Doctor's Note

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with an extremely low calorie diet (see my last video: Reversing Diabetes with Surgery). And as this video shows, type 2 diabetes can be reversed with an extremely healthy diet, but is that because it is also low in calories? That’s the million dollar (death?) question that I answer in my next video: Diabetes Reversal: Is it the Calories or the Food? Hold onto your hats, it’s going to be quite a doozy!

I’ve touched before at the ability of healthy diets to both prevent (Plant-Based Diets and Diabetes and treat (Plant-Based Diets for Diabetes) type 2 diabetes. It’s so exciting to be plugging in the final puzzle pieces.

What about the benefits of blood sugar medications and more moderate diets? When Drugs & Diets Don’t Lower Diabetes Deaths

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  • Hello, I’m a new NF Volunteer. I’m a family doctor, and only began educating myself in earnest about nutrition six months ago, so am still learning. I have experienced many personal health benefits by becoming vegan. Am happy to answer any questions I can, or at least point you in the right direction!

    • Maureen Okun

      Thanks for joining!

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        You’re very welcome. I expect to learn at least as much as I teach, doing this. Notice that my Nametag has changed to “Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer” — so people know that I’m with the NF team.

        • WFPBRunner

          Dr Jon
          What made you decide to go WFPB? And welcome aboard!

        • ron

          Wonderful to see Dr.’s joining, wish ours would. At age almost 82, I have become much more focused on nutrition and doing alot of study in past 2-3 years. Not a vegan but most of meat is turkey and chicken. Alot more veggies and beans, fruits,,nuts. We have a breakfast smoothies every morning, berries, greens, coconut or almond milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, flax or chia, cacao etc. My wife is on blood thinner (Pradaxa) for A-fib about 3 years now and no incidents. But has some high blood pressure and so far all meds side affects are problematic. I have her drinking Hibiscus tea, flax seeds in smoothies, She is much more vegetarian, mostly fish etc. Told her to check with Dr. on using garlic extract, but it also has some blood thinning affect. Otherwise, good health, weight and excercise. Any help there to lower BP? I love Dr. Greger and what he’s doing. Great new book How Not to Die.

          • Steven

            I briefly had some blood pressure elevation as a drug side effect. Not a huge increase, so who knows if the same thing that worked for me will work for your wife, but it may be worth a try. Olive leaf extract is reported to help – it did not work alone for me, but the Life Extension product that adds celery seed did bring my bp back down. I have been told by a nutritionist who worked in a functional medicine clinic that celery juice was a go to treatment for high bp, but I cannot personally vouch for that. Given celery juice’s natural sodium content it seems somewhat counter-intuitive, but nature is full of paradoxes. I would try it if I needed it.

          • george

            Steven, Celery is rich in nitrates, which is the precursor to nitric oxide, which relaxes the walls of blood vessels. If that’s the reason for your success with celery juice, other nitrate-rich foods, like beets and arugula, should help, too.

          • Steven

            Good info – thanks. However, I am hesitant about the possibility of blood sugar spikes with beets. Despite the talk around here about PBWF diets reversing diabetes, some of us have issues related to drug side effects (me), autoimmune disorders, etc. that are not so easily solved short of carb restriction and perhaps some supplementation. Though, a PBWF diet is certainly part of the equation.

          • Vege-tater

            Good for you Ron! From my own experience, I wish you would just TRY going without the animal products (and added fats) for just two weeks and see how you feel. I took the same route as you, but everything changed when I eliminated all of it instead of trying to get by with just a little. Nothing to lose and everything to gain, right?

          • Eduardo Dias

            Agreed

          • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

            Ron: What you and your wife are eating sounds delicious! To lower blood pressure, it helps to cut WAY back on the amount of salt you eat (see recent video by Dr. G. about The Salt Controversy (or something like that). My BP is on the high side despite a vegan diet, so I am trying to do the same thing! You can replace the salt with delicious spices like garlic, and pepper, and ginger.

