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Aderinola Bunmi
LAUTECH
Science Laboratory Technology
Aspirant, Nigeria.

Researchers from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, United States of America, have said sticking to a plant-based diet could help lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

As reported by the Cable News Network, the researchers in a new paper published in the journal, JAMA Internal Medicine suggested that the link between plant-based diet and type 2 diabetes was more beneficial when only healthy plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts are included daily diet, as opposed to refined grains, starches and sugars.

The senior author of the study, Dr Qi Sun, said, “We found that eating a plant-based diet is associated with a 23 per cent reduction in diabetes risk.

“We further showed that individuals who consumed a healthy version of the plant-based diet by emphasising the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, and minimising intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and refined carbohydrates, has a further 30 per cent reduction in their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. I would describe the risk reduction as being quite significant.”

The research involved reviewing nine previously published studies on plant-based eating habits and type 2 diabetes among adults. Those studies included a total of 23,544 cases of type 2 diabetes.

After reviewing the data in those studies, the researchers found that higher adherence to a plant-based diet was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and that it was consistent across all age groups and despite a person’s body mass index.

The researchers submitted that eating a primarily plant-based diet that included some animal products, such as meat, could still be beneficial.

Sun said, “Keep in mind that many healthy eating patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet or DASH diet, are also largely plant-based. For people who already practice these diets, I think they are on the right path.” According to the World Health Organisation, diabetes is on the rise globally as the number of people with diabetes has climbed from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014

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