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Diabetes India
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Does vegetarian diet help to keep the diseases at bay?

Now, the West is also interested in following vegetarianism due to lot of reasons.

Eating a vegetarian diet has been associated with a lowered risk of diabetes; reducing chances of incidence by almost half. Cataract formation too, is highest for meat-eaters and lowest for vegetarians. Also, since vegetarian foods are rich in antioxidants, they help fight oxidative stress damage and in turn, reduce chances of being afflicted by cardiovascular diseases drastically.

Vegetarian foods are mostly very rich in nutrients such as folic acid, fiber, vitamins (chiefly A and C), unsaturated fats, phytochemicals and minerals such as magnesium, etc. These provide excellent support to the body and go a long way in keeping you in the pink of health.

Research has shown that eating animal fat itself has no health benefits as such, and thus, if removed from the diet, a certain number of detrimental effects will also be removed consequently. Studies have also proved that body fat and cholesterol levels are much lower for vegetarians than for regular meat-eaters.

Though there are exceptions, it has been found that in general, vegetarians tend to be much wiser about their choices of food and are less likely to binge on harmful fat-filled foods, such as meaty junk foods. This goes a long way in reducing chances of stroke and obesity, in both adults and children.

A particular acid, called arachidonic acid, plays a crucial role in triggering mood disturbances. However, vegetarian food contains a very low quantity of this particular substance. Thus, it improves overall mood and lowers the level of neuroticism (characterized by moodiness, anxiety, etc.) Also, research has suggested that consuming meat, fish, poultry etc may have a negative impact on your mood.

56 Replies

Vegetarians may have a lower risk of diabetes because they are health conscious, but they are still at risk.

Vegetarians and omnivores alike are susceptible to diabetes, therefore the cause is common to both. Even vegans get diabetes and they don't consume any animal products, therefore animal products cannot be the cause.

The cause is excess carbohydrate consumption, largely due to processed food.

The conjecture that animal fat is a risk for cvd has been around for years, but is based on flawed observational studies. I had a scan earlier this year that revealed I have zero calcification, so it's nonsense. There is evidence of children with plaques; it's processed food, particularly sugar, vegetable oils and foods that spike insulin.

I forgive you for trying to imply that because I eat animals I am moody, ergo I am not moody. Why do you need to attack the omnivorous lifestyle? Is that not a negative mood?


I personally know many vegeterains inluding me ...as far as I have seen in India...vegetarians get D easily...as carbs are abundant in Indians and vegetarians rely too much on carbs...protien/carb/fat ratio is mostly distorted in meals...if they dont like the taste of meat of egg...they mostly make up the taste part of food with sweet things ...as most of them dont like to eat spices, garlic, onion and oil....how the taste will land in food??so naturally sweet/fruits are the ultimate refuge...I have seen many vegeterains gone diabetic...while non-veg people not...they enjoy eating meat so less reliance on sweet /chapati/rice /grains for taste and more over protien-carb-fat ratio is much better than vegetarians and they feel full in less quantity of food...

veg people have less omega-3s in diet...most of them battle with so many inflammatory problems

Though I have been brought up as vegerterain but would like to bring up my kids as non-vegeterian ...as it gives complete nutrition

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I am not sure which Indians you talk about because being myself an Indian, I eat all spices, garlic, onion, oil, ghee, amul butter etc.(and know other Indians, colleagues, relatives, friends who like the same) I don't like sweets at all and I do not make up for real food by eating fruits or sweets for taste! But liking sweet is an individual choice based on sweet tooth and not on particular nation if they follow a strict vegetarian diet.. Fruits are good even for diabetics if used in small portions as they are with lot of fibers, vitamins and minerals and won't cause sugar spike as you all think may be! Papaya, apple, pineapple even I eat lot of mangoes in the season. Didn't find any "out of range" blood sugars. Just eat half a papaya, 1 apple, 3-4 pieces of pineapple or can be even 1 banana for sure!:-)

There are lot of foods containing omega 3s like walnuts, flaxseeds, chiaseeds etc... Pl see the list of foods in the below link for vegetarian food sources for the same.


We Indians are not the only one who depend mainly on grains for their majority of calories but even Americans and Europeans I know have this problem....may be greater problem since they eat readymade and processed bread, pasta, sauces, (even meat) etc. with all the preservatives as chemicals causing inflammation...one more reason is fruits and vegetables gets spoiled easily if not eaten fresh and since many of these Americans and Europeans can't afford it...they rely mainly on grains. Though awareness is rising regarding health issues, people try to go on veggies and fruits and less on grains, especially diabetics.

