Doctor's Note

What about avoiding metabolic derangements in the first place? See my last video Preventing Prediabetes By Eating More.

What else may help?

What may hurt?

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  • Adrien

    That’s something the paleo quack movement won’t tell you, and don’t want you to hear. That beans are certainly the most healthful food to eat, contrary to fraudulent paleo dogma. They don’t like beans because it’s a better, healthier, safer, cheaper alternative to meat, which they praise upon. The whole point of cherry picking the paleolithic time frame – and not something else – is a bias in itself.

    • Thea

      Adrien: I love Plant Positive! I haven’t seen all of his stuff yet, though and I hadn’t seen the one that you linked to. I think it is a really good one. The jokes and turn of phrase in this one remind me of Dr. Greger.

      Between Dr. Greger’s many videos on beans and info from Plant Positive, it blows the mind that anyone would think beans were bad for the typical human.

      Thanks for the link!

    • Tan

      Plant Positive is the destroyer of cavemen wannabees.

  • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

    And even better – if you eat a mostly whole foods plant based diet, combined with a little exercise, you probably wont get diabetes in the first place. Diabetes is a serious condition – diabetic complications include heartattack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, impotence, painfull neuropathy, amputation, skin ulcerations. No steak with gravy is worth that!

    • Coacervate

      Does the severity of Type II diabetes correlate with weight in a given individual? It seems like a continuum rather than a “limit” that, beyond which, you are diabetic.

  • Juan Live

    What can you do, for people that say, “I dont care if its bad for me. Everybody is going to die anyways?”
    what if you care for someone who have this mindset?

    • Shar Hakimzadeh

      Don’t give up! My wife is the same way but she’s slowly changing.

    • Nadege

      This might help answering your question :

      • Thea

        Guest: I liked this little clip. It contains some good reminders. Thanks for the link.

    • Coacervate

      I have a DVD of Forks over Knives sent to loved ones and friends. Its very cheap. Most people will sit through and absorb the gist of it. In the end, setting a good example is the most powerful persuasion.

      • Penny T

        You are so right about setting a good example. I am diabetic and I have several diabetic relatives, one of which is now experiencing increasing insulin resistance and diabetic complications. All of this is occurring after years of carefully following their doctor’s advice and taking their medications.

        He lost weight from walking every day and eating “better”, avoided sweets and took his medications. He progressed to eventually go on insulin. Now doctors are having trouble getting his sugars under control at all and he is starting to show some kidney damage. But how can this be?

        He traded in the carbs for fat. Meat, cheese, yogurt etc have all been his staples. I was diagnosed recently. My sugars have been improving on a plant-based diet without the use of any medications. I believe he can still turn things around, but I don’t believe he will listen if I don’t show him. My desire to motivate him keeps me on track.

        If you’re worried about a loved one, be their inspiration. If you can’t be, find someone who can. Brow-beating doesn’t work, but I believe good information and inspiration definitely can.

        • Thea

          Penny T: Thanks for your post. I think this will make you a roll model for a lot more than just your family.

          Best of luck to you.

        • Juan Live

          hi penny, is so sad to hear about your relative[s luck.
          I believe that you are doing the right thing.
          I would like to hear from you in a couple of months, let us know your improvements! your HbA1c levels should be dropping by then… that would be encouraging!

    • Rick Stewart

      I always tell them it’s about the quality of life while you’re here. You could die tomorrow but until then, don’t you want to be energetic, flexible, strong, mindful, autonomous, and not hooked on prescription drugs?

    • Rick Stewart

      Not only that, but your life and health was a gift from your mother. Why treat your mother like dirt by disrespecting her greatest gift to you?

      • Juan Live

        mmm had not seen it from that point of view, but that sounds convincing.

  • Tobias Brown

    Mung lentils, or specifically the yellow split “moong dal” lentils, have become my favorite pulse though they are not usually sold in any of the markets that I visit. (This Google search link shows images of this lentil: Using the pressure cooker, I simply add one cup of lentils with three cups of water and throw in a few mustard seeds and cumin seeds, which I image only add a bit of flavor and fiber and aren’t digested or included in calorie counts…). Pressurize for 8 minutes, and then 8 more on the cooling cycle, and then stir briskly to form a creamy texture. It’s the easiest, most tasty bean that I’ve come across… Into the frigo for daily consumption over the next few days…

    • Thea

      Tobias: Nice! Thanks for sharing. I think I’ve seen those beans in the bulk section of the store I usually visit. Now I’m tempted to give them a try. I have a pressure cooker and those seeds you mentioned. It sounds simple. Why not! Thanks again.

