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The American Diabetes Association has maintained that a plant-based eating pattern is an effective option for type 2 diabetes management in its 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes.

It highlights ‘nutrient-dense, high quality foods’ as key in managing the condition.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [PCRM] – led by Dr. Neal Barnard – wrote about the assertion, saying the Diabetes Association also ‘encourages clinicians to always include education on lifestyle management’

Nutritional therapy

According to the 2018 Standards of Medical Care guide: “Nutrition therapy
has an integral role in overall diabetes
management, and each person with
diabetes should be actively engaged in
education, self-management, and treatment
planning with his or her health
care team, including the collaborative
development of an individualized eating
plan.

“All individuals with diabetes
should receive individualized medical
nutrition therapy [MNT], preferably
provided by a registered dietitian who is
knowledgeable and skilled in providing
diabetes-specific MNT. 

“MNT delivered
by a registered dietitian is associated with
A1C decreases of 0.3–1 percent for people with
type 1 diabetes (38–40) and 0.5–2 percent for people
with type 2 diabetes.

“Emphasis should be on healthful eating
patterns containing nutrient-dense, high quality
foods with less focus on specific
nutrients. The Mediterranean, Dietary
Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and plant-based diets are all examples of healthful eating
patterns.” 

Dr. Neal Barnard talks about diabetes

PCRM

The PCRM, led by top physician Dr. Neal Barnard, has long contended a whole food plant-based diet can prevent, manage – and even reverse – type 2 diabetes.

According to the organization: “Diet changes are the cornerstone to treating type 2 diabetes. 

“Current diet recommendations require restricting portion sizes, measuring and weighing foods, and limiting the total amount of carbohydrate. 

“However, evidence suggests that a different dietary approach may be more effective and easier to follow…The first step is to avoid animal-derived products.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.