Preventing Diabetes through Exercise and Vegetarian Diet

Preventing Diabetes with Vegetarian DietThere is a new study that shows that increased physical activity and a vegetarian diet can lessen the risk of diabetes within the African American population. This population has been known to have higher chances of developing diabetes. African Americans are twice more likely to develop diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.

The study showed that active physical activity at least three times a week and eating a vegetarian diet can help reduce the probability of type 2 diabetes in African Americans. Researchers are very encouraged by this study since hopefully it will prevent more cases of type 2 diabetes said Serena Tonstad, MD, the lead author of this research project and a professor at Loma Linda University.

She said that eating a vegetarian diet might be a way for the African American population to offset the additional risk of diabetes. The research showed that those black individuals who followed the vegan diet had a 70% less chance of developing type 2 diabetes than those who did not eat vegan. Dr. Tonstad said there must be a connection between eating a vegetarian diet and reducing the chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the African American population. Vegetarian blacks who did not eat meat but drink milk have a 53% less chance to develop type 2 diabetes.

There is a greater chance for African Americans to also suffer from complications that are results of diabetes, such as amputations of the lower extremities and end-stage renal disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports this.

What is the reason then for this? Dr. Tonstad says one possibility is that fruits and vegetables contain a lot more fiber which might cause a decreased chance of type 2 diabetes. Also, there are certain foods, such as whole grains and beans (legumes) that improve glycemic control and decrease how quickly carbohydrates are absorbed and lessen the chance of diabetes. Therefore, there must be a link between the foods African Americans eat and type 2 diabetes.

The study done by Dr. Tonstad at Loma Linda University also showed African American participants that exercised at least three times or even more week had lessened their risk of type 2 diabetes by 35% versus those participants who only worked out once or never. Therefore exercising three or more times a week is a great way to decrease the chance of type 2 diabetes within the African American community.

Dr. Tonstad conducted some research to see if there was any linkage between eating, exercising, and decreasing the chance of developing type 2 diabetes. It turns out that there may be as those African American participants in the study who ate a vegan diet had a 70 percent less chance of developing diabetes and those who ate a vegetarian diet had a 53% less chance of developing diabetes. In addition, they looked at those African American participants that worked out on a regular basis and saw that those participants who exercised three or more times a week decreased their chance of developing diabetes by 35 percent. Therefore, there has to be a linkage between eating, exercising and lessening the risk of diabetes in the African American population.

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