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Plant-based diets, environmental sustainability and diabetes management

Nov 09, 2016

Chronic disease guidelines recommend diet and lifestyle as the cornerstone of therapy for the prevention and management of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Studies examining the link between diet, health and the environment show plant-based diets to be more environmentally sustainable and beneficial for reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases. Furthermore, several systematic reviews and meta-analyses published in this area have suggested meat consumption may be harmful for type 2 diabetes risk and related risk factors, whereas plant-based diets and major plant protein sources (e.g. soy, soy products, pulses and nuts) have shown to be beneficial for type 2 diabetes risk and related risk factors. The intake of major plant protein sources in North America and Europe, however, remains low. In addition, studies have suggested that health care providers have knowledge of plant-based diets for diabetes management but low levels of practice in implementing them. Given the global diabetes epidemic and mounting concern for the environment, it will remain important to implement life-style modification strategies that will also positively impact our environment.

What barriers do healthcare providers face in promoting/prescribing plant-based diets to patients for diabetes management?  What are your overall thoughts about following a plant-based diet (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, Mediterranean, Portfolio, etc.)?

Information about the discussion leader

The discussion will be moderated by Effie Viguiliouk, MSc, Research Coordinator and Assistant in the Toronto 3D Knowledge Synthesis and Clinical Trials Unit and Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.


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