          • ron

            Exactly Doc, we don’t even use salt and avoid it like the plague. I even feel bad going out to eat cause you mostly don’t know what you’re getting. We like our lunches out so I can eat breakfast or go to places like Paneras, Chipolte and Moes where we eat mostly veggies, beans, rice. eggs, potatoes and pancakes, salads, etc. I love spices, especially black pepper, crushed red pepper. I just did some research on celery seeds from another post here and It looks great.

          • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

            Good for you, Ron, for trying to avoid salt. However, if you eat out much, especially at fast food places, even in otherwise healthy dishes like beans, you are unfortunately likely to get added salt, and you might not know it.

          • Hank Hardisty

            How do you get iodine, if you do not use iodised salt?

          • Florence Levy

            Hi my name is Florence I know 2 people who had high blood pressure one taking 2 different high blood pressure meds both friends got ride of their high blood pressure by doing serious exercising that is what it takes along with dieting

        • Henry Q

          My blood sugar gets up to 180 after eating fruit and or grains, even some whole grains at times, and potatoes send it sky high as well, regardless of dietary fat. But my blood sugar always comes back down to below 100 within 3 or 4 hours, and is in high 80’s low 90’s when I get out of bed in the morning, after not haven eaten since last meal. Are the BS spikes up to the high 170’s and 80’s an issue, even if just for a few hours? What about spikes up to the 150’s for a few hours? Some people claim that these spikes are harmful, regardless of whether your BS comes down to a safe normal level within a few hours. Your thoughts appreciated.

          • A Newton (NF Moderator)

            Hi Henry, here is a page (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/diabetes) on the nutritionfacts.org website to some great links to other articles related to food and diabetes. However, certain sugars, especially refined sugars and simple sugars (found in fruit), can spike blood glucose more so than whole grain foods. The amount of protein and fat in the bolus of food you are consuming also can delay the absorption of sugars leading to less of a spike in your blood glucose.

          • Henry Q

            Yeah, cool, but is the spike in blood sugar a non issue if the blood sugar comes back down several hours later, or does 3 hours of high blood sugar (150-185) cause any body damage, organ damage, brain damage, etc.)?

          • pbwfmd_NF_Moderator

            Henry, I’m going to throw in a physician’s point of view on this and tell you what I would tell a patient in the office. As you are probably aware, you and your physician follow your diabetic control by checking your A1C every 3 months. I don’t know where yours has been or what kind of medications your are on or what kind of diet you are following, but I generally tell patients that if their diabetes is under good control (technically speaking an A1C of less than 7), keep doing what you are doing. If I feel we can get better control through eating better (i.e. a plant based whole food diet) and the patient is open to that possibility, I educate them on that, and generally if they delve into a world of PBWF (plant-based whole foods), I tell them to not worry so much about what there blood sugar is doing throughout the day…don’t check it multiple times a day (unless we are on a sliding-scale insulin). Check it once in the morning before you eat and let’s see where your A1C goes. It’s almost assured (especially based on today’s video), that the more your diet shifts to a plant-based whole foods diet, the better your A1C will get. I honestly don’t know about the spikes you are having and what the result of those spikes do to you…as physicians we tend to concentrate on what your average glucose is and that is what the A1C tells us. Dr. Greger has mentioned studies (either on this site or in his book) about how eating fruits tend to not have to same effect on blood sugar spikes as eating foods with added sugars–in fact, eating fruits with meals tends to help lower the possibility of a spike in blood sugar with that particular meal. Interesting, given that fruits have sugar, but they have so much other stuff in it that is good for us. If I can find that article/video or where it is in his book, I’ll post it on here. I hope those helps some. If what I said makes you change or want to change how you check your sugars, check with your physician first…I’m not trying to discount what he is having you do.

          • baggman744

            Wait, but the doc has a video saying eat all the fruit you want? Diabetics are an exception? And if they are, what is the possible long term effects for non diabetics?

          • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

            Hello Henry, thank you for excellent questions! I see that Dr. Alex has already largely answered your questions, and I agree with what he says. To explain a little more about the “”A1c” test: this measures your average glucose level over at least a month; this average level is much more important than your instantaneous glucose level is, in determining the effects of your diabetes on your body. Of course, having your blood glucose level go way high, even for a short time, is not a desirable thing.
            Within food groups, there are better and worse choices: among grains, whole grains (which have lots of fiber) release glucose into your body much more slowly than do refined grains. Among potatoes, white potatoes release glucose into your blood more quickly than do sweet potatoes (despite having “sweet” in the name). Among fruits, blueberries and apples have much less glucose per gram than do oranges, or watermelon. I hope this helps a little.

        • I need info or links to resources about the best dietary guidelines especially with studies in regards to Type 1 Diabetics. My friend used an automated attached insulin pump. I’m never sure what to tell him bc every video about diabetes on here is in reference to Type 2 diabetes. For example, I was super excited about the effect of Amla or India n Goose berry on preventing blood sugar spikes, but I’m confused as to whether this is a sound dietary suggestion for my friend since he also sufferes from bouts of low blood sugar. ANY help with supported reference material would-be much appreciated :)

    • Gumbootgoddess

      Thank you for joining us. Lay people such as myself really appreciate all the help and humour you pass on.
      I do have a question for all you doctor folks out there though. How do I get my regular MD to “get” WFPBD? Do I print out the sources and go in armed with reams of paper or would that just be annoying? How did you come to be a vegan? What stimulated your interest? Inquiring minds need to know!!!

      • This is such a great question! I find that many of my new clients have been told by their MDs to eat protein, no carbs. I have used Nutrition Facts as an educational tool with my clients and their MDs with some success. Remember, we don’t KNOW which approach is best – we can only let the science lead us in a direction to make our own informed decisions. MDs who work as partners with their patients are amazing – and they don’t need to be WFPBD advocates to do that!
        I know you were asking the Good Dr Johnathan the question – but I want to encourage you to build your own experience with WFPBE and let your amazing results speak for themselves!!!! Way to go!

        • Vege-tater

          I think if media, doctors, and educators would stop being so confusingly wishy-washy about diets, it would help enormously! I realize we aren’t all the same and have diverse genetics, but seriously, that applies to all animals. More so than many animals, we can survive on about anything, but still, like them, have an ideal diet. Nature is pretty kind until we pass on our genes, and after that we are playing the odds! If a WFPB diet can so dramatically REVERSE diseases, even long standing ones, shouldn’t it automatically be the default dietary recommendation? What is the downside? People can have issues in the beginning when coming off a SAD, but so do heroin addicts, it’s a given, but not a deal breaker. “I don’t do well on a plant based diet” means “I am not eating properly”, or “I don’t want to stop eating flesh”. Just my opinion, but it’s equivalent to saying “my dog or cat does not do well eating prey.” You might not like that fact and keep them inside and get them fat and sick like our species, feeding them processed stuff, but, nature knew what it was doing and has for millennia. It doesn’t really care what we think.
          It’s a well known fact that “white coats” have enormous influence on people’s psyches, so this is a huge issue all around, because we are physically affected by our beliefs too. A doctor’s word is golden to so many, but we need golden advice! It’s not right that people, like me, will avoid doctors even when they could be of service, because most have become test and pill pushers instead of healers! At one point I had 3 different doctors, yet each visit was a time consuming, impersonal, regimented assembly line that like felt robotic and demoralizing, with no payoff, just a pricey test or another new drug to add to the mix, see-you-in-a-month, -next! We need some serious change and a slew of doctors who get it!

          • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

            I have to say that I really agree with your comments about doctors.

