Plant-Rich Diets Reduce Risk of Diabetes

A new study published by the Public Library of Science concludes that “plant-based diets, especially when rich in high-quality plant foods, are associated with substantially lower risk of developing [Type-2 Diabetes].” The researchers followed over 200,000 study participants over the course of three decades, monitoring their dietary habits and recording the incidence of type-2 diabetes among the population. They found that those with diets high in healthy plant foods and low in animal foods reduced their risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 34%. This is great news for those pursuing a reduced-meat diet!

Of course, there are a few caveats, as the researchers also found that the risk of diabetes actually increased by 16% for those with diets high in unhealthy plant foods, such as fruit juices, sweetened beverages, refined grains, potatoes, and sweets. These results suggests that even when adopting a reduced-meat diet, you should be careful to emphasize healthy options, making sure to include foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. For help designing a healthy diet that’s right for you, you can refer to the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans released by the USDA for 2015-2020.

Written by Taylor Bennett