I recently consulted one doctor who is MD in diabetology regarding LCHF diet and here what he says-

"Being a person who manages dozens of different varieties of diabetics daily, I don't believe in such fads. I believe a diabetic should have a sensible diet, regular & moderate exercise, relaxed, stressfree lifestyle, good quality sleep and abstain from tobacco (if possible, from alcohol too). All these "percentage diets" are useless."


Doctors will say this against LCHF as the pts will be controlled well with this diet and their earning will reduce

Dr vijayaragavan from goodbye diabetes from chennai is advocating lchf

Check youtube and his website

Some of my acquaintances also consult and follow him

They are happy with better control with lesser or no pills.

Internet has made it possible for us to choose the mode of treatment we want

I am not against any mode of treatment as long as people are happy

Be it lchf, keto, vegan, herbal, homeo and ada way of treatment

Each according to his own

But will certainly share my success with the diet I follow


Hmm...before facing any health how many eat walnut , pecan and almonds daily to get enough omega -3 ?...BTW did you calculate the overall O3/O6 in average indian diet even if we include nuts everyday ...almost more than 60-70% ladies in India face the problem of OA from 45 onwards ... then now a days D so frequent ...

Then the fear of saturated fat now a days pushing people in another problem of lacking in good fats which cause Vit D and other problems ...

In my extended family tree people eat very less garlic and onion and spices ...and many diabetic in relative ...generally all have a habit of sweets with free hands :) ...they say spicy food is not good but sweets are good :) and then new fashion ...diet in low fat :)



I don't believe in calculation of anything...be it omega 3/omega6 ratio in Indian or western diet, carb counting or calorie counting etc...because I feel I have a judgement about moderation in everything. If we feel by lab results that our HDL is low, we can go for eating more nuts...likewise we can derive our conclusion from the information we get access to. It is that simple!:-)

Any by the way D has not happened to us because of any deficiency or diet. Because my family is eating the same diet, but they do not have diabetes...it doesn't run in my family either from paternal or maternal side. It doesn't happen even because of high carb or sweets because my father and mother eats mainly carbs and they don't have a diabetes! Just as people don't know how cancer happens in people who never tasted tobacco or alcohol in life, we are not sure how it happens....basically may be carried genetically!


Hi Ask9, I endorse your views. In fact D is mainly a lifestyle disease. I know how I caught this disease. Till the age of 55, I used to eat unlimited amount of sweets, Gur, Boora, etc. There were no signs ever of any disease. During 5 years period from 50 to 55 yrs of age, my lifestyle was wholly confined to 'sitting' for 12 to 14 hours a day. I had involved myself so heavily in work, that I had no time to walk even for a kilometer. Suddenly I started feeling knee-pain and then D was diagnosed. For next 5 years I regularly took all my medicines, even then my Blood Sugar levels kept increasing. For the last one year, I have read a lot on D and several ways to control it. Now my one-point aim is to keep my BS levels below 100 & 150 respectively, means are not important....result is important. Since my experiments are in the field of Naturopathy, Ayurveda, Physical Exercise and Dietary habits, I have no risk of any side effects.


I agree with you, my wife follows a pure veg diet not even eggs and her weigh has reduced compared to NV diet earlier 6 years ago, as she is not a diabetes so I really cant comment on is effect on diabetes. I am diabetes for the last 10 years have only NV once in a week and it does not contribute to the increase in BS readings. I do a lot of physical exercise 4 days of golf and remaining days walking and cycling for One hour. I am 64 years old.


I am not attacking any lifestyle, Sir! I am just posting what I found on internet. I am active member of a diabetes community where all diabetics from around the world are the members and they are leaving their omnivorous lifestyle due to hormones and antibiotics given to animals they eat and also lot of saturated fat in the meat. Though there are many who still believes an omnivorous lifestyle, people around the world are becoming more aware of pros and cons of a non-veg diet.

Some comments from the members

1. "Well, it depends...First of all I would say a vegan diet is definitely a better option. Animal products are at the origin of numerous health issues. Then, there is vegan and vegan. You have to eat nutritious whole plant foods and not gulp down biscuits, white bread or sugary breakfast cereal. A WFPB diet (whole food plant based ) is the ultimate we can stick to if we want to keep fit and healthy in the long run."

2. "I don't eat meat anymore for humane reasons. I am trying to go full vegan, but it is very hard where I live, not a lot of vegan options for things like cheese and eggs. My numbers have gone down markedly since giving up meat."

PS: You don't have to take it personally, I am just posting what I believe in. This post is for all members of this forum not particularly who do not believe in what I believe in.


