Healthy Living – A nutrient dense, plant rich (NDPR) diet is best for preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes

© 2017-Monte Vista Journal

A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition reported that higher plant protein intake is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. In their analysis, they estimated that replacing one percent of calories from animal protein with calories from plant protein would decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by 18 percent.1
At first glance, it may seem like the dietary effects on diabetes would be only relevant to carbohydrate-containing foods. The more low-carbohydrate, high-protein foods in your diet, the better; those foods don’t directly raise blood glucose. However, that is a too simplistic view of the development of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is not only driven by elevated glucose levels, but also by chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and alterations in circulating lipids (fats).2-5
There has been considerable amount of evidence that red and processed meats are linked to a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, and many studies have compared plant and animal protein intake with respect to diabetes risk. A larger study published in 2016 found an increase in type 2 diabetes risk in those with the highest animal protein intake. They also performed a meta-analysis of 11 previous studies, which detected a 19 percent increase in risk with the highest animal protein intake.6
A 2010 meta-analysis of 12 prospective cohort studies concluded that high total meat intake increased type 2 diabetes risk 17 percent above low intake, high red meat intake by 21 percent, and high processed meat intake by 41 percent.7 Since these foods don’t directly cause an increase in blood glucose, how might they raise diabetes risk?
AGEs are substances that cause oxidative stress and inflammation, damage body proteins and fats, and contribute to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and complications of diabetes. AGE production in the body is increased by elevated blood glucose.8-12 Food is also a source of AGEs, in particular, fried foods, broiled meats, high-fat animal foods, and dry cooked starchy foods (cookies, muffins, cold cereals, fried potatoes).13-15 Compared to meats, plant protein sources like beans and raw nuts and seeds afford lower exposure to AGEs.
Too much iron increases the risk for type 2 diabetes. Heme iron, found only in animal products, is highly absorbable compared to nonheme iron in plant foods. A diet high in animal products over time results…