11/14/11 Beating Diabetes on a Vegan Diet
On the occasion of marking November 14, World Diabetes Day
- Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death; vegan diet is effective in the treatment and prevention of diabetes
Diabetes is a disease which is characterized by a high level of glucose (sugar) in blood. It occurs when the pancreas irrecoverably does not produce the hormone insulin (type 1 diabetes), or when it does not produce enough or blood cells do not respond to it (type 2 diabetes). The disease is becoming more common in children under 5 years of age, and it affects about 5 per cent of pregnant women.
Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death in most developed countries, and the number of diabetics is growing at an alarming rate. Today about 350 million people in the world suffer from the disease. About 135,000 diabetics are registered today in Croatia, but it is assumed that at least as many are unaware of the disease.
Animal Friends and the Association for Promoting Civil Society Culture Z.O.V. – Health, Education and Skills, will mark the World Diabetes Day by a project on the influence of vegan diet on the prevention and treatment of diabetes, which is part of the "Green Monday" campaign. The media conference will be held on Monday, November 14, at 12 noon in the Old City Hall, Trg zrtava fasizma 1, Zapresic.
As part of the project, a workshop on cooking with plant based ingredients, adapted for diabetics, will be held on November 24, in cooperation with the Happy Thought association from Zapresic.
Diabetes is connected to the risk of heart disease, stroke, eyesight problems, kidney disease, nerve damage and amputations. Research shows that cow's milk might be the main cause of type 1 diabetes, while increased body weight, accumulation of fat in cells and insufficient exercise represent the main factors to develop type 2 diabetes.
Research from 2000, conducted in 40 different countries, has confirmed that a large amount of meat and milk in diet increases the risk of developing diabetes. The risk is reduced by 45 per cent in those who do not eat meat, and only one meal with meat can increase the risk by 74 per cent. Microscopic particles of fat can accumulate in muscle cells and affect their abilitiy to react to insulin. This process starts many years before diabetes is manifested. Therefore it is important to prevent the disease, and to base the treatment, in addition to insulin, on a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Research proves that vegan diet can prevent and treat heart disease, colon cancer, lung cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney failure, hipertension, obesity and a series of other diseases. Vegan diet is effective in treatment and prevention of diabetes and protects from degenerative diseases. Type 2 diabetes patients have to take insulin for the rest of their lives, but the vegan diet enables them to keep the doses minimal and reduces the risk of complications, while in type 2 diabetes patients the disease can be completely removed.
Professor R. J. Bernard from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has proved, in research conducted from the beginning of 1980s to today, that a vegan diet, combined with exercise, enables type 2 diabetes patients to stop using diabetes medicines. In 2010, American Dietetic Association published that a plant based diet improves metabolic control in diabetes patients. Due to relatively fast improvements in the levels of glucose and insulin and the need to change medications, diabetics must inform their doctor on the vegan diet.
By excluding all kinds of meat, fish, dairy and eggs from one's diet, a significant amount of fat are avoided, which improves the functioning of cells and makes it easier for kidneys to function. At the same time, cholesterol is not taken in and the risk of heart problems and problems with the circulation is reduced. In addition to taking vitamin B12 in food supplements or enriched foods, a balanced vegan diet contributes to disease prevention, makes the disease easier for the type 1 diabetes patients and can defeat the disease in type 2 diabetes patients.