Diabetes is a chronic medical condition where your body cannot utilize insulin (insulin resistance) or produce enough insulin to control your blood sugar.
There are two types of diabetes, and in both types, your blood sugar level rises, which can damage your blood vessels, heart, kidneys, and eyes.
Uncontrolled blood sugar can also lead to peripheral artery disease, sciatic nerve damage, and non-healing ulcers. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to heart attack, stroke, or even coma and death.
Blood sugar must be controlled to prevent dangerous health complications. This article will discuss how a vegetarian diet can help control blood sugar levels, which effectively manages diabetes.
What is a vegetarian diet?
Vegetarians abstain from the consumption of meat, fish, poultry, and sometimes even eggs and dairy. A healthy vegetarian diet is low in sugar, processed foods, oils, and fats and is rich in fiber; it’s much healthier than the standard Western diet.
Today, more people are adopting a vegetarian diet, which, as a result, helps with controlling blood sugar and reduces the need for insulin.
Interestingly, research shows that the need to take medication for blood sugar control is much less for people who follow a vegetarian diet for 22 weeks. But this doesn’t mean you can stop all your medications by merely switching to a vegetarian diet. You should always follow up with your doctor while monitoring your blood sugar regularly.
The financial burden of diabetes
Today, diabetes has become a major health risk that affects 6.3% of the population in America. This means about 18.9 million Americans suffer from diabetes and its complications.
As we know, diabetes is not a cheap disease. In fact, according to diabetes.org, people diagnosed with diabetes pay on average $16,752 annually for treatment. In truth, its ongoing costs can cripple patients financially. Supplies and medications to control blood sugar and manage long term complications of diabetes can be a significant financial burden on patients and their families. Although insurance companies pay for supplies, the deductibles add up fast.
How a vegetarian diet helps reduce this burden
As we’ve said, a vegetarian diet is beneficial in controlling blood sugar, and aiding in its treatment and chronic complications.
Coronary artery disease is a well-known long-term complication of diabetes. Research shows that vegetarians have the lowest rate of coronary artery disease compared to any other group. The risk of vegetarians developing heart disease is 50% less than the general population.
Developing obesity is nine times less in those who follow a vegetarian diet. Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, and being overweight contributes to developing complications in diabetic patients.
Switching to a vegetarian diet combined with lifestyle alterations such as engaging in regular aerobic exercise has a significant impact on managing diabetes effectively. It’s a well-known fact that the risk of complications significantly declines with proper diabetes management. You will feel better, and your blood sugar will come down gradually, too, significantly reducing the need for oral medications and insulin injections. However, only your doctor should alter your prescriptions.
The progression of diabetes, whether it worsens or improves, largely has to do with the changes you’re willing to make in your lifestyle. You have the power to change the course of your illness. Just imagine living the rest of your life without many of the complications that come from diabetes? The adverse effects of diabetes have a significant impact on your health and daily life. This may be a bit overly dramatic, but surely, being bedridden by a stroke or losing a limb to a non-healing ulcer is something you’d most certainly like to avoid.
A vegetarian diet is a natural and holistic way to assist in controlling your blood sugar levels. And it has a positive impact on treating and managing diabetes as well as its complications.
We eat to live and not live to eat. So, modifying your diet and lifestyle to be healthy and boost life quality is a choice that only you can make.
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