If given the option to drink from the fountain of youth and regeneration, would you? That fountain is within your reach and involves a plant-based diet and regular exercise. Today’s research excerpt further investigates the dietary ‘fountain of youth and regeneration’ along with its benefits.

In a 72-week study published by Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, people with type 2 diabetes followed either a low-fat vegan diet or a moderate-carbohydrate plan. Both groups lost weight and improved their cholesterol. When people who didn’t complete the study or had medication changes were omitted from the study analysis, there was a significantly greater decrease in A1C and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the vegans.

A study of nearly 100,000 members of the Seventh-day Adventist church, which promotes a vegetarian diet, showed that the vegetarians had a lower rate of type 2 than nonvegetarians. “The closer people follow a vegan diet, the more they stay at a healthy weight and prevent type 2,” says Michael J. Orlich, M.D., assistant professor of preventive medicine at Loma Linda University in California. Orlich was involved with the study.

Not eating red and processed meats may help prevent type 2 even without factoring in body weight. Two long-term, ongoing studies by the Harvard School of Public Health tracking nearly 150,000 health care providers showed that people who ate an additional half serving of red meat daily for four years had a 50 percent higher risk of developing type 2. Cutting back on red-meat intake by more than a half serving a day reduced this risk by 15 percent.

“Study after study has tightly linked eating a plant-based diet with decreasing a number of chronic diseases—type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain cancers,” says Sharon Palmer, RD, dietitian and author of The Plant-Powered Diet (The Experiment, 2012). The common denominators are chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Both problems, which are interrelated, appear to diminish with a plant-based eating plan.

Studies indicate that vegetarians also tend to practice other healthy behaviors, like not smoking, being physically active, watching less television, and getting enough sleep.

Source: “Should You Go Vegetarian? The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet for People with Diabetes.” By Hope Warshaw. http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com