A diet-rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and seeds with no animal products may significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, however, it isn’t clear if it might also be linked to improved mood and wellbeing.
Researchers from the University of Northampton in the UK analysed the results of historical clinical trials that compared vegan diets with other types of diets. The analysis showed that quality of life, both physical and emotional, improved only in those patients on a vegan diet.
Nerve pain eased in the plant based and other diet groups, but more so in the former. The loss of temperature control in the feet in those on the other diets suggests that eating plant based foods may have slowed the progressive nerve damage associated with diabetes, according to the research.
Blood glucose levels fell more sharply in those who cut out animal products and lost nearly twice as much weight than the ones on other diets The fall in blood fats, a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, was also greater in those on vegan diets.
The review is the first to attempt to look at the psychological impact of a plant based diet in people with type 2 diabetes, and it draws on research from five different countries, they said. In six of the studies, those following a plant based/vegan diet were able to cut down or discontinue the drugs they were taking for their diabetes and associated underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure.