NEW YORK:

A low-fat vegan diet may be the best way to fight diabetes, says a new study.

Type-2 diabetes results from a combination of genetics and poor eating and exercise habits. The condition greatly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and limb loss.

Neal Barnard and researchers from George Washington University, the University of Toronto and the University of North Carolina tested 99 people with type-2 diabetes, and then randomly assigned them to a low-fat, low-sugar vegan diet or the standard American Diabetes Association diet.

The researchers found that after 22 weeks on the diet, 43 per cent of those on the vegan diet and 26 per cent of those on the standard diet were either able to stop taking some of their drugs such as insulin or glucose-control medications, or were able to control their condition with lower doses, reported science portal News Medical.

The vegan dieters lost 6.5 kg on an average while the diabetes association dieters

lost 3.1 kg.

An important level of glucose control, which gives a measure of how well controlled blood sugar has been over the preceding three months, fell by 1.23 points in the vegan group and by 0.38 in the group on the standard diet. It was also found that LDL or “bad” cholesterol also fell by 21 per cent in the vegan group and 10 per cent in the standard diet group.

“The diet appears remarkably effective, and all the side effects are good ones — especially weight loss and lower cholesterol,” said Barnard.

A vegan diet is plant-based and consists of vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes and avoids animal products, such as meat and dairy and is low in added fat and sugar.