          • Vege-tater

            I read Dr Gregers book about his medical education, and it was pretty heartbreaking that you guys and girls who spend so much caring, time, effort and cash with the intention of helping people, end up on an assembly line like the one I spoke of. Just not cool and where does change begin?

          • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

            Yes, it is, indeed, really a tragedy! I taught medical students for 20 years, in a great course to teach them, basically, how to effectively communicate with patients. Things like that help. But our whole medical system is very much broken. I think it will take a popular movement to demand serious change. The crazy thing is that if people followed the whole foods plant-based diet advocated by Dr. G. and others, we would save trillions of dollars, get rid of our worst health problems, and solve the global warming problem (since 50% of greenhouse gasses due to animal “agriculture”). But don’t get me started….

          • Vege-tater

            LOL. I get it and can only imagine how you must feel when even I get so frustrated trying to get the message out and either get totally ignored, get the meat entitlement argument, a litany of excuses why it’s “unnatural” to be ”obsessed” with what you eat, or the popular “there has never been a vegan culture to prove that theory” etc. Sigh…

          • baggman744

            “I think if media, doctors, and educators would stop being so confusingly wishy-washy about diets” There in lies the global conundrum. I’m not diabetic, but have older friends that are. When their endocrinologist gives them advise, they take it. Same for cardiologists, etc. This is the medical specialist that’s in charge of that aspect of their health. Unless and until the medical community can come to consensus, as you said, with regard to diet, the public will remain either confused, frustrated, apathetic, or any combination of those three. Looks like you’ve experienced all three.

            Then there are those who make a concerted effort to “eat well”, whatever that means, and fail. After a while the amount of differing opinions by so called “experts” in nutrition just becomes noise, as its understandably overwhelming. As to the rest of your comments, very well said.

        • Gumbootgoddess

          What a lovely discussion everyone is having. I saw a poster on Facebook a few days ago supposedly displayed in a doctor’s office. It said “please don’t confuse your Google search with my medical degree.” Now I have the utmost respect for the medical profession, but don’t you think that doctors would like their patients to be well informed so that they don’t have to speak with words of one syllable? If I hadn’t found Forks over Knives I never would have known about NF, and I would never have becomWFPB. I guess I just have to set an example to my MD by only seeing him once a year for my annual physical!

          • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

            There are plenty of studies which show that well-informed patients, who take an active role in their heath care have considerably better health outcomes than those who just say “Yes, doctor.” However, patients do sometimes come in convinced they have pancreatic cancer from reading online about their stomach ache, so I have some (slight) sympathy for the doctor with the poster.
            I hope you can find a doctor (or maybe a NP or PA?) who you can really talk with, and can be your advocate.

          • John

            As an NF VOlunteer, can you see where I am being attacked on the Paleo poo discussion? I am called horrible, slanderous, offensive names.
            Thanks

          • WFPBRunner

            Hi John
            I just read the post and I didn’t see any name calling. I think they were asking you to quote Dr Greger from his book–the actual passage. You could give a page number too. It is an interesting conversation. I believe what you are referring to is on page 4 of his Preface, paragraph 3. I think you need to reread that–“my primary duty has always been to my patients, to accurately provide the best available balance of evidence.” Also he says it got into WFPB for health but he has grown into an animal lover. I believe that has happened to many of us–that is natural. It is more of a full disclosure statement.

          • John

            Did you see where he said what I called false, then slanderous, then called me a pedophile? It seems like a vegan can call anyone anything they want to.

            Yes, he made a full disclosure statement. It is not false that he made that statement.. Etienne said it was false.

          • John

            I borrowed the book, so no I can’t name the page number. It’s his problem to call me names, not my problem to do all his work for him.

          • WFPBRunner

            Oh my. I missed that part. Well that is wrong. Thea usually catches that.

          • Thea

            WFPBRunner: I’ve been on vacation for over a week. Thanks for answering John. Much appreciated.

