Diabetics can manage their conditions with a vegan diet. A vegan diet is comprised of plant-based foods that include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. This diet can provide advantages over omnivorous diets for diabetics, primarily because it includes foods containing monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats, and excludes foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Consult your doctor before starting any diet.
For breakfast, drink a glass of soy milk and eat a bowl of peaches and peanuts. Soy foods, peaches and peanuts are low glycemic foods that contain sugar, which your body absorbs slowly, helping you control your blood sugar levels. Soy milk is healthy beverage that contains all nine essential amino acids for a complete protein, healthy fats to help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease, isoflavone, an antioxidant that may lower your risk of heart disease and calcium to help reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
A healthy low glycemic vegan lunch can include four bean salad with a mixture of vegetables. Beans, such as red kidney, navy, black and garbanzo, contain soluble fiber, an indigestible substance that can slow down the absorption of sugar and reduce your cholesterol levels. A mixture of vegetables, such as Romaine lettuce, carrot, cucumber, tomato, onion, bell pepper, celery and zucchini, provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Add in an olive oil-based dressing to obtain monounsaturated fatty acids, a healthy fat that can reduce your risk of heart disease.
A healthy dinner can start off with a bowl of split pea soup. Peas are a low glycemic food. For your entrée, have grilled tempeh served with steamed bok choy and barley. Tempeh is a fermented soy food. Bok choy is a dark green leaf vegetable that is among the most nutrient-dense foods. Barley is a whole grain that is low glycemic.
Snacks are an important part of a diabetic diet because they can help you manage your blood sugar levels between meals. A healthy vegan snack for diabetics is walnuts, a nut that may help you reduce your fasting insulin levels. When you reduce fasting insulin levels, you are in better control of managing your diabetes. Walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of heart disease.
- The Vegetarian Resource Group; Veganism in a Nutshell; 2009
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Center for Integrative Medicine; Glycemic Index; 2010
- MedlinePlus; Soy; 2010
- MayoClinic.com; Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet; 2009
- MayoClinic.com; Dietary Fats: Know Which Types to Choose; 2009
- Eat Right America; Full List of Andi Scores; 2010