Articles, Blog

Flashback Friday: Plant-Based Diets for Diabetes

October 9, 2019

Plant-Based Diets for Diabetes” I’ve talked about the role meat may
play in increasing the risk of diabetes, and the potential protective
role of healthy plant foods. But plant-based diets
not only appear to guard against getting diabetes
in the first place, they may successfully treat the disease
better than the diabetic diets patients are typically placed on, controlling
weight and cholesterol. Diets based on whole plant foods can
result in significant weight loss without any limits on portion
size or calorie counting, because plant foods tend
to be so calorically dilute. Here’s a 100 calories of broccoli,
tomatoes, strawberries, compare that to a 100 calories
of chicken, cheese, or fish. People just can’t seem to eat to enough
to compensate for the calorie deficit so lose weight eating whole plant foods.
And most importantly, it works. Better. A plant-based diet beat out the conventional
American Diabetes Association diet in a head-to-head randomized
controlled clinical trial, without restricting portions,
no calorie or carb counting. A review of all such studies found that
individuals following plant-based diets experience improved reductions in blood
sugars, body weight, and cardiovascular risk, compared with those following
diets that included animal products. And cardiovascular risk is
what kills diabetics the most. They’re more likely to get strokes,
more likely heart failure. In fact, diabetes has been proposed as
a coronary heart disease risk equivalent, meaning diabetic patients without
a history of coronary disease have an equivalent risk to those
non-diabetic individuals with confirmed heart disease. A newer study used a technique to
actually measure insulin sensitivity. Improved on both diets
in the first three months, but then the veg diet pulled ahead.
And look at their LDL cholesterol. That’s what we see when people
are put on plant-based diets; cholesterol comes down so much it can
actually reverse the atherosclerosis progression, reverse the
progression of heart disease. We know about the beneficial
effect of vegetarian diets on controlling weight, blood sugars,
cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and oxidative stress compared
to conventional diabetic diets, but what about quality
of life, mood? How did people feel after making
such a dramatic change in their diets? In this randomized controlled trial,
study subjects were assigned either to a plant-based diet
group or control group. Vegetables, grains, beans, fruits, and
nuts, with animal products limited to a maximum of one daily
portion of low-fat yogurt, and the control group got
the official diabetes diet. Quality of life improved on both
diets in the first few months, but within six months, the plant-
based group clearly pulled ahead. Same thing with
depression scores. Dropped in both groups
in the first three months, but started to rebound
in the control group. Bottom line, the more plant-based
diet led to a greater improvement in quality of life
and mood. Patients consuming a vegetarian diet
also felt less constrained than those consuming the conventional diet.
People actually felt the conventional diabetic diet was more restrictive
than the plant-based diet. Disinhibition decreased
with a vegetarian diet, meaning those eating vegetarian
were less likely to binge. And the veg group folks
tended to feel less hungry, all of which helps with
sustainability in the long term, which is, of course, critical
for changing diet. So not only do plant-based diets
appear to work better, but they may be easier to stick to.
And with the improvement in mood, patients may exhibit desired
improvements not only in physical, but also in mental health.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Gustav Lykke Jessen October 4, 2019 at 12:00 pm


  • Reply TallWaters October 4, 2019 at 12:00 pm


  • Reply Soy pusher October 4, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Greger sounds depressed this Friday

  • Reply WholeElise October 4, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    How is a Plant-Based diet still not one of the 1st things suggested in addition to standard treatments??

  • Reply Phat Vegan October 4, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    See this new keep eating all the red meat and processed meats you want Study should have looked at this one.! That's why I say those garbage individuals that allow that stuff to go in to a medical journal and the piece of garbage that produced it should go to jail!

  • Reply kinpatu October 4, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Anything is better than the conventional diet. That doesn’t mean whole foods plant based is best. Unless you enjoy the mood and energy swings of the blood glucose roller coaster.

  • Reply Justin F October 4, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    I fart extremely loud on a plant based diet

  • Reply Godonichia Augustus October 4, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Make video on benefits of NOFAP

  • Reply Daniel Blaha October 4, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    I'm always hungry on a plant based vegan diet. I don't like eating all day…
    Now I'm a vegetarian. Creamy Butter is delicious. Dr berg said saturated fat doesn't cause heart disease… that's a high insulin problem. High carb is not good with saturated fat… my doctor said I need more saturated fat in my diet.

  • Reply George Papanikolaou October 4, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks doc. #yanggang2020

  • Reply Daniel Blaha October 4, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Keto for Diabetics

  • Reply ooo789456123 October 4, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    My cholesterol reduced from >200 before on a conventional diet within a few months to 133 on a low fat whole food plant based diet. My father got rid of his high blood pressure, it really works

  • Reply billmanhillman October 4, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Show me someone who finds cures for disease, and I'll show you a REAL doctor. Well done Dr. Greger!!!

  • Reply Shirley Jarrett October 4, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you for this great message & a reminder that sticking to the Plant Base diet will help me achieve my goals is at a steady pace. 74 yrs old, 4 months in, I feel NOT old & decrepit. I have more energy than I did in my 30's. Losing weight (30lbs), walking 3 to 5 KM daily, no arthritis pain meds after 2 weeks, clear thinking, energy galore & the list goes on… Not a diabetic but cholesterol is high..tsk tsk but am patient & it will go down.

  • Reply R M October 4, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Hey guys, is there any advice for skin rosacea? 🙁

  • Reply Lilia Kogan October 4, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Why would the study include a serving of yogurt in the WFPB group?

  • Reply Red Pill Vegan October 4, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    But “keto keeps your blood sugar low” is such a simple concept. Watch the USDA endorse keto for diabetes in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines

  • Reply Nubian Vegan October 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Well I'm the type 2 diabetic this research applies to and I will forever shout from the rooftops the benefits of WFPB. I have tried everything, and the only thing that worked for me was to stop dieting, stop being afraid of the good carbs and stick to a WFPB lifestyle. The fact that my blood work has come back normal two times instead of the usual abnormal is all the proof I need that this lifestyle can and does save lives. 😊

  • Reply Deen Truth October 4, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Also the lower saturated fat intake might be making a difference as well….Peace.

  • Reply Chimera October 4, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    A sample size of only 74 people is very small to draw much conclusion.

  • Reply Eric K October 4, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Recommending a plant-based diet which 98% to 99% of Americans cannot do. If Greger really cared about diabetics, he would be pushing his plant-based diet PLUS healthy animal protein (not deep fried chicken and spare ribs). But he won't because first and foremost, he is an ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST.

  • Reply Beatnik Bandit Racing October 4, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I like clams

  • Reply The Carrot Industry October 4, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Stay rooted, my friends!

  • Reply R L October 4, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    His artificial manner of speaking is distracting and manipulative

  • Reply Laurence Clark Crossen October 4, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    A crucial factor is potassium, as it is necessary for the liver to handle sugar, and 98% of Americans don't get their daily requirement- not anywhere near it. And there are great tasting plant foods high in it, say cocoa, pistachios….

  • Reply Veganimal October 4, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    But it's not any plant-based diet. Dr Greger should have mentioned that the studies used LOW-FAT plant-based diets. (It's in the study titles.) If you eat high-fat vegan foods, you're going to stay fat and sick.

  • Reply bang turden October 4, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    the new intro is lovely 🙂
    if dr. greger talked a bit slower or more clearly, the videos would be even more educational – e.g. for non-native speakers.

  • Reply safffff1000 October 4, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    This an unfair comparison. I bet none of those studies look at animals grown as organic in their natural designed for diet. Of non grains grown on natural pastures under no stress. Have a study of only people who live by only eating wild hunted food far from civilizations toxic farms. When that is done then compare. Hunter.gathers gathers pre 12,000 yrs ago and those did eat plenty of organic grains, tubilers, fruits and vegies

  • Reply sofiane Eco October 5, 2019 at 8:36 am

    There is no link between ldl-c and plaque !! What a grave mistake

  • Reply sofiane Eco October 5, 2019 at 8:37 am

    And don't worry the low-fat diet is only way ahead ,leading even to regression of diabetes .

  • Reply Bas X October 5, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Diabetes is a way larger risk factor for heart disease then cholesterol. High insulin (type 2 diabetes)= 6,7x risk factor and high cholesterol: 1,4x. So high bloodsugar/ high insulin should be the root cause and not cholesterol. Cholesterol is just sticking to the damaged bloodvessel to protect it.

  • Reply Zeh Ven October 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Keto diet with fix is faster

  • Reply Daniel Lugo October 5, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Where do vegans get B12? drinking tonikums?

  • Reply roger chair October 5, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Dude talks like he's about to drop dead anytime.

  • Reply christoffer pedersen October 5, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    can you make a response video to the BS doctor and he isn't a real doctor MD

  • Reply _ g.ozkan October 5, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Dr Gregor is my brudda

  • Reply TIBER October 6, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    I really like these videos, but why do Dr. Greger always speak like he tries to talk out himself of an awkward situation in front of a police officer?

  • Reply michael onello October 6, 2019 at 11:22 pm


    Vegan whole foods on Instagram == mikewakethefoodup

  • Reply alex gomez October 8, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    No oils, No Animal products, No refined or processed foods of any kind.

  • Reply Gigi Friedman October 9, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Clearly, plant-based pulls ahead and I can attest to all the positive health benefits. ✨💫✨

  • Leave a Reply