          • WFPBRunner

            Found it. He didn’t call you a pedophile. He was giving an example of why one should use a quote, page number Etc

          • John

            Sorry, I mistook this site for an open, fair discussion about the science of food and health. If I would have said what he did, it would have easily been stopped, as I have been. I realize that I will never be treated fairly here. I now realize that the goal of this site is to weigh in on the side of vegan arguments, and to convince people to not convince any amount of meat. Since I’m not a member of the club, I should have realized that I wouldn’t be treated fairly. I will have to quit wasting my time here in the future.

          • Vege-tater

            Have you seen Plant Pure Nation yet, by the same people who did FOK? I just saw it on Netflix, really thought provoking.

          • Gumbootgoddess

            Just watched it last night. What an inspiration, not only to have a plant based diet, but to be true to ourselves and speak our truth no matter what the consequences. I hope I will be worthy of Dr. Campbell’s trust in us to do the right thing .

          • Rebecca Cody

            My doctor is an alternative doc, but he leans toward Paleo, not WFPB. I appreciate that he uses more natural approaches instead of just reaching for the prescription pad, but I’m not going back to eating meat, fish, eggs, cheese, etc. It would be most helpful if Medicare and other kinds of health insurance paid for naturopathic care. We have many NDs in this area, since we’re between Seattle and Portland, where two of their colleges are located, but for many people it’s pay as you go, even though they are paying a lot for health insurance.

      • Vege-tater

        Awesome question and I hope you get lots of feedback! My otherwise caring doctor was a big fan of an antithetical diet and a victim of the problematic and prevalent pharmaceutical pathology. (Guess I had to “P”.) Even when my diabetes was gone and my A1C was 5.6, she would not take me off the meds, “as a precaution”. I get that many patients are not very compliant and she had concerns, but continuing the unneeded drugs felt like overkill. (Hmm, is that punny?) Ditto with all the other meds she’d had me on as I improved. With a few exceptions, she was so hesitant that I just weaned myself off and eventually just stopped going back because it became so stressful trying to “defend” the obvious… the RIGHT diet can and does reverse the ill without a pill. Now I need to find a WFPB doctor to work with me, but where do you find that shingle?

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        It is really enjoyable to me to hear from such intelligent people as you obviously are! (Please note the change in my Tagline). My conversion to becoming completely vegan didn’t happen all at once. It started in 2013 with watching one of Dr. G’s Year In Review tapes, from about 2012 (the one on causes of death). It REALLY woke me up. I quit eating red meat and poultry right away, but kept eating eggs and fish; had already quit dairy. Then it took me about 2 years to “go all the way,” and that came with just keeping on educating myself. My main incentive was high cholesterol, which didn’t really take a dive until I went all the way. Then I’ve had other “side benefits” to my health (instead of side effects): acid reflux went away, calcium level in my urine went way down — which is important because I had a kidney stone. [Dr. G has some excellent videos on effects of WFPBD on the kidneys].

        Then, of course there is the whole issue of the environmental benefits of eating vegan, which is extremely important to me. Plus the mistreatment of animals in our incredibly inhumane system of modern factory farming.

        Regarding how to get your regular MD on board. Going in with reams of paper is usually not a good idea. We doctors are often under a lot of time pressure. Our nutrition education in medical school was woefully inadequate (see Dr. G’s video on that), and doctors are often just as confused as patients are about what they read, because there is so much misinformation out there about nutrition and the latest fad diets. Maybe recommend just one really good video by Dr. G. — one of his more recent year-in-review ones. (But don’t be too insulted if your doctor hasn’t looked at it yet, when you go back). I now go to the Lifestyle Medicine conferences, which are amazing!!

        • Thea

          Dr. Jon: I’ve been really enjoying your posts. re: “Then it took me about 2 years…” I think that’s important for people to hear. Some people can go cold turkey. Love them. But I think many (most?) people can make the journey, but need to do so over time. That’s OK as long as they start down the path and keep going. I don’t remember exactly how long it took me, but it definitely took a bit of time (6 months or a year?) before I fully gave up my last animal food – dairy cheese.
          .
          Glad you made it to the other side. :-) Thanks for sharing your story!

          • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

            Thank you, Thea. It is great people like you who make this volunteer job a lot of fun.

        • Gumbootgoddess

          Thank you for telling your story, I guess I’m just one of those people fascinated by how people come to the WFPBD. I’m hoping that if I set a good health example I can demonstrate to my MD that there really is something special about a vegan diet.

          • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

            You’re welcome. Stories can be very powerful. I’m very thankful, though, that the NF website provides reviews of peer-reviewed journal articles, which gives the WFPB diet so much more credence than anecdotal evidence. This is so important, in the face of all the other wacky diets out there, which all have their supporters!

      • Tom Goff

        I’m not American but I would have thought that the fact that Medicare has cleared payments for the Ornish (and Pritikin) approaches to cardiac rehabilitation would count for something with most physicians?
        http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Prevention/21675

      • Ronald Green
      • Ronald Green
    • BobbiS

      Thanks for coming on board. The Health Motivated and those seeking to be will really appreciate your valuable volunteerism. ;)

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        You’re welcome, and thank you for your appreciation. It makes a difference! (Notice my new Tag-line).

    • Thomas Presley

      I teach the A-Z’s from sprouting to juicing to cultures such as kefir, jun, kombucha. Teach dehydrating and the biggie Anaerobic Fermentation. Info is on my box to the left. I teach world wide via twitter, FB & Instagram.

    • Vege-tater

      Welcome to the fold, we need all the spokesman and help we can get! So many amazing things happens when a WFPB diet is put into practice, and more people deserve the opportunity to just KNOW about it! The choice they make is their own, but they need to be aware, so I never stop trying, even if they run when they see me coming! LOL!

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        You go, girl! Thank you for your welcome. I totally agree with you! (Note change in my Tag-line).

  • I have many diabetic and “pre-diabetic” patients, and changing to a plant based diet as described by Dr. G., or even going part-way there, can have major benefits.

    • Rebecca Cody

      Maybe you could give them homework: watch Dr G’s tapes on diabetes.

  • HemoDynamic, MD – NF Volunteer

    Welcome!

  • HemoDynamic, MD – NF Volunteer

    How ’bout them apples! Inside joke to all the doubters I have had with regards to reversing diabetes over the years. This study follows my personal experience with the Health Motivated diabetics I manage. Incredible it is! (Yoda voice)

    • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

      I would love to hear how you convince your diabetics to become “Health Motivated”. Any secrets? I am finding that lecturing patients rarely helps; have begun using more “motivational interviewing” — encouraging patients to express their own goals as well as barriers to implementing suggested behavior changes, and moving them slowly in the right direction. (Note change in my Nametag).

      • Joe Caner

        I would suspect that a simple Carrot and Stick method would prove successful:

        – One can either stick to eating carrots and other whole plant based foods leaving them satisfied & healthy,
        – OR one can go hungry counting calorie on standard diabetes diet while suffering the expense and side effects of taking diabetes medications while their health diminishes over time.

        Their choice.

        • Vege-tater

          I have to confess Joe, when I read stick and carrot, I automatically visualized the faces of a few people into whose mouths I would love to stick a carrot! (or any healthy food) I think I have issues! LOL!

      • Dr Dave

        Have you tried support groups? How about “leaning in?” Not everyone is well suited to an overnight 100% switch. Also, of those who are long-term vegans, 2/3 sustain it for the ethics, while only 1/3 sustain it for the health. Maybe try adding in the ethics side? Or working with a nutritional counselor who knows the many benefits and is skilled at counseling? Many whole food vegans, like myself, started for health reasons, but sustain it for ethics reasons (it’s hard to justify eating even a mouthful of flesh, since it is not needed for nutrition, it’s only for the taste, and an animal must die to provide that mouthful).
        Best wishes – keep trying. You’ll find your stride.

