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Vegetarian Diet for Diabetics: Tips to Plan It

If people following a vegetarian diet are diagnosed with diabetes, they can continue it and help with their treatment. We explain how to develop an appropriate meal plan for these cases.

Vegetarian Diet For Diabetics: Tips To Plan It

Last Update: August 20, 2022

The mortality statistics of diabetes and its complications have turned it into a real public health problem. Changing to a healthier eating pattern has become a primary prevention and treatment measure. Now, does a vegetarian diet work for diabetics?

Different versions of the vegetarian diet have proven to be as beneficial as traditional diets, However, they must be implemented correctly.

It involves consuming an adequate ration of nutrients and calories according to individual needs. Therefore, some tips are necessary to make them work in a better way.

In this article, we will give you general guidelines that allow you to adequately follow a vegetarian diet for patients with diabetes. So, if you continue reading this article, you can help reduce the statistics of this dreaded disease.



What is a vegetarian diet?

according to the magazine offer, vegetarian diet includes all foods of plant origin and excludes meat and its derivatives. According to the degree of exclusion, we find the following:

  • Vegetarian: In which animal feed is not eaten.
  • Lactovegetariana: Apart from vegetables, eggs, milk and milk products are consumed.
  • Lactovegetarian: It includes only milk and its derivatives as foods of animal origin, but not eggs.
  • Minor variants: vegetarian (eggs and vegetables) and semi-vegetarian (allows fish and poultry).

How does a vegetarian diet affect diabetes?

The treatment of diabetes is based on 3 fundamental pillars: healthy diet, regular physical activity and medication. The first two are applied preventively. But even in the case of food, it is a viable and irreplaceable option because of its protective effect.

Plant-based eating patterns tend to be lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Plus, they’re high in fiber, potassium and unsaturated fatty acids. Vegetarian diets can maintain blood sugar control, control body weight, and reduce complications of the disease.

Benefits of vegetarian diet for diabetic patients

The properties and nutritional properties of a vegetarian diet are beneficial in the treatment of various diseases. Especially diabetes. Let’s see why.

Both type 1 and 2 diabetes can benefit from a vegetarian diet. As long as certain principles are followed in your plan.

control body weight

vegetarian diet plan low in calories relative to traditional. It favors weight loss in obese diabetic patients, regulates body mass index.

In addition, maintaining good weight control helps normalize blood sugar. The risk of frequent complications of diabetes is reduced.

Reduces Cardiovascular Complications

Vegetarian diets tend to be cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat., which is known to be a cardiovascular protective factor. Similarly, a high content of dietary fiber can control high levels of lipids in the blood.

Regulates blood sugar and insulin response

Vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, whole grains and nuts can help control blood sugar and improve insulin response.

However, excessive consumption of certain vegetables and derivatives, especially those rich in simple sugars and starches (bread, rice, potatoes, undercooked pasta), Can negatively affect blood sugar,



Tips for planning a vegetarian diet for a diabetic patient

The first advice for a vegetarian diet with diabetes is attend consultations with a nutritionist, Who will personally assess the health status. In addition, it will establish the caloric requirements of macro and micronutrients to be ingested during the plan.

In the event that the diet is not strictly vegetarian

Depending on the type of vegetarian diet, some foods of animal origin may or may not be considered. If so, you should know which product to choose with.

In the case of eggs being involved, It is recommended to use about 5 egg whites a week, as they do not contain fat. However, it is also allowed to eat about 3 yolks a week and only 2 in case of high blood lipids.

Cheese should be lean or fat-free, Ricotta or cheese cottage They can be a good choice, as they are low in saturated fat. Milk and curd cream should be removed.

If the diet accepted white meat, Blue fish are recommended, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines or tuna. They have a high content of omega-3, which prevents heart diseases.

Poultry should be prepared without skin and preferably lean cuts. Roasting, baking or grilling is recommended to avoid the use of fat in cooking.

Choose vegetables with a low glycemic index

The glycemic index (GI) of a food is a number that indicates The rate at which blood sugar rises. This value is compared to a reference object, which can be glucose or white bread.

Foods of plant origin with a high GI, that is, they quickly raise blood sugar. That’s why diabetic patients should avoid their consumption.

According to the American Diabetes Association, bread, sugar, potatoes, pumpkin, white rice, wheat flour, pineapple and melon have a GI greater than 70. while Brown rice, oat bran, white rice, legumes, carrots, and most fruits have a low GI. youngest 55.

eat fiber rich vegetables

Fiber is a nutrient with recognized health benefits., In the case of soluble fiber, it can control the rate of absorption of carbohydrates. In this way it is successful in controlling blood sugar.

Pectin, mucilage, and beta-glucan are examples of soluble fiber. To increase these in your diet, eat legumes, such as beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas.

All fruits are included except avocados, olives, watermelon and pineapple. Choose whole grains too, such as quinoa, oats, barley and amaranth.

Regarding intake, the American Diabetes Association Recommends between 20 and 35 grams a day of fiber to control sugar and insulin. in diabetic patients. For this it is recommended to eat the following:

  • 3 daily servings of vegetables: Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, artichokes, spinach.
  • 2 servings of fruit: Apples, plums, grapes, pears, peaches, kiwi, grapes, berries.
  • 5 servings of whole grains.
  • 4 to 5 servings of legumes,
Legumes have their place in the diet of a diabetic patient. 4 to 5 daily servings would be ideal.

Use the Right Type and Amount of Grease

Although vegetable oils contain essential fatty acids and omega-3s, amounts established by a health professional should be consumed. In addition, fats and oils are a source of energy. 1 gram provides 9 calories, which is more than double that of proteins and carbohydrates.

Avoid frying in preparation, dressing with oil, avocado and peanut butter, olive and milk cream. Remember to use olive oil preferably.

deliver carbohydrates at the same time

The distribution of the number of carbohydrate intakes throughout the day should be the same on each day, including time lag. Regularity positively affects blood sugar control.

That carbohydrate distribution doesn’t apply to all patients. This will be decided by a nutrition professional.

Avoid Certain Nutrient Deficiencies

Vitamin B12 is a micronutrient found in foods of animal origin. especially in milk, yogurt and eggs, In case of vegetarians, there may be a deficiency of this vitamin and hence, dosage in the dosage of 5 micrograms per day is recommended.

Vegetarian diet model for diabetic patients

While planning a vegetarian diet for diabetic patients, each of the above tips should be considered. This menu model ranges between 1,200 and 1,600 calories a day.

  • Breakfast: 1 whole wheat toast with roasted spinach, Swiss chard and olive oil, 3/4 cup unsweetened rolled oats, a whole apple and coffee.
  • Collation: fresh fruit salad
  • lunch: 1/2 cup stir-fried spinach with pine nuts, 1 cup boiled lentils with brown rice, fruit skewers, iced sweet tea.
  • Breakfast: 1/4 cup nuts
  • Chest: 3/4 cup cooked rice curry with mushrooms and chickpeas, 1 cup roasted zucchini, eggplant and peppers, 1 fruit skewer.

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