Letter to the Editor

Think Diabetes this month

Sunday, November 1, 2009

To the Editor:

Diabetes and its complications cost the United States more than $174 billion a year.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and as a nurse practitioner, I think it's time to focus on simple, cost-effective dietary changes to fight this preventable epidemic.

People who consume meat are at higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes, according to a new meta-analysis of 12 studies. This systematic review of evidence showed that intake of any type of meat may raise Diabetes risk by almost 20 percent, and processed meat consumption may raise the risk by as much as 40 percent.

For those diagnosed, recent studies have found that a low-fat vegan diet is as effective as oral medications at lowering blood sugar, and has only beneficial "side effects," including improved insulin sensitivity, weight loss, and reduced risk of heart disease.

Eating meat increases the risk of Diabetes and drives up health care costs. But a vegan diet of whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits can help prevent and treat this disease. Changes in diet or medication should be made in consultation with a health care professional.


Caroline Trapp, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., B.C.-ADM, C.D.E.,

Director of Diabetes Education and Care,

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,

Washington, D.C.