The diet substitutes that are made from plant-based foods may be more beneficial than the more traditional options for the pancreases health, says Dr. John Travolta, a cardiologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
In addition, people with type 2 diabetes may benefit from a vegan diet.
“Vegans are more likely to have good blood sugar control than people who eat meat or poultry,” says Dr Traviolo.
“So the question is, are we going to have better blood sugar management by having a plant- based diet or by a vegan one?”
Vegetarian diets can also be a good source of protein, calcium and fiber.
“A plant-containing diet, especially a vegan, is going to provide all of the essential amino acids, and the vitamins and minerals,” says Travolto.
“You can also get a lot of antioxidants from the plant-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables.”
Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets are all safe for most people, including people with diabetes.
“There are a lot more benefits of a plant based diet than a plant protein diet, but the one thing that is not so clear-cut is whether there is a benefit for the heart,” says Kelsi Jones, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer.
She says if you are diabetic or have other heart conditions, a vegan or a plant source of energy may be the way to go.
“Vegan foods are not necessarily the way of the future for most Americans,” says Jones.
“But they are certainly the way we should be eating now, so people can choose to eat what they want and make the best choices for themselves.”
Jones says she will continue to research all aspects of this topic, including how best to get the most out of plant-free foods.