Some people who have moved over to a vegetarian diet are convinced that it has been responsible for curing their diabetes but can this really be the case or is there something else at work here?
Diet is a very important factor when it comes to diabetes but here we are normally talking principally about controlling the level of sugar in the bloodstream and so we are looking at changes to our dietary habits which control our intake of sugar. So can a vegetarian diet help in this respect?
Vegetarians fall into three categories - vegans, lacto-vegetarians and lacto-ovo vegetarians. Vegans eat no animal products, including products derived from animals such as eggs and milk, and their diet is confined solely to plant-based foods. Lacto-vegetarians add milk and some milk based products to an otherwise plant-based diet, but exclude eggs. Finally, lacto-ovo-vegetarians add milk, milk based products such as cheese and yogurt and eggs to a plant-based diet.
In all of these cases, because the diet is essentially centered on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and possibly some dairy products, it is essentially a low cholesterol, low fat, high fiber diet and tends, by its very nature, to reduce sugar intake and so assist with the control of diabetes.
However, in many people who convert to a vegetarian diet there is something else hard at work in combating diabetes.
The substantial rise in diabetes, especially in the West, is due in no small measure to the fact that we are gaining weight at an alarming rate and that obesity has now reached epidemic proportions in many countries, with the United States leading the field. Weight gain is a major risk factor for diabetes and many people are developing the disease for no other reason than the fact that they are gaining weight.
The solution of course, in the first instance and before the problem gets out of hand, is simply to go on a diet, start taking some exercise and lose weight and what could be better for accomplishing this than a low cholesterol, low fat, low sugar, high fiber vegetarian diet.
So, returning to our original question - can you cure your diabetes by becoming a vegetarian? - the simple answer is yes but it is not the diet itself which will cure your diabetes, but the fact that it can both help you to control your sugar intake and lose weight which is doing the trick. To this end it is a change in diet which is the answer and, while this could be to a vegetarian diet, this does not have to be the case.