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I'm wondering whether a diet rich in plant foods, such as a vegan diet, can have a positive impact on people with diabetes and/or people with pre-diabetes, the condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes.

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Yes, definitely.

There are several investigations assessing this issue. In several clinical trials (1, 2) Dr. Barnard has prooved that a low-fat vegan diet can improve serum values of HbA1c and requirements for medication of patients affected by type 2 diabetes. The same studies found significant improvements in plasma lipids (LDL and total cholesterols), that show decrease of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, often a complication of diabetes and metabolic disorders.

Additionally, clinical trials show that vegan and vegetarian diets promote weight loss (3, 4, 5) and improved insulin sensitivity(4, 5) being these two important risk factors for type 2 diabetes (6).

The reasons of the effectiveness must be found in the fact -among others- that vegetarians and vegans eat less quantities of total fats, saturated fats and highers amounts of fiber and show lower BMI (7).

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