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Plant-Based Diet and Diabetes

Start when you’re young, and you can really lower your risk.

Young girl eating fruit as part of plant-based diet

For healthy aging, it might be a good idea to start noshing on more plants at an earlier age. As reported in Diabetes Care, adults ages 18–30 who most strongly adhered to a healthy plant-based diet were on average 48% less likely to develop diabetes over the subsequent 10 years than people who did not eat a plant-rich diet.

Those who showed a fondness for nutritionally rich edibles from the plant kingdom at a younger age were also more likely to maintain healthy body weights as the years ticked by. Several years of appropriate calorie intake and higher consumption levels of plant protein, fiber and certain micronutrients and antioxidants could be why going for a plant-based diet as a young adult can pay off come middle age through diabetes risk reduction.

See also: Less Red Meat, Lower Diabetes Risk

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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