A plant-based diet for type 2 diabetes: scientific support and practical strategies

Diabetes Educ. 2010 Jan-Feb;36(1):33-48. doi: 10.1177/0145721709357797.


Purpose: The purpose of this review is to provide educators with the knowledge and tools to utilize plant-based nutrition education as an intervention for type 2 diabetes. Scientific support for the efficacy, acceptability, and nutritional adequacy of a plant-based diet for people with type 2 diabetes is presented, and practical considerations such as medication adjustment and risk of hypoglycemia are reviewed.

Conclusions: Plant-based meal planning is an acceptable and effective strategy that educators can use to improve diabetes management and reduce risk of complications. Studies show that dietary changes that are effective for reducing cardiac risk may also be helpful for management of type 2 diabetes. A low-fat, plant-based diet reduces body weight and improves glycemic control, and has been shown to be remarkably well accepted by patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diet, Diabetic*
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted
  • Glycemic Index
  • Health Planning / methods*
  • Humans
  • United States / epidemiology