Credentials of Corresponding Author
Name of Faculty Advisor
Dr. Annie Thomas PhD, RN
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) continues to be one of the top ten leading causes of death in the US and worldwide. Type 2 diabetes care needs a multidisciplinary approach that looks beyond managing blood glucose levels with medications. Numerous publications and guidelines have highlighted the critical role diet plays in the progression, treatment, and prevention of diabetes with its complications. Shifting to a plant-based diet (PBD) is being highlighted as a potential lifestyle change that can aid in the prevention and management of T2D.
The research studies evaluating the benefits of PBD on various diseases are relatively new, and every year new research is published confirming or challenging previous findings. The purpose of the review was to synthesize new literature on the effects of a plant-based eating pattern on type 2 diabetes, focusing on unveiling the role it plays in the prevention, management, and reversal of the disease.
We conducted a search for peer reviewed articles from 2014-2020 from PubMed, Google Scholar, Ovid Medline and CINAHL databases. The key search terms with Boolean functions included plant-based OR vegan OR whole-food plant-based AND type 2 diabetes.
Results of literature search
The results (n=537) were screened by abstracts, titles, or using filters options in the databases for publication date and type. Fourteen clinical studies, evaluating a PBD or meal substitution in healthy, at-risk, or T2D patients met the inclusion criteria.
Synthesis of evidence
The results demonstrated that a healthy PBD low in fats, rich in fiber with whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, is an effective lifestyle change for with the power of improving T2D outcomes. A PBD showed improvements in quality of life, glycemic control, body weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), fasting blood glucose (FBG), Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR), total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) in adult individuals.
Implications for practice
The findings from the high-quality studies provide evidence for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and interdisciplinary health care providers to integrate medical nutrition approaches, more importantly the behavioral nutrition for better T2D outcomes.
Nutrition Intervention with Plant-Based Diet Improve Type 2 Diabetes Outcomes