Basic principles of Viva!’s D-Diet: eat to beat diabetes
1ST PRINCIPLE: NO TO ALL ANIMAL PRODUCTS If you want to eat to beat diabetes, you'll reject all animal products, such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs, you will avoid eating substantial amounts of fat and your cholesterol intake will, literally, be zero. Even lean white meat and fish contain surprising amounts of fat. For example, 38 per cent of calories from roast chicken and 40 per cent of calories from salmon come from fat. But look at dairy – 75 per cent of calories from Cheshire or Cheddar cheese come from fat.
2ND PRINCIPLE: LOW FAT Even though vegetable oils are better than animal fats as they contain essential fatty acids, less saturated fat and no cholesterol, it is still important to keep them to a minimum. Cutting down fat intake is vital for many reasons – to help muscle cells reduce the amount of fat interfering with insulin sensitivity, to improve heart health, to reduce the risk of many degenerative diseases and to promote weight loss.
3RD PRINCIPLE: LOW GI Glycaemic index (GI) is a measure of the effects of carbohydrate sugars and starches on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and rapidly release glucose have a high GI; those that break down more slowly, have a low GI. It is these latter types of food that are the ones you need. (See Viva!’s guide for a GI chart, The Big D – Defeating Diabetes with the D-Diet.) When you eat to beat diabetes, the D-Diet is your path to success - but a low-fat wholesome vegan diet is what we should all be eating for greater energy and better health. It not only helps the body to reduce fat stored in its cells, which cause insulin resistance, but also brings about improved blood sugar control, reduces blood cholesterol, helps to induce weight loss without portion restriction, prevents further kidney and nerve damage and helps to lower blood pressure. The usefulness of a vegan diet was eventually endorsed by the American Diabetes Association in 2010.