The diet I am using to successfully reverse my diabetes is a plant-focused one that is low in sugar, fat and salt, high in fibre and digested slowly. Though I eat some ultra-lean meat and fish, I avoid eggs, any products that include eggs, as well as all dairy products (milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt, etc). I also try to avoid processed foods as far as possible and drink plenty of water.
This diet can be described as quasi-vegetarian. It is helping me to control my blood glucose and beat my diabetes quite effectively.
But, though it is plant-focused, it is not a vegan diet. However, if I eliminated all animal products it would be a vegan diet.
But should I go vegan?
What is a vegan diet?
Vegans avoid all animal foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and honey, as well as anything that comes from an animal such as milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt, gelatine, colours and by-products.
A properly-constructed vegan diet is ultra-healthy. A research review (an assessment of available previous studies by an expert), which was conducted in 2009, indicated that vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fibre, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron and phytochemicals than conventional omnivorous diets. They are also lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol.
But vegan diets can also be deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12. Planning a vegan diet so that it includes sufficient quantities of these nutrients can be challenging.
But when it is well-planned, a vegan diet appears to offer protection against some degenerative conditions, such as heart disease. Indeed, vegan diets are regarded as appropriate for all ages by the American Dietetic Association, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Dieticians of Canada.
However, because plant foods do not normally provide Reversirol vitamin B12 (which is produced by micro-organisms such as bacteria), vegans need to eat food that have been fortified with vitamin B12 or take a B12 supplement.
Becoming a vegan
If you follow a vegan diet you will reverse your diabetes, ie put off almost indefinitely the horrors of heart attacks, strokes, blindness, amputations of the feet, kidney disease and so on that number among the consequences of being diabetic. But going full vegan is not for the faint-hearted.
In fact, veganism can be quite tricky and getting adequate nutrition as a vegan requires a fair degree of knowledge about nutrition.
You will need to be creative in order to ensure that you will get the nutrients you might miss out on, such as essential proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12.
You will also have to spend a lot of time researching foodstuffs for understanding so you can decide what to eat and what not to eat, as well as reading food labels when you are shopping.
Here are some of the pitfalls you will have to overcome.
Proteins have many functions including repairing your bones and muscles, building cells, and helping with your immune system. They are also sources of energy. Thus an adequate supply of protein is essential to good health.
Protein is made up of amino acids. Many of these are synthesised internally by your body. But there are nine amino acids that your body cannot synthesise and these must be obtained in the food you eat. These are called essential amino acids.
Proteins obtained from animal sources contain all nine essential amino acids. Most plants, however, only deliver a few of them. The exceptions are soya, quinoa and hemp.
The remaining plants provide some of the essential amino acids, but the actual combination of these acids varies from plant to plant. As a vegan you need to eat a mixture of plants over the course of a day in order to ensure that you get the full complement of amino acids your body needs.
Here are some of the most important sources of plant proteins for vegans and which are suitable for reversing diabetes:
– quinoa (supplies all nine essential amino acids)
– soya and soya products such as soya milk, tofu and tempeh (also supplies all essential amino acids)
– beans, peas, lentil, chickpeas, kidney beans, etc
– seeds such as pumpkin, sesame and sun flower
– meat alternatives such as textured vegetable protein
Your body needs iron in order to produce haemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that makes it possible for them to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. If you suffer from anaemia (being deficient in iron) you will feel weak, tired, and irritable.
There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and non-heme.
Heme iron is derived from haemoglobin. You get it from foods such as red meat, poultry and fish that originally contained haemoglobin. Your body absorbs the most iron from heme sources. However, as a vegan, animal products are off the menu.
Non-heme iron is not absorbed as easily as heme iron. However, it is the form of iron added to iron-enriched and iron-fortified foods.
Non-haem iron is found mainly in the following foods that are suitable for type 2 diabetics:
– fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and wholemeal breads