Best diet for diabetes

 
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If you’re seeking a dramatic improvement in your diabetes status, the evidence is in: a natural, unrefined plant-based diet will deliver!
 

Prevention and treatment

Observational studies consistently show people who eat any type of plant-based diet have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And for those who already have this lifestyle-induced condition, several clinical studies have found that a 100 per cent plant-based diet is more effective for its management compared to the diabetic diets typically recommended by health authorities.
 

How it works

It isn’t just about going meat-free, as not all plant-based diets are created equal. Research suggests you may reap the greatest rewards by avoiding meats, dairy and eggs (or strictly limiting these foods), and also choosing whole plant foods. The degree of benefit is proportional to the dietary changes made.

You can expect these benefits from a completely plant-based diet compared to an omnivore diabetic diet:

  • Lower fasting and after-meal blood sugar levels;
  • Lower HbA1c levels (HbA1c reflects your average blood sugar control over three months);
  • Higher insulin sensitivity, meaning your hormone insulin can work more effectively to control blood sugar;
  • Increased weight loss without counting kilojoules;
  • Reduced need for diabetes medications.
     

It isn’t so tough

While most health care professionals have not previously recommended 100 per cent plant-based diets, thinking these too extreme or difficult to stick to, studies have now demonstrated that adherence rates are actually similar or even better compared to other diabetic diets.

So you have nothing to lose and much to gain. Give plant-based diets a go starting today! 
 

Red vegetable stew

This stew is rich in antioxidants and the olive oil helps to bind the flavours together and thicken the sauce.

Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 60 mins | Serves: 4
 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes (approx. 500 g), grated
  • 1 cup passata
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 500 g eggplant, unpeeled, chopped into large chunks
  • 2 zucchini, cut into large chunks
  • 2 potatoes, peeled, cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium red capsicum, cut into chunks
     

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and sauté the onions for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Mix in the tomato products, salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the remaining vegetables and stir until well combined. Cover with lid and simmer for about 45 minutes until the stew is very soft. Add ½ cup of boiling water, if required, to prevent stew catching on the bottom of the pot. (Alternatively, cook for 1 minute at high pressure using a pressure cooker).
  4. Serve stew hot or cold with crusty bread. (Note: Leftovers can be refrigerated but stew is unsuitable for freezing.)
     

PER SERVE: Energy 2049 kJ (490 cal). Fat 31 g. Protein 10 g. Saturated fat 5 g. Carbohydrate 36 g. Fibre 13 g. Cholesterol 0 mg. Calcium 100 mg. Iron 2.8 mg. Sodium 1060 mg.