        • Great point Dr Dave!!! Health counselors who are trained in motivational interviewing and are trained in WFPB can be helpful. The ethical reasons can be powerful for many, however for some cognitive dissonance makes some turn away. They just can’t reconcile the suffering with their love of eating animals, and psychology is powerful.

          • Joe Caner

            I believe that you are correct that cognitive dissonance is key factor which keeps people from adopting WFPBN when the research so clearly enumerates its benefits.
            It doesn’t take much doubt to dissuade people from doing something that they really do not want to do in the first place.

            No one is beyond reach, but I would think that the best candidates for the adoption of lifestyle modification therapies for the treatment of disease would be those motivated because they feel that they have something to live for; those who have a desire to avoid medication; those who are curious and have some developed critical reasoning skills, and/or those with non-conformist tendencies.

            Of course, looking over my list, I’ve noticed that I have pretty much described my own characteristics so there’s that… ;-)

        • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

          Excellent suggestions! Thank you. I have found a good nutrition counselor; but she is in a different network than a couple of the big insurers we use. Having a longer list of nutritionists who believe in WFPBDs would help, for sure.

        • Jim Felder

          Sometimes it can be as simple as getting people to start their menu planning with the starchy dish (are we going to have potatoes (sweet or white), brown rice, ww pasta or quinoa) and then the non-starchy vegetable (mixing bowl sized salad, half a bunch of broccoli, steamed kale with balsamic/dijon dressing, etc.) and then lastly what small side of meat to have with it. We tend to invest the most creative energy and thought in the “main” dish and progressively less on the “side” dishes. Then encourage them when they serve themselves to structure their plate the same way with large amounts of the starchy and non-starchy vegetables in the center with a small side of meat so they fill up on the good stuff rather than eating meat until they are full. This is just a shift in focus and so it much less scary than a complete upheaval of diet with all the landmarks of a lifetime of eating suddenly yanked away. My shorthand term for this is “turning your plate inside-out”. All the same foods, completely reversed priority.

          After eating this way for awhile then encourage them to drop the meat off the plate for more and more meals out of the week.

          However, this might not work with diabetics if the amount of animal fats and proteins are enough to keep them insulin resistant with fatty livers and somnolent beta cells since the increased carbohydrates will do a number on their blood sugar. Maybe for diabetics a boot camp approach of a short but very intense initial period of pure WFPB/no added oil to get get their insulin sensitivity and insulin production back up with a gradual shift to the above idea of meat on the side so that they don’t think that they will never be able to eat their favorite foods ever again.

          And you can tell them this isn’t a new idea by sharing this quote from Thomas Jefferson “I have lived temperately, eating little animal food, & that, not as an aliment so much as a condiment for the vegetables, which constitute my principal diet.”

      • WFPBRunner

        I have found they respond to my good health. And slowly changing out foods. Even just having the conversation is new for a lot of people. They have never thought to not eat animal.

        • pbwfmd_NF_Moderator

          “They have never thought to not eat animal.” That comment sums up what I was dealing with when first trying to convince patients to a PBWF diet–and what I still deal with. “Don’t eat meat?” [blank stare] “Then what can I eat?” I finally saved the no meat/dairy part until the very end of the conversation and talk about all the things they can eat first. My diet is much more diverse now than it was when I was eating animal products.

        • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

          Yes, my being healthy IS helpful, too. And you are correct, that sometimes just starting the conversation helps more than I realize.

      • The change process, indeed, is elusive for many people. Even though we are changing all the time, it seems daunting to make a change even in the face of a serious medical diagnosis. I get excited with my work with young adults, helping to share the science of WFPBN with them. It can be discouraging to support clients to change and find them stuck, craving highly processed foods and poor quality carbohydrates!

        • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

          YES!! Part of the reason that I signed up for this gig (being a NF Volunteer) was to keep up my level of excitement and interest, to inspire me to keep making changes in my own practice that will introduce more of my patients to WFPBN. Because almost EVERY single one of them can benefit!

