Can a Vegan Diet Cure Type 1 Diabetes?

Simply put type 1 diabetes (which used to be referred to as Juvenile Diabetes) occurs when the insulin producing beta cells are destroyed in the pancreas and the body experiences increased sugar levels in the blood and urine. If left untreated the condition can be fatal, but it is usually managed very successfully; people with type 1 diabetes go on to live normal, productive lives without significant impairment of quality of life.

Type 1 diabetes cannot be ‘cured’

It may be tempting for people with the disease to buy into fads that claim to ‘cure’ their disease. However this condition cannot be cured or eradicated from the body in that sense. It can only be managed to a lesser or larger degree of success.

The management protocols for managing the disease can be multipronged – while insulin supplement are typically required to be taken indefinitely throughout life, there is evidence to suggest that eating a particular type of diet can also help manage the disease.

Vegan diet for type 1 diabetes


A vegan diet consisting of plant derived food typically means consuming higher amounts of carbohydrates. So it can sound contradictory that a high carb diet can actually help to manage a disease. Eating only plant based foods that include a lot of fruits and veggies means consuming a lot of carbs; so how can this help in lowering blood glucose levels one may well ask.

However there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that eating a vegan diet can help people manage their diabetes. People who shift to a vegan diet do find that they feel better, more energetic and may also experience weight loss. This could be because the release of sugar into the blood is slow and sustained because plant based foods contain complex carbs, as against the sudden spike that refined carbs will give. That said, large scale, definitive studies haven’t been able to establish the universal benefit of veganism for diabetes management.

How a vegan diet possibly helps in diabetes management is indirectly rather than directly. According to some experts, because a vegan diet is generally healthy for the body and may help control weight, it could help with diabetes management.

Whatever diet you do decide to follow for the management of your type 1 diabetes, you should clear it with your doctor or nutritionist first. Do not make any significant diet changes without the knowledge or say-so of a trained medical professional because the management of diabetes can need a lot of fine tuning.