Study: Vegetarianism Supports Healthy Blood Sugar In Blacks

fruits and vegetables

( — Eating a vegetarian diet can increase one’s intake of antioxidants while simultaneously cutting on the amount of fat consumed. A new study on African American Seventh-Day Adventists suggests that such a diet can also support healthy levels of blood sugar.

According to their religion, Seventh-Day Adventists abstain from meat, tobacco and alcohol. Such a community provided researchers at Loma Linda University in California an ideal setting for investigating the effects of a vegetarian diet on glucose control.

More than 7,000 African American congregants participated in the Adventist Health Study-2, which divided them into vegans, who do not consume any animal products, and lacto-ovo vegetarians, who eat dairy and eggs.

Results showed that compared to non-vegetarian blacks, the vegans had 70 percent better measurements for blood sugar. For lacto-ovo vegetarians, it was 53 percent more optimal. The researchers speculate that this may be due to the nature of the food the subjects ate. Fruits and vegetables provide plenty of fiber, while whole grains and legumes support more efficient glycemic control. These results were supported by another study that included more than 34,000 non-black members of the religion.

Furthermore, black subjects who exercised three or more times a week also had 35 percent better control of their blood sugar compared to individuals who exercised once a week or less, as published in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases.