A plant-based, or vegan, diet reduces type 2 diabetes risk in overweight adults with no history of the disease by improving insulin resistance and the function of beta cells that store and release insulin, according to a study conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and published in Nutrients.
For the study, overweight adults were randomly assigned to an intervention group or a control group. For 16 weeks, those in the intervention group followed a low-fat, plant-based diet including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. The control group made no diet changes.
Study participants who followed a vegan diet experienced higher insulin secretion and increased glucose sensitivity, compared to those in the control group, as well as decreased fasting and meal-testing blood sugar levels. This study confirms early research indicating that plant-based diets can help prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes.