It’s Never Too Late to Make a Change – Food Pharmacy

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It’s Never Too Late to Make a Change

The tide has turned! A couple of weeks ago, we read that celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is going vegan, and, according to the Swedish Board of Agriculture, meat consumption in Sweden dropped by record amount in 2017. Also, more and more studies confirm that a plant-based diet is good for both the environment and our health. Not least for those who worry about diabetes – a global epidemic with the potential to cause a worldwide healthcare crisis.

The number of adults with diabetes has quadrupled worldwide in under four decades to 422 million, and most of them have type 2 diabetes. Researchers say this will rise to 640 million by 2040. Many of those who suffer from the disease are undiagnosed, and in 2017 alone, diabetes caused 4 million deaths and at least 727 billion US dollars in health expenditure worldwide. Frightening facts, right?

However, there’s still hope. A new study, recently published in Nutrition & Diabetes, shows a connection between plant-based diets and diabetes. A consistent vegetarian diet was associated with a 35% lower risk for type 2 diabetes. The study also confirms that it’s never too late to make a change: converting from a non vegetarian to a vegetarian pattern was associated with a 53% lower risk of developing the disease.

But, why?

Vegetarians and vegans tend to consume more fiber and magnesium, both great for improving insulin sensitivity. You’ve probably heard it before, but a plant-based diet is the key to a lot of good things. According to scientists, eating a plant-based diet may also prevent major chronic illnesses, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

To sum up: Eat more greens. And since it’s never too late to make a change, here are three things we can recommend to help you begin the journey:

1. Knowledge. In our case, what inspired us to make a change was undoubtedly all the exciting research on the impact of food on our overall health. Just think about everything we have learned about the connection between diet and diabetes. Amazing.

2. Focus on adding things to your diet, rather than removing them. We’re not interested in denying ourselves the good things in life. On the contrary – we love to eat. Start by adding a green smoothie, a colorful salad or a couple of tablespoons of lacto-fermented vegetables every day.

3. Find little shortcuts. Don’t try to change all your habits overnight, just concentrate on taking small steps. For example, next time you feel like making your favorite bolognese, try a vegetarian version with beluga lentils instead. And no, you don’t have to make it completely vegetarian right away. Add a small amount of lentils the first time, and then gradually decrease the amount of meat and replace it with lentils. Use the same spices you usually add to your meat sauce, and you won’t even notice the difference. Simple, easy changes that will work in your day-to-day life!

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