In September 2018 researchers from The Netherlands published the results of their study to assess whether adherence to a diet high in plant-based foods and low in animal products was associated with insulin resistance, prediabetes, and diabetes type 2. A total of 6,798 participants (average age 63 years) were involved in the study. Information on dietary intake was collected via a food frequency questionnaire at the start of the study, with a plant-based dietary score being assessed based on adherence to a plant-based versus animal-based diet. Insulin resistance was assessed at study start and at follow up, and data on prediabetes and diabetes type 2 collected from general practitioners’ records, pharmacies’ databases, and during follow-up examination. 928 prediabetes cases were diagnosed during an average follow up period of 6 years, and 642 diabetes type 2 cases during an average follow up of 7 years. Results showed that a higher plant-based dietary score was significantly associated with reduced risk of insulin resistance, prediabetes and diabetes type 2, although the reduced prediabetes risk was no longer statistically significant following adjustment for other lifestyle factors.
Chen Z et al. Plant versus animal based diets and insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: the Rotterdam Study. Eur J Epidemiol. 2018 Sep;33(9):883-893