If you keep casually giving mis-information, such as animal fat is harmful, how can people become aware of the pros and cons of being omnivorous? To make an informed decision information has to be accurate. You could include that vegans have to take supplements because a vegan diet doesn't provide B12 for example.

Your body has an energy store of body fat; that is animal fat, do you think your body is trying to harm you?

My reply last night was a bit tongue-in-cheek; believe me I seldom take things personally.

I also believe that plants are a vital 'part' of a healthy diet.

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I think there are two groups over here in this community which keeps on fighting ...I am not interested in all that. I am not posting any mis-information because it just doesn't suit you!

Metformin reduces absorption of Vit. B12 and not vegetarian diet. I never had this deficiency before I started Metformin.

Milk, yogurt and cheese are the vegetarian food items that naturally contain significant levels of vitamin B12. Plant foods may be fortified with B12. And we take ample of milk, yoghurt and cheese for your information.



I didn't realise you had B12 deficiency, sorry, I mentioned it as being a deficiency from having no animal products, necessitating supplements.

I'm not interested in fighting either. I am challenging ill-founded beliefs that are posted as if they were facts.


Mr. Anup, please don't take it personally...this post is for all members and not only those who don't believe in it!



thanks, googled it and reading it....yr post regarding the same


Diabetes is rampant in south india

We are strict vegetarians. All 4 grandparents had diabetes

My uncles and aunts etc have diabetes

I am probably the 1st diabetic in my family to start off eggs daily to stop the sugar spikes in my breakfast

Many studies in this world are motivated


Thanks for yr response, Mr. Shashikant. Studies around the world may be motivated but our great traditions and culture have enough wisdom to guide us on the path which is right for us. Don't get overwhelmed by people going on extremes or either opting for non-veg because they may have extreme views. We have to find our way by researching and by trial and error for what works best for us.

PS: Read all my above replies also to each person just for yr knowledge!

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Thanks for the concern and response

I am not shifting to non veg excp being a lacto ovo vegetarian

Anyways we have shifted from consumption of good food to badly prepared food

Shifting from brown rice to white rice that too being pressure cooked. Earlier we used to filter out the "kanji" and feed it to cattles

This reduced the starch

We used to consume ghee with the rice. Now we avoid the same due to the scare created by USDA

We used to consume spices which are actually anti diabetics eg: turmeric, cinnamon, fenugreek, coriander. The list is endless

Now we consume western junk food with refined carbs, sugars, atherogenic oils also devoid of the above spices

Our physical activity has reduced with sedentary lifestyle being the order of the day

We fear ghee and butter and egg yellow but easily consume junk "wada pav", " samosa", "kachori" with the oils which are never changed

We always used to use jaggery which at least added up some iron and other micronutrients

Now we use junk and useless Sugar which in fact leaches some micronutrients

So I am a thinking person and use my wisdom and resources to meet the current requirements for managing Diabetes

By the way I am also a culprit of the above mistakes in diet which I have rectified now



I fully agree with you will all the cultural wisdom you have! Everybody makes a mistake we have to correct our mistake at some point of time in life.

But according to my view point, doctors are experts and specialists and I can't ignore doctor's opinion at all as you might have seen a post at dlife regarding NDT and T3 medication for thyroid. We are not the experts and doctors deals with so many patients daily, have studied clinical studies on human and animals and know much much better than us. They are least concerned about earning because there may be many many patients (who do not read like us and get misinformed to avoid them altogether) who will be going to them for their treatment. Don't self-medicate totally, you may crash your liver or any other organ if you go on extremes which is influenced by hype over internet. We should be educated as far as our condition is concerned but we cannot be experts as we think. We just have to derive information from internet regarding what is good for us and what our doctor may not tell us. But the final word has to be from doctor. Don't expect an engineer to know medicine. By the way, Metformin is a very good drug and reduces sugar level only when elevated.


Ashka9 What kind of extreme diet can crash the liver?



I really don't know since I am not expert in medicine but I dread to crash my organs if I go on extremes...anything extreme. I am not pinpointing to anybody or anything particular.


I am on metformin

By the way regarding drs: I work for a pharma company. In this line last 29 years

My father was told that he needs a Stent by 2 cardios

His age 80 at that time

I refused and took him to a cardio i knew very well

He told me do FFR test which shows if a person can benefit from stents

The test showed -ve..that is he will not benefit even if one or two stents are placed

He is now doing well at 84 years of age Sans the stents

So I know many things..

Regarding "engineer" sometimes some people know something better

It's like "what they don't teach you in Harvard"

Anyway I am under the consultation on an endo

My liver function test is normal

So is lipids and blood sugar at the normal range

Yes.. regarding diet I don't follow what they say.

