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A plant-based diet rich in whole carbohydrates can improve ‘insulin sensitivity and other health markers’ in Type 1 diabetics, experts say.
Researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) published two case studies in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism – following the journey of two individuals with T1 diabetes.
The first case study details one female, who was diagnosed with T1 diabetes in 2018, who managed to decrease her insulin dosage by adopting a plant-based diet.
She also maintained her A1c level* at 5.4 percent (originally 8.7 percent) and dropped her cholesterol level from 221 mg/dL to 158 mg/dL.
‘Challenges the misconception’
Hana Kahleova, M.D, Ph.D., Director of clinical research at PCRM and author of the study said: “This study challenges the misconception that carbs are the enemy when it comes to diabetes.
“The patient in this case study experienced the opposite: Adding more healthful carbohydrates to her diet stabilized her glycemic control, reduced her insulin needs, and boosted her overall health.”
The other individual, a 42-year-old man who had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 25, ditched animal products from his diet and switched to a whole-food, plant-based diet.
He lost weight, required less insulin, and reduced his A1c from 6.2 percent to a range between 5.5-5.8 percent.
Kahleova added: “Decades of research have proven that a plant-based diet can be beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes. Now, these groundbreaking case studies are offering hope that the same may be true for those with type 1 diabetes.”
*An A1c is a measure of blood sugar levels over three months