A Post By Rita Madden, MPH, RD
In 2011 the Center for Disease Control estimated that approximately 26 million Americans currently had diabetes, and an estimated 79 million were classified as pre-diabetic. The sad truth is that studies show that 85% of these people don’t even know that they are in this category. Unfortunately, since these numbers are on the rise on a global level, this epidemic should concern us all!
A detailed review of the scientific literature indicates that a vegan diet (one free of animal products: meat, fish, dairy and eggs) that is low in sugar and fats may yield some promising results. A plant-derived diet that is low in sugar may improve insulin sensitivity and a heavily laden meat diet may cause the body to be more resistant to insulin’s actions.
In addition, this way of eating has also shown promise for those who are at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and/or high triglycerides. In addition this approach to eating has benefit for cancer prevention, cancer survivors and weight loss.
In fact, a recent study looked at 99 people with type 2 diabetes. One group was following a vegan diet, that was also designed to be low-fat and low-sugar. The other group was following the standard American Diabetes Association diet.
After 22 weeks this is what the results indicated:
Medications (insulin and glucose-control pills)
43% in the vegan group were able to get off or least reduce their medications. This was compared to 26% in the standard ADA group.
The A1c of the vegan group dropped 1.23 points where the ADA group dropped .38 points.
The vegan group lost on average 14 pounds per person compared to the 6.8 average ADA group.
These are exciting results to see by simply following the way Eastern Orthodox Tradition outlines for us when it comes to the food end of fasting!
Fasting with non-insulin dependent, type 2 diabetes
If you are a type 2 diabetic who struggles with continually elevated blood sugars, here are some tips to aid you in fasting. God willing these tips may also benefit blood sugar control (Consult your spiritual father and medical physician).
This year as we re-dedicate ourselves to fasting to surrender to God’s will; let’s place an emphasis on choosing foods and lifestyle behaviors that aid in disease control and management. When we commit to caring for our body it allows us to feel healthier and more energetic. With this new found energy and we may find ourselves attending more services and serving others in need. When we put God first, health falls into place.