Going Vegan Might Be Easier Than You Think

Diabetes Health just returned from the annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), in Washington, D.C., August 6 through 9, 2008. We joined 3,500 attendees in, as AADE President, Amparo Gonzalez, RN, BSN, CDE, said, “taking on the challenges of delivering diabetes education in today’s healthcare environment.”

Marie McCarren attended a session titled “Practical Resources for Vegan Diet Instruction for Diabetes” by Caroline Trapp, MSN, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE, director of Diabetes Education and Care, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, D.C.

The good news? You won’t need to count calories or restrict portions. You may feel that you are eating a lot, but you’ll probably be consuming fewer calories than you did when you were eating meat and sugary foods.

| Aug 15, 2008

Do you want to lose weight and improve your blood glucose levels? Do you want to do it without having to weigh your portions and count your calories? Try a low-fat vegan diet. A vegan diet is one with no animal products: no fish, no eggs, no dairy, and, of course, no meat.

Caroline Trapp, MSN, BC-ADM, CDE, is director of diabetes education and care at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (www.pcrm.org), in Washington, D.C., a group that promotes vegan diets, among its other missions. She started her presentation at the AADE meeting with research findings on vegan diets (see below) and gave practical tips for switching to a vegan diet.

First, discuss your plans with a healthcare professional. A big change in your diet will likely lead to changes in your blood glucose levels. Get guidelines on adjusting your medications, especially if you use insulin. Ask your dietitian about subtracting fiber from the total carbs in your meals.

Trapp recommends committing to at least a three-week trial and going for it a hundred percent. Don’t just cut down on meat and cheese. Trapp says that if you eliminate these foods from your diet, you’ll lose your taste for them. She recalled how she used to love brie cheese before she switched to a vegan diet. “Now, brie smells like old socks to me,” she said.

Your diet will come from four food groups: fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and legumes such as beans and lentils. Avoid high-fat foods such as nuts, added oils, and avocado. Take vitamin B12, which you can get in a regular multivitamin.

The foods you’ll be eating are high in fiber and water. You may feel that you are eating a lot, but you’ll probably be consuming fewer calories than you did when you were eating meat and sugary foods. That’s why you won’t need to count calories or restrict portions.

An attendee asked about meat substitutes such as meatless burgers and sausage, noting that they are high in sodium. Trapp agreed these processed vegetarian foods aren’t the best, but said they can be useful as transition foods, especially if you have reluctant family members.

For more information from PCRM on switching to a vegan diet, go to www.nutritionmd.org and www.foodforlifetv.org.

Marie McCarren is a medical writer who has specialized in diabetes for 15 years. Her books include Carb Counting Made Easy, ADA Guide to Insulin & Type 2 Diabetes, and A Field Guide to Type 2 Diabetes.


Low-fat Vegan Diet Good for Glucose Control

A study headed by Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, showed that a low-fat vegan diet can lead to weight loss and lower blood glucose levels. The results were published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2006.

The researchers recruited 99 people with type 2 diabetes for the 22-week study. Most were overweight. The participants were asked not to change their exercise habits during the study.

Half were randomly assigned to and given instruction on a low-fat vegan diet. In this diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes, 10 percent of calories came from fat, 15 percent from protein, and 75 percent from carbohydrate. The participants were asked to avoid animal products and added fats and to choose foods with a low glycemic index, such as beans and green vegetables. They were not told to limit calories, portions, or carbs.

The other participants followed diets that were individualized and that adhered to American Diabetes Association’s guidelines. Participants who were overweight were given calorie limits.

Average A1c in the vegan group was 8% at the start of the study and 7.1% at the end. Average A1c in the ADA-diet group dropped from 7.9% to 7.4%. The vegan group lost an average of 14 pounds, while the ADA-diet group lost about 7 pounds.

In the vegan group, 24 out of 49 people did not change their diabetes medications during the study, and average A1c in this subgroup dropped from 8.07% to 6.84%. In the ADA-diet group, 33 of 50 participants did not change their diabetes medications, and their average A1c dropped from 7.88% to 7.50%.

In the vegan group, 39 people did not change their cholesterol meds. Their average total cholesterol dropped from 190 mg/dl to 157 mg/dl. In the 41 people in the ADA-diet group who did not change their cholesterol meds, average total cholesterol dropped from 195 mg/dl to 176 mg/dl.

