Benefits of A Vegetarian Diet For Managing Diabetes, Recipe Included

Though it is not likely to cure your diabetes, eating a vegetarian diet may help control some of the symptoms, stave off diabetes-related complications, and possibly make the body more insulin-responsive.

The benefits depend on the type of vegetarian diet adopted. A vegetarian who allows dairy products will experience different results than a vegan, a person who eliminates all animal products from his or her diet.

Even if you do not choose a vegetarian lifestyle, you can enjoy some of its perks by preparing veggie meals a few times each month.

Three Vegetarian Diet Benefits

  1. Controlling blood glucose. Foods prominent in vegetarian diets – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes – help the body control blood glucose and become more responsive to insulin. This reduces the risk of complications related to diabetes and may lower the amount of medication you require. However, diabetic vegetarians need to monitor their intake of simple carbohydrates or starches, which can quickly elevate blood sugar.
  2. Managing weight. Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in calories than non-vegetarian diets, making weight management an easier task. Vegans, who eat no meat or meat-related products, also have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than most of us. Having a healthy body weight and BMI aids in blood glucose management, lowers the risk of diabetes-related complications, and facilitates overall well-being.
  3. Maintaining a healthy heart. Enjoying a low-fat vegetarian diet will decrease your risk for developing cardiovascular disease, a complication that often accompanies diabetes. Though keeping a strict vegan diet is not for everyone, it is cholesterol-free, high in soluble fiber, and very low in saturated fat – further lowering the risk of heart disease.

Veggie Pita Pizzas

Pizza is always fun to eat, and a veggie pizza might be the perfect way to experiment with vegetarian dining. This recipe is quick to prepare, and you can easily substitute your favorite veggie toppings.

Ingredients

  • 2 large pitas, whole wheat
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 3 oz. fresh zucchini
  • 8 medium mushrooms, fresh
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 8 black olives
  • ¼ tsp. each of dried oregano, dried basil and garlic powder
  • 4 Tbsp. low-sodium spaghetti sauce
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, part-skim

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a knife to cut around the edge of each pita, splitting each into two rounds or crusts.
  2. Put the rounds on a baking sheet; bake until crisp – about 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Chop the tomato, zucchini, mushrooms, olives and onion and put into a bowl; mix in the oregano, dried basil and garlic powder.
  4. Spread a tablespoon of the spaghetti sauce over each pita round and spoon the veggie mixture over the top, dividing it evenly between the four rounds.
  5. Sprinkle each pizza with an ounce of shredded cheese.
  6. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted; cut each round into four wedges and serve.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Journey for Control

More Articles

Diabetic shoes are important as a common side effect of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which causes loss of sensation in the extremities....

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

Insulin injections are a way of life for many people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but for some people, they can be a little intimidating at...

More Articles

Many diabetics struggle to control the sudden blood sugar spikes that can occur after meals. Knowing why blood sugar spikes happen and making...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

People often get diabetes and hypoglycemia confused with one another, believing that they are two different names for the same condition. In...

Diabetes is a health condition that disrupts the body’s normal production of insulin. Currently, more than one million Americans are diagnosed...

Insulin injections are a way of life for many people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but for some people, they can be a little intimidating at...

With diabetes, it all used to be really simple: Type 1 diabetes was known as “childhood-onset,” and type 2 was “adult-onset” diabetes. The cause...

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Everyone from grandmothers to physicians tout oatmeal's wholesome goodness and health benefits. But, is oatmeal good for diabetics? Limited...

A common complication associated with diabetes is swollen feet. The swelling can...

Stomach aches and other gastrointestinal pains can be signs of a bigger problem. One such problem for diabetics is gastroparesis, or delayed...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

You may think beer, wine, and liquor would be categorized as food, but in reality, alcohol is a drug. Just like medications, alcohol has powerful...

While most physicians will tell you that your blood glucose will not be impacted by a flu shot, anecdotally there are reports of increased...

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

There are several misconceptions about Diabetes. Learn more about the top misconceptions vs. facts surrounding Type 2 Diabetes below.

86...