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!

      • Charzie

        FOK saved my butt and I am always recommending it! It is hugely important for people to see this, even if they “file” it for future reference, like I did. The first time I saw it I did appreciate the message, but didn’t act until confronted with a diabetes diagnosis. SAD but true. We each have our “straw”, but having this important info stored is the difference between floundering in defeat or getting off your butt and taking the positive actions.
        It’s so frustrating being surrounded by so many people who could benefit dramatically but are oblivious to the extent they could nullify their own medical problems, or even to believe they could. I always hear it’s genes, fate, whatever. Even those who know my history seem resolute in believing is was my isolated success and not that they could expect the same. I guess that’s easier than acting…I was there myself. I wish we could somehow implant that key element that finally motivates our loved ones into action, but knowing what to do comes first. Lately I am encouraged to see that WFPB finally seems to be gaining momentum so I’m not the only “weirdo” talking it up! Now we have lots of great info out there (huge plug for “How Not to Die!) to inspire and encourage and make the “new weirdos” the ones who continue to abuse themselves with the S.A.D. that has become ubiquitous!

        • Rhombopterix

          Yep, I notice the same thing… the word is spreading. But I am sorry to say this but there are more than a few who have decided that they are going to enjoy life in misery(!) and have the food they love so much. As my dear and departed mother in law told me, “Son you will live til you die” as if it was all out of our hands. So on we go. Thats why I say, teach your children (and grandchildren) well…one good way is to set a good example. Thats what you do Charzie. Party on.

    • 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.

      • Charzie

        Try sprouting them too, IF they are whole, obviously. Easy and an amazingly versatile ingredient for stir fries, salads, soups, sandwiches, you name it!

    • 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!

    • Charzie

      Shopping in a local Indian/Asian market with their primarily vegetarian selection has become my favorite destination in stark contrast to the gamut of challenging dichotomies in navigating the standard grocery stores! I guess I have pretty adventurous tastes because I have always loved shopping at ethnic markets to sample new ingredients, but it’s always helpful, and was often difficult, to have a clue what best to do with them. Despite being affordable, if they weren’t utilized to their potential, a waste of (potentially) good food and money. With the internet, that sure is not a problem anymore! In fact, it’s become a new habit and a kick for me to just purchase a new item that piques my interest, and once it’s home, learn about it, try different recipes, taste them, expand my horizons! Through this experimenting, I’ve yet to hate or waste any “new” ingredient, and have actually garnered a slew of new and exciting staples that I probably would have never encountered otherwise. Kind of the poor woman’s version of global exploration since I have learned so much, not just about the food itself, but also about cultures, geography, history, traditions…you name it! I think anything we can do to reinforce and encourage our healthy choices and behaviors has a whole avalanche of other positive attributes to increase our joy of this amazing journey!

  • 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.)

    • Charzie

      I think what’s best for YOU is which ever way will get you to consume them regularly, since I think sometimes our enjoyment of eating plays a role in how we actually process it during digestion. Wolfing something down because its “good for you”, almost has to less “digestible” than something you savor because you actually enjoy it. Not exactly science I know, but I sure find it to be true.

  • 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. ”

    • Guest

      low carb diets only hide the insulin resistance not cure it. its a smoke and mirrors scam. people need to be warned to not get suckered into the dangerous low carb fad.

      • photoMaldives

        thanks, and I’m inclined to agree, but I was referring specifically to cardiovascular disease here (not diabetes)

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • veganenthusiast

    Thanks you Dr. Greger for your awesome work in raising awareness. I have followed your diet and specially adding legumes lowered my husband’s fasting glucose from 150 to 105. I do not have words to show my sincere gratitude to Dr. Greger. God bless him. May everyone find there cure through food.

  • Korrinne Burgess

    Doctor Greger – at 2:13 you mention that fresh green peas are considered more like vegetables – however if that same green pea gets dried, it becomes a pulse. How?? How does the simple absence of moisture change the nature of a pea from veg to pulse?