Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in adults. Not only can diabetes affect your vision but it can also harm the rest of your body. Fortunately, type 2 diabetes can be modified by lifestyle changes. If you’re my patient, I’ve probably had this discussion with you. If not, here’s a snippet!
Vegetarian diets have been scientifically proven to PREVENT and TREAT diabetes. In some studies, it has been shown to be more beneficial in improving diabetes symptoms than traditional medication!!
I put together an easy go-to list on common foods to eat and avoid.
Foods to EAT:
Foods to AVOID:
Eating a proper diet will not only prevent certain forms of diabetes but an array of diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, obesity and more. There are many categories of vegetarian diets; I’ll list them below. Pick a diet that you’ll be able to stick to. The goal is a lifestyle change, not a fad you’ll soon forget. I know it seems hard to give up everything that you’re used to eating. It takes commitment and discipline, but I know you can do it! Healthy recipes are abundant online. I’ll be including some of my own favorite recipes soon! Begin with a handful of recipes that you enjoy and are easy to make. Soon enough you will start feeling physically and mentally great, you’ll wish you didn’t wait so long to change!
Four types of vegetarian diets & prevalence of diabetes*:
- Vegan (no animal products) 2.9%
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian (includes dairy) 3.2%
- Pesco-vegetarian (includes fish) 4.8%
- Semi-vegetarian (includes occasional animal products) 6.1%
- NOT vegetarian 7.6%
- Prevalence is the number of cases of a disease that are present in a particular population
As you can see from the numbers above, those who are vegan have a lower risk of developing diabetes and those who consume animal products have the highest risk.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes type 1 or 2, please make sure you’re getting your eyes checked annually by an eye care specialist.