Americans with diabetes almost doubled their spending on medications in the past six years. But two new studies led by PCRM experts provide powerful evidence that a low-fat vegan diet is an effective approach to type 2 diabetes.
In a long-term clinical trial published in a May supplement to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, PCRM researchers found that a plant-based diet helps people with diabetes lose weight and improve their blood sugar and cholesterol. An earlier publication showed that the diet is effective over the short term. The new report shows that benefits persisted a year beyond the initial 22-week study period.
Participants following a vegan diet lost an average of 9.7 pounds, compared with 6.6 pounds for those following a more conventional diabetes diet. Improvements in hemoglobin A1c—a measure of blood sugar control—and total and LDL cholesterol were also greater in the vegan diet group.
The new study is the longest and best-controlled study of diet and diabetes management to date. Previous studies collected data for six months or less.
The second paper, a scientific review of observational and interventional studies in May’s Nutrition Reviews, found that vegetarian and vegan diets are consistently associated with lower rates of diabetes, heart disease, and overweight.
Both studies are authored by PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., and other doctors and dietitians with PCRM, the George Washington University, and the University of Toronto.
To learn more about PCRM’s diabetes research and resources, visit PCRM.org/Diabetes.
PCRM Diabetes Expert Honored
Nurse practitioner Caroline Trapp is on the front lines of PCRM’s battle against diabetes—and now the American Association of Diabetes Educators is honoring her efforts.
As PCRM’s director of diabetes education and care, Ms. Trapp develops resources and programs to help people understand how plant-based diets can prevent and treat the disease. She creates continuing medical education programs and also serves as moderator for online discussions and support groups for people with diabetes.
In recognition of education initiatives like these—and for her “contribution to diabetes education through dedication and innovation in the daily practice of patient care”—Ms. Trapp was recently honored as a finalist for the Diabetes Educator of the Year award.