You follow what u want. I don't want to influence that

It's just that a very sr dr aged above 80 years told me some months back that Humans needs animal fats... be it in form of butter or ghee

So I respect indian way of vegetarianism where we take ghee and butter along with milk

Even jains take milk and ghee

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The understanding doesnt belong to any stream be it a engineering or medical profession...the main thing is that we should be comfortably understand any point and internet is full of knowledge



All knowledge doesn't apply to everybody! One size doesn't fit all! Half knowledge is dangerous! It overflows more...and what if people at extremes don't want to know or listen to even moderate approach?

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hmm...we should be able to protect our views with the help of data/facts available to us ...everybody in same boat ...keep the focus of steering the boat in right direction so that all can land safely :) ...collect good points from everyone and experiment ...afterall everyone has got one precious life for everything :)

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no, I am not. What is yr doubt but?



I don't know it's gujarati names so can't be able to tell u....otherwise my mother is ayurvedic doctor.



Karpasasthyai, balaswagandhadi, kottamchukkadi and dhanwantharam kuzhhampu

these are not sanskrut names.... guess these are from Malayalam...

For arthritis use Mahanrayan oil.... main ingredient is Shatavari/asparagus boiled in oil...plus some other medicines...



As per ayurveda arthritis is due to 'Amvata'...improper digestion of food.... so alongwith external application...you can try for Maharasnadi quath/ decoction and/or some preparation from Guggul/Commiphora mukul internally .....

I am not ayurvedic doctor or anything.... just read bit as my hobby.



about psoriasis..I think it is due to stress and tensions...Homeopathy does help in controlling the same...but not in cure...





Regarding doctors..... I got very bad experience....Doctor a very renowned in field of diabetology.... member of many International panel almost ruined my life.....

When I was diagnosed as Diabetic....she suggested me Victoza....

Also without looking at my liver function parameters.. suggested me to start Statin...

Now I am on LCHF.....(whatever carbs I eat...I eat Long wheat) I eat home made butter.....and my cholesterol is 160.....against 215 when diagnosed...

HDL was 39,LDL-151

Now HDL -48 and LDL 100

My SGPT was 36....now its 21.40

On LCHF my liver is improving......I can see that in my reports....

Only my TSH was 3.33 which now is 5.17

How can I trust her???


go for long term LCHF then post yr lab results may be after few months? u r risking yr thyroid to save your pancreas!:-) thyroid problem will affect each and every function of the body...pl take care...

regarding doctor, not all medicines suit everybody. even I was prescribed voglibose which I discontinued by myself since it didn't suit me. Even I suffered a lot for month given a medicine for hypertension which didn't suit me. u won't believe my mom gave me medicine Arkamin for BP and it worked for me and I stopped what doctor prescribed for me.

How would any doctor know which medicine suit whom? but that doesn't mean if you have one bad experience with doctor, all doctors are useless!


Even I had bad experience with docs ...they just see you as note bank as a diabetic ... never talk about any supplements ...nor carbs ...nor important tests ...I am disappointed with docs and their so called degrees ...all homework I have to do ...for my health ...


I agree with you but doctor can understand more if any complication arise when you go to extremes like low carbs for longer periods without consulting them in first place...they are earning enough and not dependent on few patients who do not trust them!

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remember there are thousand like me and you ...its not few ...all earning comes one by one :) do you salt/chips is cheap and its people like you and me and thousands others who are using salt regularily and making salt/chips companies rich in millions :)



Anyway, I don't understand why so much views against doctors who has studied medicine for years, practice daily with patients with all sorts of different complication for each of them and what not?

Doctor is doctor, little knowledge is dangerous!:-)


Not all...true...may be few percent...

Still TSH is within limit.....nothing gone bad.... let me see if it stabilizes there.... I am keeping watch on the same....

But.....my doctor never bothered about SGPT SGOT or TSH.... she was just busy prescribing Victoza...istamet....Diamicron...

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that doesn't mean you have become expert on internet!:--) we can find our own little solutions to our problems by trial and error but doctor only has prescribed me tests and medicines like Metformin initially when I was diagnosed with D.

Anyway, I feel u all worry too much about health. Don't overdo anything...be it thinking, diet, medicines, supplements or carbs!:-)

Change the doctor, if u r not satisfied with his diagnosis and advise. If he/she doesn't listen to you....u can find another good endo or physician always!


yes.... very true.... but show me one doctor...who asks for fasting insulin test....fatty liver scan...try to calculate IR.....try to calculate BCF???

NONE .....no one does this....

And yes we all read lot on net ans get educated...

