A healthy plant-based diet may lower type 2 diabetes risk, Harvard study shows

In a new study, researchers found that people who follow plant-based diets persistently may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who cannot follow these diets for a long time.

They also found the benefit was stronger for people eating diets high in healthy plant-based foods.

The research was done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Plant-based dietary patterns are gaining popularity in recent years.

It is important to quantify their overall links with diabetes risk, particularly because these diets can vary in terms of their food composition.

While previous studies have suggested that plant-based dietary patterns may help lower type 2 diabetes risk, there has been a lack of research analyzing the overall body of epidemiological evidence.

In the new study, the team analyzed nine studies that looked at this association and were published through February 2019.

They included health data from 307,099 participants with 23,544 cases of type 2 diabetes.

The team analyzed adherence to an “overall” predominantly plant-based diet.

This could include a mix of healthy plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes, but also less healthy plant-based foods such as potatoes, white flour, and sugar, and modest amounts of animal products

The researchers also looked at “healthful” plant-based diets, which were defined as those emphasizing healthy plant-based foods, with lower consumption of unhealthy plant-based foods.

They found that people with the highest adherence to overall predominantly plant-based diets had a 23% lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those with weaker adherence to the diets.

They also found that the association was strengthened for those who ate healthful plant-based diets.

The team explains that healthy plant-based foods could improve insulin sensitivity and blood pressure, reduce weight gain, and alleviate systemic inflammation.

All of these can contribute to lower diabetes risk.

This study provides the most comprehensive evidence to date for the link between eating a healthy plant-based diet and reduced type 2 diabetes risk.

The researchers suggest people choose fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, tofu, and other healthy plant foods as the cornerstone of their plant-based diets.

The lead author of the study is Frank Qian, who conducted the research as a masters student in the Department of Nutrition.

The study is published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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