Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Recent Study: A vegan diet is easiest to maintain and lowers blood sugar better than traditional diabetes food plan February 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alicia @ 6:54 pm
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According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse a national survey done between 2004 and 2006 found that in people 20 years or older the incidence in diabetes in the U.S. was as follows:

·         6.6% in Whites

·         7.5% in Asian Americans

·         10.4% in Hispanics (of which 8.2% were Cuban, 11.9% were Mexican and 12.6% were Puerto Rican)

·         11.8% African-American/Blacks


As you can see the prevalence of Type II or what used to be referred to as “adult onset” diabetes is affecting people of color at an alarming rate. Blacks have almost double the incidence of Type II diabetes than whites and Hispanics are not far behind. The principle culprit behind this lifestyle disease is what we eat.  As an African American woman who grew up in California I had the distinct advantage of growing up with two different types of “soul food” – traditional Mexican food and dishes inspired by the deep south. While both cuisines are delicious they are also laden with fat, cholesterol,  and excesses of sugar and salt which, if eaten in excess (as they usually are) leads to overweight and obesity and can lead to a host of lifestyle diseases one being Type II diabetes.


A well written article in the Globe and Mail discusses findings from a recently published study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The study showed that patients following a low-fat vegan diet were able to lose weight, lower their blood sugar, lower their LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduced the need for diabetes medication.  The study also showed that a low-fat vegan diet was easier to follow long term than the traditional diabetes food plan.


Check out the article here:


12 Responses to “Recent Study: A vegan diet is easiest to maintain and lowers blood sugar better than traditional diabetes food plan”

  1. vicky Says:

    neat, may explain why, despite my “alarming” pregnancy weight gain (10 pounds in about a month), i didn’t have that preggo diabetes, i was just taking that “eating for two” thing quite seriously.

    • My father has diabetes. I sent him Neal Barnard’s book about reversing diabetes. He could not believe that all he had to do with stick to a whole foods vegan diet. His western medically trained diabetes diet specialist never mentioned this to him. She just tells him to use things like Splenda. (sigh).

  2. Noemi M Says:

    I’ve been trying to convince my mom who’s has diabetes for more than ten years to try a veg friendly diet. She’ll have nothing do to with it.

    • Noemi,

      I wish my father would embrace a whole foods plant centered diet… but, he has not. He has done “small” things and noticed the positive effects. He now eats Ezekiel sprouted cereal in the morning and says he feels better. However, my brother, who lives with him, says that he pretty much still eats in a way that doesn’t vibe well with his health. He’ll eat processes breads, cookies, chips and simultaneously tell my brother, “These are the foods that make us sick and kills us.” May be he’s addicted?

      My father agrees that if he were to adhere to Barnard’s diet, he knows it would help with his diabetes, weight management and blood pressure issues very much. However, he constantly tells me he simply does not like the taste of the foods he would have to eat. It’s frustrating to see ones we love literally getting sick and sometimes dying when we know they could be much healthier.

      I am trying to compassionately understand how to approach my father’s (and many others) sense of healthy foods “tasting bad.” I try to explain to my dad how he could change his “taste” if he could stick to Barnard dietary philosophy for about 4 weeks. However, I know it’s hard for many people who are used to (or addicted to) the tastes of certain foods they have been eating for their entire lives. I just wish I knew what to do or say to him that would get him to simply take the plunge. (sigh)

  3. supernovadiva Says:

    vicky- despite me being overweight and pregnant (I gained weight from the being crazy hngry and tired at the beginning)
    The doctors were SO SURE I was living at a McDonalds and trying to give me advise on ‘healthy’ options there and other places despite me constantly telling them I never go there.
    Well anyhoo they were shocked that my blood tests results were not only normal, but excellent. You could see the shock on their faces.
    I think a veg diet is saving me from diabetes and now is saving my husband from high blood pressure. We’re getting healthier going this route.
    But honestly I’ve heard of doctors saying to patients that the are so extreme they’ll have to go vegetarian and the patients ‘rather go blind than give up their meat.’

  4. Alicia Says:

    My mom and grandmother both have diabetes and it is hard to see them struggle with the disease but not be willingly to truly make the changes to rid themselves of medication and of this disease. Actually my grandmother does work very hard at eating a more healthy diet, working out, etc. and it’s paid off but my mom is another story!

    I think that the folks at Splenda have to be paying these doctors or something because I swear you would think my grandmother owns stock in Splenda. She literally buys it in bulk! I used to work for J&J the parent company of Splenda and one of the people who worked on the brand told me that he wouldn’t use the stuff himself because they weren’t really sure of the long term effects. Plain old sugar or better yet agave nectar is just fine with me!

  5. Joselle Says:

    Heart disease runs in my family but they still find it hard to believe when I say there is only cholesterol in animals. You can, like, eat an avocado, people. My boyfriend’s mom thought avocado was cholesterol-laden and that’s why she avoided them. She told me that as she dug into her salad of chicken and cream.

    Le sigh.

    • My doctor from a few years ago didn’t know that cholesterol was only in animal products. I told him I eat almond butter sandwiches all the time and he told me my cholesterol would probably be really high…. Wow, that’s pretty scary how ignorant he was.

      Yea, I eat avocados everyday and people are always saying things like, “Aren’t you worried about cholesterol and all that fat?”


  6. Alicia Says:

    I think a lot of people get saturated fats and cholesterol mixed up. Which is a directly linked to the fact that most people get nutrition information for morning talk shows and one-liners in magazines. I explain it to people this way. Cholesterol is made in the liver, if you don’t have a liver then you can’t make cholesterol. Plants don’t have livers therefore they don’t have cholesterol. Plants do have saturated fats (some have higher than others) but plants also contain mono and poly saturated fats which are actually “good” fats i.e. why olive oil, flax oil and canola oil are “good” for you.

  7. sarah Says:

    Everyone is different. When I was vegetarian (and I ate a whole foods, vegetable based diet — no sugars, no refined fats, no processed foods), my cholesterol levels were too low, my insulin levels ended up climbing too high, and I was always anemic. I’m trying out veganism for the first time, and I’m really hoping that it works out better for me!!

  8. Alicia Says:

    Hey Sarah, from you what you’ve said it would seem impossible to get all the nutrients you need from a vegetable based diet. A plant-based diet is very different than a vegetable based diet. You need to eat a variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts/seeds and legumes. Concentrating on only eating one type of food will only lead to vitamin deficiencies and other health problems (which it seems like you experienced). You can still eat no refined sugars, no refined fats and no processed food and eat a healthy plant based diet. Remember nuts and seeds aren’t refined foods and provide excellent sources of protein and essentially fatty acids. The same goes from cold pressed flax and olive oils. I hope things work out for you!

  9. Lyndsay Says:

    This reminds me of how somone who eats chicken nuggets a lot told me that bagels are high in fat and dieting people say they should be avoided.

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