According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 million Americans have diabetes and most of these have type 2 diabetes. The CDC reports that diabetes has tripled over the last 20 years and diabetes is spreading at such an alarming rate that the term “diabetes epidemic” is now in common use. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association:
High Rate of Diabetes in Seniors:
The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.2%, or 12.0 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
In 2015, 84.1 million Americans age 18 and older had prediabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes can be Prevented
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by maintaining a good weight, following a healthy diet, quitting smoking, cutting down on drinking alcohol and getting enough physical exercise. In fact, type 2 diabetes has even been reversed in people who lost weight. See our blog post from March 15, 2019 to see how losing weight can reverse type 2 diabetes.
New Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes with a Plant-based Diet
In January 2018, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology presented new published guidelines that advocate a plant-based diet as the best dietary plan for people with diabetes. A plant-based diet is high in fiber, low in calories, low in starches and sugar and high in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals. These new guidelines came about after a large amount of research showed that cutting back on animal foods, especially red meat and processed meat, improves the management of diabetes. Plant-based diets consist of lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds and plant oils like extra virgin olive oil.
Systematic Review Concluded that a Plant-based Diet Improved Physical and Emotional Well-being in People with Type 2 Diabetes
In October, 2018 a systematic review was published in the BMJ Open Diabetes and World Care. This review focused on 11 studies that were carried out between 1999 to 2017 in the United States, Italy, New Zealand, South Korea and the Czech Republic. The conclusions reached were that a plant-based diet brought significant improvement in both the physical and emotional well-being, quality of life and signs of depression in people with diabetes. The plant-based diet led to a balanced weight, improvements in health, especially nerve pain (neuropathy) and reduction in the blood levels of HbA1c, triglycerides and cholesterol.
Plant-based Diet Meal Planning
The American Diabetes Association offers tips on meal planning for plant-based diets, to aid people in planning plant-based meals in order to better manage diabetes.
People who have eaten meat all their lives can’t always make the transition easily to completely different kinds of meals. However, many plant-based products are mock meats that mimic meat like veggie burgers, veggie patties, soy hot dogs, black bean burgers, soy mock meat balls, kebabs and more. In fact, in many cases there is not such a big difference in taste, especially in dishes like spaghetti where the spicy tomato sauce gives the same taste to soy meat balls as it would to meat balls.
Diabetes is a High Risk for Chronic and Serious Diseases
Diabetes is a high risk for chronic diseases and dangerous medical conditions like:
- heart disease
- kidney disease,
- major infections that can lead to amputations
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
Diabetes Monitoring and Diabetes Care
If you or your loved one are in need or short-term rehabilitation or long-term skilled nursing care and you are a diabetic, choose a Rehab with skilled nursing care that offers expert diabetes monitoring and diabetes care like the Royal Suites Healthcare and Rehabilitation in scenic Galloway Township, New Jersey.
Everything must be done to get diabetes under control, even if it means giving up life-long habits and getting used to new types of cuisine. It pays to try to avoid going blind, having a heart attack or stroke, suffering from major infections that can lead to having limbs amputated and having a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.