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Categories: A1c Test, Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Diabetes, Diets, Food, Insulin, Losing weight, Low Calorie & Low Fat, Low Carb, Nutrition Advice, Nutrition Research, Type 2 Issues

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Posted by Anonymous on 14 August 2008


Posted by Anonymous on 15 August 2008

"A study headed by Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, showed that a low-fat vegan diet can lead to weight loss and lower blood glucose levels. The results were published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2006."

You do understand that PCRM is a front for Peta and no studies they have done can be trusted.

Posted by volleyball on 15 August 2008

There are certain body types than can do well on a vegan diet. There are many others than cannot. While you can lose weight, is it the healthiest? Thin does not mean healthy. Yes, you can eat all you want of a Vegan diet but you are working hard for your calories and people do not have multiple stomach like other large vegan creatures.
Eating animal products, produce and fruit that is minimally processed would seem more healthful and easier to live by for the majority of people.

Posted by Anonymous on 16 August 2008

Neal Barnard backs up his findings using studies conducted by other medical doctors and researchers. Colin Campbell at Cornell University also recently conducted a study reaching the same conclusion. Campbell is hardly a frontman for PETA- he's a respected scholar at a prestigious university. Unfortunately, the pork, beef, dairy and poultry lobby are buying our politician and governmental officials to convince us to eat more meat, eggs and dairy. It's all about trying to get us to eat more of that stuff thinking we will lose weight, even though it's not very good for us. I think the most rediculous thing I've seen is the product placement on Biggest Loser where Jillian sits down with her trainees and talks to them about drinking milk for weight loss. It's so fake and transparent. I'm mostly vegan and in excellent health. I have an annual checkup every year, run blood tests to make sure I'm not lacking or have too much of anything and my doctor says I'm in perfect health. I feel great!!!

Posted by DAR on 16 August 2008

The vegans may have lost weight and "improved" their glucose control, but their A1c levels were still way too high! Eating a low carb diet can bring BGLs down to nondiabetic levels as well as control weight.

Posted by kirsten on 17 August 2008

I am type 2 but have peripheal neuropathy. Lean meats low in trans fat and cholesterol are essential to maintain the level of nerve function I have left and prevent muscle wasting. On days when I don't have some lean meat,egg substitute or say peanut butter my neuropathy pain becomes unmanageable.

Posted by DEPOSITOR on 19 August 2008

how did i become first one who cure mild type 2 diabetes without any pill ?

i only control my diet (i eat less per time,eat more vegetable per time and hv at least 5 meals per day)and doing exercise after each meal as i don't believe any doctor can cure diabetes with any pill ,i seems good now, i want to know :is it possible not to take any medicine to cure mild type 2 diabetes ?

i am 39years old, 1.78m tall, male, was found type 2 diabetes two year ago. since half year ago, i stopped taking any medicine to take phisical activity of at least 30m after each meal, and change my habit of eating in both of frequency and amount. until now , i hv lost weight fm 92kgs to 75kgs ,level of blood sugar looks good as it did when i took medicine. also ,with exercise , i become much stronger than before .

Posted by seashore on 19 August 2008

A low-carb diet is essential for healthy diabetes control (type 1 or type 2), regardless of the medication. It is extremely difficult to achieve a low level of carbohydrates on a vegan diet.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 August 2008

McCarren ought to know how hard it is to achieve a low carb count on a vegan diet. She wrote:
"Carb Counting Made Easy: For People with Diabetes" back in 2002-ISBN-10: 1580401635

"Going Vegan Might Be Easier Than You Think"

"Carb Counting Made Easy: For People with Diabetes"

I think she just loves putting the word easy in the title of her stuff.

Oh and as for the comment, "Campbell is hardly a frontman for PETA"??? Please get real. Colin Campbell is a fraud and his book supposedly about The China Study is shoddy pseudo-science with cherry picked surrogate end points that only appeal to ideological vegans who don't care one whit for real science. Keep your science and your religion separate, please! They don't mix well.

Recommending a vegan diet to diabetics is dangerous and irresponsible. Give them one of Dr. Bernstein's books and be done with it.

