Plant-Based Diets 'Effective for Type 2 Diabetes Management' Says American Diabetes Association

Plant-Based Diets ‘Effective for Type 2 Diabetes Management’ Says American Diabetes Association


(updated 28th October 2020)

2 Minutes Read

Dr. Neal Barnard's organization PCRM spoke about the American Diabetes Association's assertion - Media Credit:

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

“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

Dr. Neal Barnard talks about diabetes


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.”

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