appears in the August issue of Preventive Medicine. Study author Dr. Neal Barnard of PCRM says diabetics are at high risk for heart attacks, kidney disease and blindness, but adds "this new approach fights these risks better than any previous diet."
While past studies are based on a low-fat, plant-based diet and vigorous exercise -- leaving no way to sort out the impact of diet alone -- this one is the first to isolate the effect of diet. A study with more participants is planned.