But then what is source of doctors to get updated??? commercial notes and literature supplied but pharmaceutical companies??

What they learned some decades ago has now outdated....how they update???



hey bhagwan, really impossible for me to argue with you..I will give answer to this later. tired of reading all posts and replying them

Doctor know better. Not all may be, but highly specialized doctors update themselves through many sources....they attend worldwide conferences, research themselves, deal with patients on daily basis, know more about medicines (though may not know about what medicine will suit you):-)


There is only one doctor here.....open minded....trying to experiment and learn... seems good doctor..... bhai suramo


agree ...agree and agree :)


TSH is high ...isnt it ?? take ashwagandha and some seaweed

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In india the issue is : We blindly ape west

In West the Big Pharma and Food companies have a big hold on all the professional bodies

Hence the issue


its is really sad Hidden ji as in most of cases.... like me who still retain 60% of beta cells function can manage diabetes with diet and herbal supplements..

No need for dangerous drugs...

I just need to understand my carbohydrate threshold..and learn to respect same...

Its so simple.....

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VCO is answer for elevated TSH level???



It may not be as easy at it seems. just raving up metabolism with VCO doesn't help because you need hormone replacement for thyroid hormone T4 if TSH still go high....ideally it should be <2 and yrs is more than 5! Now u wish to stop Metformin and start thyroid medication?

I am not sure VCO will work as T4!


Yes.....I guess I am getting promoted....now I can wear two more badges on my sleeves ...A diabetic with thyroid problem.... :P

Between.....some 10/15 yrs ago....they removed my half thyroid.....I am with only half.... Half portion of butterfly is already vanished :d


no ...no dont start thyroid medicine...its not very high ...it should ~4 ...just do ujjai pranyam with some neck exercises,halasan...and dont feel supressed ...expressed yourself in more creative ways ...thyroid is easy to resolve ...all you need is little bit of will power :D

My wife's thyroid got resolved with yoga without medicine...her TSH was also b/w 5-6 and now 3.1


Hehehe...thank you karch

hmmmm checked all my reports from 1999..... before surgery it was 3.38.....and then many times during the period it was elevated to level around 4.8.... but never crossed mark of 5.00..it is only this time it elevated more....

I spoke to my friend who is MD in Ayurveda... he said may be it is due to Methi Dana.....not due to low carbs....I am as it is taking about 100 Gms of carbs....

So he suggested Arogya vardhini vati and chandrprabha vati....also amala churna with methi dana....

I am not convinced with Arogyavardhini as it contains mercury....Chandraprabha is ok...but I am already taking shilajeet..which is main ingredient of Chandraprabha....

So...my action plan is amala churna with methi dana...also corriender seeds tea at evening....

And yes....some yoga....halasana..sarvangasana....bhramari pranayam....

I am still within limit though on higher end.....

But this elevation shows constant raise...since Jan.....let me check after 3 months now....


take some extra source of iodine ...like sea weed , get some time to fulfill your hobbies in more creative ways and never suppress your voice ...remember this is problem with throat chakra ...which means your energy related to expressing yourself is not working properly

meditate on throat chkra ...

may be the leftover thyroid is overloaded with responsibilities , so trying to inflame itself to cover up the extra burden of responsibilities it is getting in absence of second half ...so take better care of it

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thank you karch I will surely follow what u said....



I request you pl don't self medicate everything.

Here is what my doctor said when consulted for my high TSH

"Jugnuji, I have gone through the reports sent, All reports look good and normal, except TSH and Anti TPO anti bodies. The TSH level has to be brought down further (3 to 4 mU/L), hence dose of thyroxine will have to be increased. You may increase it by 12.5 mcg, then check THS after 6 weeks. If desired levels are achieved, same dose should be continued.As regards Anti TPO Abs, the level is high and using selenium supplement will benefit in reducing the same. Plus avoid using Iodiinated salt. Bevit Capsules (daily 1) can be used. Then after 3 months anti body level can be checked."

So, please don't take extra source of iodine like seaweed or even iodized salt....it will further increase TSH levels...less iodine and more iodine both are bad in thyroid. Check yr iodine if can be tested by lab.

I will send you Thyroid Disorders book by Chris Kresser...pl go thru it first and then decide what you should do.

By the way, also get AMA (Anti-Microsomal Antibodies ) test to check whether you have autoimmune disease....


kya bat hai.... you are adding one more badge .....diabetic with thyroid dysfunction with autoimmune disease......

hehehehe my status is more elevated now.....

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You don't take any medicines to control blood sugar? Have your reversed it totally? If yes, pl tell me how you did it?



this is life style disease and can be better managed through it.


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