The bad news is that I have gestational diabetes. I am diabetic. I rang my doctor to confirm my "no news is good news" theory, and she told me that I had failed the one hour test. Then I failed the fasting two hour test. They took another 7 vials of blood from me this morning, and I have my first meeting with an endocrinologist on Monday.
As soon as I got my diagnosis I went to the shop and bought three books on diabetes, and I have spent this morning reading the literature on randomized trials of diet and diabetes.
From the studies that I have read, it seems that the quickest way to get my diabetes under control is to follow a low-fat low-GI vegan diet. What is the evidence for this?
- After adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, education, income, physical activity, television watching, sleep habits, alcohol use, and BMI, an observational study found that vegans (OR 0.51 [95% CI 0.40–0.66]), lacto-ovo vegetarians (0.54 [0.49–0.60]), pesco-vegetarians (0.70 [0.61–0.80]), and semi-vegetarians (0.76 [0.65–0.90]) had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. N = 60,903 1
- A prospective cohort study (N = 3,158) and a case-control study (N = 596) found that compared to no egg consumption, adjusted relative risks for gestational diabetes were 0.94, 1.01, 1.12, 1.54, and 2.52 for consumption of ≤1, 2–3, 4–6, 7–9, and ≥10 eggs/week, respectively (P for trend = 0.008) 2
- A randomised trial (N = 99) found that type 2 diabetics allocated to a low-fat low-GI vegan diet (rather than the 2003 American Diabetes Association diet) had significantly lower HbA1c and cholesterol levels 3
I had always thought that the vegan diet was only suitable for self-righteous stinky hippies, but it looks like this is what my plate will look like for the next ten weeks:
1. Tonstad S, et al. Type of Vegetarian Diet, Body Weight, and Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care May 2009 vol. 32 no. 5 791-796
2. Qui, et al. Risk of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in Relation to Maternal Egg and Cholesterol Intake. Am. J. Epidemiol. (2011) 173 (6): 649-658.
3. Bardard, ND, et al. A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment
of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled, 74-wk clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(suppl):1588S–96S