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3 Reasons Why Plants Are Your New Best Friend

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

3 Reasons Why Plants Are Your New Best Friend

Living with diabetes can lead to big changes in how you live and what you eat. The focus shifts to blood glucose levels and choosing your health over things you might normally want.

This can leave some frustrated but it’s important to note that you have an unspoken ally. There is a food group that is there to help you thrive.

Check out these 3 truths about moving to eating a plant-based diet!

3 Truths About Eating a Plant-based Diet

One of the best changes you can make to your eating habits when finding out you are living with diabetes is to move to a plant-based lifestyle. Meat can be extremely problematic for both your short-term and long-term health.

Making a move to a plant-based lifestyle can change your health in the immediate future and over the course of time as well. We want to share some truths about eating plant-based while living with diabetes that you might not be aware of.

Truth #1: Fruit is Acceptable for People Living with Diabetes

When you are looking at plant-based eating, your first question may be about the impact of fruit on your diabetes. While many will reference the high glucose content in most fruits, it’s not detrimental as you might have been lead to believe.

In fact, a plant-based diet that includes fruits can work wonders for your overall health. “Not only is fruit packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water -- all things that our bodies need -- but the natural sugars from fruits are actually one of the secrets that can help you reverse insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.” Find out which fruits to add to your diet here.

Mango Banana Spinach Breakfast Bowl Recipe


  • 1 cup banana
  • 1 cup mango
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 tbsp goji berries
  • 1 tbsp cocoa nibs
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tbsp Amla Green


  1. In a bowl place the spinach, mango, and banana.
  2. Top with blueberries, goji berries, cocoa nibs, Amla Green, and flaxseeds.
  3. Enjoy your hydrating fruit bowl!

To add additional flavor top with cinnamon, nutmeg, or cayenne

Looking for more on eating fruit while living with diabetes?

Truth #2: Going Plant-based Isn’t a Sacrifice

So often when people think of moving to a plant-based lifestyle, they think of everything they will have to give up. In fact, for many the idea of a plant-based diet brings up mental pictures of big salads and piles of spinach heaped up onto a plate.

While you can definitely enjoy a hearty salad, eating plant-based does not mean you will live on salad and steamed vegetables alone. There are some incredible recipes out there for those who go plant-based that are packed with flavor!

3 Bean Chile Recipe


  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium
  • 3 cups onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 3 cups pinto beans (cooked)
  • 3 cups red kidney beans (cooked)
  • 3 cups black beans (cooked)
  • 3 cups canned diced tomatoes, low-sodium
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup canned green chili
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Amla Green powder


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat up the vegetable broth. Add the onion, green and red bell pepper, and garlic.
  2. Sauté, stirring until the onions are soft. This should take 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the seasonings, all beans, diced tomatoes, tomato, green chilis, Amla Green powder, and water.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Serve in bowls.

Looking for more savory plant-based recipes?

Truth #3: Going Plant-based Won’t Take Away Your Desserts

One of the big areas people change things up when living with diabetes is to cut down on sweets and treats. Many of the treats that used to be acceptable are now off limits. The good news is there are still many plant-based sweet tooth friendly treats you can enjoy.

When moving to a plant-based diet you open many doors to sweet treats that aren’t harmful to your health. Here is a recipe you can try as well as a few additional ones to add to your menu.

Plant-based Christmas Cookies


  • 1 cup bananas (2 medium ripe (spotted), peeled and mashed)
  • 1/4 cup medjool dates (3 pitted and softened in hot water, if necessary)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp Amla Green powder


  1. Preheat the oven to Bake at 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine the chopped bananas, pitted (and softened) dates, ground flaxseed, Amla Green powder and cinnamon. Blend or stir until the mixture is smooth and wet.
  3. If using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the rolled oats to the wet ingredients, and stir until they’re thoroughly mixed.
  4. Divide the batter into 8 equal portions, and place them on your prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced. Each portion will be roughly 2 heaping tablespoons.
  5. The cookies will not change shape in the oven, so flatten them out and gently shape them into cookies before baking.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies’ edges begin to brown slightly.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer the slightly cooled cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Serve these warm and enjoy!

Looking for more plant-based sweet tooth friendly recipes?

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.

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