If you want to eat vegan, more power to you. But don't recommend it to others and push pseudo-science to back up your position. Veganism is a religion, NOT a logical scientifically sound diet plan.

Posted by Anonymous on 22 August 2008

The vegan diet in Dr. Bernard's study only reduced A1C to 7.1%. That doesn't even meet the ADA's definintion of "tight control." (A1C less than 7%) What a joke.

I have maintained an A1C of less than 6% with a low carb diet, which includes plenty of fat and animal products.

Posted by Anonymous on 22 August 2008

I'm amazed at the flat out lies made here by Anonymous on 21 August and others who search for ways to dismiss veganism.

A Vegan diet virtually cured my diabetes, and my cousins. It is not pseudo science! Lots of other doctors including my own are slowly coming around, and there's facts to back it up. Do your research but be weary of the dozens of websites that are supported by the food lobbyists. Go vegan now and begin the path to better health.

A few other medical doctors who are curing people very day, John McDougall and Gabriel Cousens.

Posted by Anonymous on 22 August 2008

I'm amazed that you can be amazed and call my comments flat out lies without bothering to counter them or answer them so I don't even know which part to defend. Let me spell out my position succinctly:

Colin Campbell = PCRM = PETA = Vegan Propaganda = Pseudoscience, a body of knowledge, methodology, belief, or practice that is claimed to be scientific or made to appear scientific, but does not adhere to the scientific method.

Science takes it on the chin every time these people open their mouths.

Heart attack risk starts to rise in a straight line fashion as soon as A1c goes over 4.6% and for each 1% of rise it is 2.3 times MORE frequent.

Dr. Bernard's study is being touted as a success when it only reduced A1c to 7.1%?

Ridiculous. A1c of 7.1% is failure. The vegan diet FAILED to create cardio-protective effects. Get it?

"A Vegan diet virtually cured my diabetes" Fine, what's your A1c?

People on low carb

Posted by Anonymous on 23 August 2008

I am vegan and Type I. The food I eat has a lot of fiber which allows me to eat more carbs. I take a total of 20 units of insulin a day (Humalog and Levemir). My A1C is below 7.0%.

Posted by Anonymous on 24 August 2008

From Dr. McDougall's website:
"The McDougall Program cures this form of type-2 diabetes"
There are no research papers for McDougall on PubMed about any "cure" for diabetes.

Gabriel Cousins book is called:
"There Is a Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+Program"
There are no research papers for Cousens on PubMed of any kind including any about any "cure" for diabetes.

Unsupported claims without any studies to support them are unconvincing. If vegan diets are a cure, do good studies and publish the results. Otherwise, rightly or wrongly, claims of such "cures" will continue to be regarded as quackery.

Posted by Anonymous on 25 August 2008

I Have been diagnosed in Feb that I am a Diabetic. My A1C was at 9.5 in April. It is now 6.3. My internist told me to keep up whatever I am doing because it is working. My endocrinologist however you spell it told me I am in a honeymoon stage.I no longer see that doctor.He messed me up. I follow some of Dr. Bernards book, but I believe in the Avocados. I have 1/2 to 1 a day. I do eat some wild caught U.S.A fish and organic chicken breast. I say I eat 2 times a week about 2 to 3 ounces in a meal.I do not have any grains,breads,rice or any starch. I do not have any dairy. I lost 45 lbs since I started to get healthy. My skin has even cleared up.I mean even my old scars have cleared up... I have to say I look 20 years younger.And I was only struggling for the last 13 years trying to get it right.Most doctors think you are just stressed or allergies. NOT! Doctors need to look at the whole picture and communicate with other doctors you are seeing. Why can they not communicate together to make sure the diagnosis is correct. I have to say, I am putting together all my blood work on a tally sheet from all my years, for all my doctors I see.I want to make sure I am doing everything right so I do not get sick again. I do not do medicine for Diabetics. I was on insulin,but I weaned myself off. I was sick on the medicine and I had the symptoms on them not off.Eat right and you can get healthy. Try reading Braggs.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 August 2008

Well, here are two interesting self-reported case studies.

