Type 2 Diabetes – A Low-Calorie Diet Helps to Treat Inflammation and Blood Vessel Damage


People diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are often told to lower their weight or else to maintain their healthy lean weight. Scientists at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, have found a link between weight loss and two things…

  • inflammation, and
  • blood vessel function.

Type 2 diabetes is a disease of inflammation and causes damage to blood vessels. Damage to blood vessels is one of the reasons why heart disease and stroke are more common among people with Type 2 diabetes than among nondiabetic individuals. Weight loss is known to be useful for preventing and controlling heart disease and other complications associated with this form of diabetes. How does it work? And what can be done to improve how it works?

In October 2016, the online journal Clinical Nutrition ESPEN reported on a study of one hundred and thirty-one overweight or obese people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. For four months the participants were limited to a calorie-restricted diet. The diabetic participants were being treated with different medications, including…

  • statins (lower cholesterol),
  • ACE inhibitors (lower blood pressure) and
  • metformin (control blood sugar).

Molecules indicating inflammation and how well blood vessels worked were measured at the beginning and the end of the study. The diet resulted in an average weight loss of about 10 kilograms. Molecules indicating inflammation and blood vessel function were measured at the beginning and end of the study. It was found…

  • HbA1c levels and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol lowered.
  • blood vessel function and inflammation improved.
  • the medications the participants were taking did not show any effect on their blood vessels or inflammation.
  • Type 2 diabetics who had the disease for a long time showed the same improvement as did the newer cases.

Think low-calorie food has to be dull? That is where you are wrong. It is hard to beat a Greek salad with lettuce, tomatoes (sun-dried are tasty, or use fresh), vegan feta cheese, cucumber, onion, bell peppers, and olive oil dressing. A quick search of the internet reveals several recipes for vegan feta cheese made either with almonds or tofu. Both are high in calories, so control portion sizes. Make an olive oil dressing with three parts olive oil and one part lemon juice.

Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions are easy to grow so burn some calories raising a garden of them. You need not have a lot of room. A window box or rooftop garden are big enough to produce these. In the northern hemisphere it is still spring, so get some seed packets and plant away. In the southern hemisphere plan ahead, so you have some fresh vegetables.