    • KWD

      I bought a pound of Mung beans a couple of months ago and have yet to use them so I’ll give this a go. Thanks for sharing.

      • Tobias Brown

        It tastes great plain but seasonings that I’ve used include: Pepper, nutritional yeast, curry, soy sauce, garlic, ginger… Sometimes I cook it initially with tomatoes.

    • guest1234

      Yellow split moong dal is widely used in South Indian dishes and is easily available in large quantities in an Indian grocery store. For more ideas on how to cook them, google to Indian cuisine recipes online.

    • DulceMaria

      Mung green beans are also my favourites. I get them usually in Indian shops in zone 3 in Upton Park in London. They come in 4 varieties: whole small, Whole big, crushed with skin left, and with no skin. The latter one cooks in no time. The other three need a good soaking 12 hours. I was told by an Indian mum it is better to follow this soaking methods as there is no ‘gas’ formation during digestion time. The red ones are also great. I have bought them whole only. These mung beans are so versatile I find them a delicacy. Bon apetit!

  • Mike Quinoa

    I use a lot of canned beans (red and white kidney, chickpeas), and I cook from scratch lentils, split peas and mung beans. Does anyone have a comment on the digestibility/palatability of beans cooked to a “mush,” versus “firm” beans as you might find in a can? Thanks.

    • Beany

      I’ve read that long slow cooking makes beans more digestable but don’t know for sure. Only know that I really like soft beans in their own nice thick juice.

    • Antolipe

      About digestible thank you of beans has more to do with your digestive system than the beans themselves. Actually it is a great diagnostic tool to know the state of your digestive system, add beans

    • brec

      I prefer beans as mush as long as it’s got flavor. One of my standards is “refried” beans: beans slow-cooked with onion, garlic, and spices, then mashed with a potato masher. I can’t really provide comparative data on digestibility, but I have no problems after eating 8-12 oz. of the mush.

      (Despite what some say, there are really only two food groups: the mushy group and the crunchy group.)

  • Melanie Glover

    what about type 1 diabetes?

    • mike at the river

      Beans are great, but for those with Type 1 or 1 1/2 Diabetes, and kidney disease, too much protein (even though veggie protein is less harmful than animal) can be a problem…Mike

    • DanielFaster

      starchy diet improves insulin sensitivity so T1D patients end up needing less insulin

  • Paul Spring

    My 91 year old mother has type II diabetes and is on dialysis. Must restrict potassium especially. Is a bean diet out of the question for her?

  • photoMaldives

    Hi Dr Greger and the NF team

    Did you guys see the study from UAB yet ? I would be very interested to hear your take on it overall, and in particular this one of the 12 key points –

    ” Dietary total and saturated fats do not correlate with risk of cardiovascular disease. ”

  • santiago37

    The only way to really know the effect of beans on one-self is using a glucometer. In my experience they are pretty bad for post-prandial sugar. On the other hand, I don’t undertand what’s supposed to show the graph of minute 3. This graph compares beans with white rice. The latter rises quite a lot the blood sugar. So yes, comparing beans with white rise, or directly with table sugar, they don’t look awful for sugar control.

    Ah, and the phytates in the beans don not make them specially attractive.

    • Juan Live

      i believe is the glycemic index in lentils, for example (which by the way lentils have one of the lowest glyc indexes), that helps in avoiding those nasty hyperglycemic peaks

      • santiago37

        yes, soaked lentils in an acid medium (to remove phytates) is problably the best election to avoid sugar spikes as for legumes.

    • Thea

      santiago37: You may want to re-think your aversion to phytates. Check out these NutritionFacts videos that show how phytates maybe improperly maligned in the blog-sphere:

  • Veronica Dimotero

    Really intresting!

  • Veronica Dimotero


  • Tim Rapson

    Fair warning! Do NOT Google Acute generalised exanthematous pustulosis!

  • Walter Brown

    I developed diabetes 2 several years ago when I weighed around 210 at 5’8″. I have been eating vegan for 3 years and my weight has dropped to around 168. I go to the Y for exercise every day and my last blood glucose reading was 95. I no longer take Metformin.

    • Thea

      Go Walter! Thanks for sharing.