It’s currently estimated that 415 million people have diabetes globally – around 1 in 11 of the total population. Approximately 90% of those cases are type 2, which is sometimes triggered by people’s health and lifestyle, like being overweight or obese.
Because lifestyle factors can increase the risks of type 2 diabetes, there’s been a lot of focus on reducing the number of type 2 diabetes cases in recent years.
According to new research, remission from type 2 diabetes could be possible, as long as people diagnosed with it eat the right diet. The researchers found that prioritizing whole foods and plant-based foods and cutting back on unhealthy options could improve their health outcomes.
The research, which was published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, has found that diets that are heavy on whole foods and plant-based foods can be effective at improving blood glucose control, and in some cases, it even meant a remission from the disease.
The study analyzed the data of 59 patients between the ages of 41 and 89 who were receiving treatment for type 2 diabetes in a wellness center in Virginia. They were all on medication and their hemoglobin A1C levels were over 6.5%.
As part of their treatment, the patients were told to change their diets to whole and plant-based foods, with very little fat.
After changing their diet, 37% of the participants reached full type 2 diabetes remission, and the others saw some positive changes in their hemoglobin A1C levels, fasting glucose levels, and body mass index (BMI).
Researcher Dr, Gunadhar Panigrahi said: “The prevalence of diabetes is growing, as is recognition in the health care community that diet as the primary intervention can achieve lasting remission in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
This case series further supports the effectiveness of a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern as a primary intervention to achieve remission, as well as the need for increased education for both clinicians and patients on the successful application of lifestyle medicine principles and dietary interventions in everyday medical practice.”