Case 1. The Vegan
"I take a total of 20 units of insulin a day (Humalog and Levemir). My A1C is below 7.0%."
Discussion: Blood sugars are not well normalized. A1C somewhat below seven and using 20 units of insulin per day indicates profound blood sugar imbalance and severe increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Case 2. The Low Carber
"My A1C was at 9.5 in April. It is now 6.3." "I was on insulin,but I weaned myself off."
Discussion: Blood sugars are elevated over normal ranges but insulin is not required. By regulating blood sugars well, this diabetic is lowering their risk of cardiovascular complications.

I'm sorry, my Vegan friend. You are not "virtually cured." You are still very, very sick and getting sicker. Do yourself a favor and read Dr. Bernstein's, "The Diabetes Diet."

Posted by RDMelinda on 22 September 2008

Hey, Anonymous on 27 Aug, I don't know if you noticed that "Vegan" in your case study analysis has TYPE ONE diabetes! Hello! Someone with type 1 who only takes 20 units a day is very insulin sensitive and is doing well. Sorry to tell you, but in type 1 "insulin is required" to avoid death. Should "Vegan" strive for an A1c less than 6.0? Of course. The person who is taking 20 units of insulin is not the one who said he/she was "virtually cured". If you are going to pretend to be an expert you might want to be sure you know the difference between type 1 and type 2. And as far as people pushing agendas, it sounds like you're just another person selling books for Dr. Bernstein.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 January 2009

The concept of eating animal "flesh" to keep blood glucose in control disgusts me. I would much rather eat whole foods and steer clear of processed foods.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 January 2009

Sorry for being another anonymous user, but I don't have time to register.

I am a Type II Diabetic Vegan. I am very careful about what I eat. I make sure to include protein in every meal and snack. My A1c was at 6.5 when I last tested.

I am not a philosophical vegan but a healthy vegan. MY body works best when I eat mostly unprocessed raw veggies and some fruits, whole grains, and beans and nuts. I do not worry about calories or fat as long as I am getting plenty of raw greens.

Everyone is different. My friend who is also Type II/Type I (I can't remember if that is type 3 or type 1.5) did not do well on my diet.

I think that bickering over who is right and who is wrong is counter-productive. Making suggestions to each other is productive. Find what type of diet works best for you. Putting down what other people find effective for them is demoralizing. Lets support each other and take what works for us and leave behind what doesn't work.

Posted by Anonymous on 28 January 2009

There are a lot of "Anonymous's" here, myself included, (okay, my name is Elsie), but to the vegan-bashing Anonymous, to all the other people scoffing at your remarks, let me add mine. PETA is not the only animal protection/welfare group out there. PCRM is a group founded on healthy living and animal protection and has nothing to do with PETA. Neither do they, nor many other such groups, use PETA's tactics, or agree with everything PETA does. There are some pretty damn smart people/doctors/health care professionals working for PCRM. Though animal protection may be one of their main goals, they would never put out information stating it is healthy that was actually detrimental or dangerous to people. You obviously have a problem with people who care about animals. We're not all militant, angry, or pushing our "religion." I'm just sayin'...

Posted by Anonymous on 3 March 2009

volleyball you are a moron. There is nothing wrong with being vegan, just because most people don't have the willpower to cut out all meat, cheese, dairy etc. from their diets does not mean there is anything wrong with it.

Posted by lesamara on 22 May 2009

ummmm vegan is NOT a religion. I don't know where you would think that?? Thats as retarded as saying low-carb diet is a religion? wtf?? hhahah
Do what works for you- it doesn't mean you are right or wrong- if you need meat- eat it! if you don't- don't.
I have been vegan/all organic non-processed foods for 3 years...best thing i ever did. But thats me- works for me. My cholesterol went from 169 to 135 in TWO months- now it sits at 120.
Here is the thing with vegan diet and carbs- you do not have to consume alot of carbs- people think its mostly a carb full diet- yeah- if you eat a buttload of grains. Our bodies respond really well to raw foods- veggies, fruit, etc...
A vegan diet is soooo much better for the colon too.
Will let you know how my A1c tests are- so far they have been normal range... i only stumbled on this site looking for vegan diabetics cause diabetes runs in my family... and being vegan i wanted to see what was out there just incase i ended up with Type II... good luck everyone! Meat or no meat- remember no one is right or wrong!

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