      • jgauthier

        Have you seen this Forks over Knifes article? http://www.forksoverknives.com/love-is-a-far-better-motivator-than-fear/?mc_cid=11a8293516&mc_eid=da61dbd32d She talks about love being a successful motivator for changing behavior. “For example: “I am going to eat vegetable soup rather than a hamburger for lunch because I want to: dance at my granddaughter’s wedding, celebrate my 50th anniversary with a trip to Hawaii, or volunteer in El Salvador when I retire.”

        • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

          Thank you, I will check it out!

      • Rebecca Cody

        It will take time, but I think health motivated patients will begin finding you when they hear about results you’re getting with the patients you have now who do make needed changes.

        There are videos you could play in your waiting room, like Raw for 30 Days. I don’t think all raw is ideal, especially if your patients live in a cold climate, but in that video they reversed diabetes in patients and had them off all meds in a few days, feeling better, exercising mildly, and most went home ready to stay with it and spread the word.

        • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

          Good idea!

      • jjpowers

        The 12 step program helps addicts. “Hello my name is _____ and I’m an animal consumer.” This method might help some given the slight addiction similarities.

    • mbglife

      Everyone’s motives are different. Some would do it for the monetary savings. Some for their children or grandchildren, some do it when they hear that being on the medication doesn’t save you from the risks of the disease.

      I’ve noticed that often more than one person in the family has the condition. Suggest that they make a fun family effort of learning to cook and eat new recipes together tons of vegan recipes on youtube and the web in general.

      Some people are more like more to try it it’s not forever (forever can be scary). Try to get them to do it for 3 weeks to see if it makes a difference. If they lose weight, are encouraged by friends and family and feel better and proud, they might stick with it or at least start eating better.

      I applaud you for changing your own life and trying to improve those of the people entrusting you with their health.

      Good luck!
      Mark G.

  • brydon10

    But didn’t they also lose a lot of weight on that diet?

    • Mike Quinoa

      From the study:

      “One potential mechanism for the decreases in glycemic levels, hypertension and hyperlipidemia in this HND diet case series is weight loss. However, the mean BMI at the last intervention point was 26.6 kg/m2, which is considered overweight, yet the mean HbA1C reached a normoglycemic level of 5.8%. Six of the participants whose BMIs decreased were still overweight or obese, yet 3 out of 6 reached normoglycemic levels (ID = 2, 6, 10). The remaining three (ID = 4, 7, 12) reached near normoglycemic levels. In fact, two of the participants (ID = 4 and 6) had BMIs at their last data points that are considered severely obese. Even participants (ID = 4, 6, 11, 13) who experienced either an increase or no change in BMIs (mean= +1.3%) between two data points dem-onstrated a decrease in HbA1C (mean= −6.8%) between these data points. Thus, the HND diet’s beneficial effects on HbA1C appear to extend beyond weight loss.”

      So, the high nutrient density diet worked even without significant weight loss. Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, “Super Immunity” gives excellent info on his nutritarian diet (well worth buying, after you buy “How Not To Die” by Dr. Greger, of course—lol).

  • Angela Marie

    Could you please provide a video on a meta-analysis of research regarding breakfast. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and I am really struggling to decipher fact from fiction with new claims stating that breakfast is no longer the most important meal of the day and may be unnecessary all together. I’d like to know if this new research is skewed or if we’ve been giving the wrong advice all along.

    • Hi Angela! Congratulations for being on this site! As a new RDN it is wonderful to see you stretching and growing your own knowledge. I suspect that there have not been enough studies done to do a meta-analysis of the value of breakfast. I also just did a quick literature search and there are just a couple of studies (one quite small) that looked at this question. Have you seen any studies that seem credible to you about the breakfast question? If so, I’d love for you to let me know which ones you found!

    • Dominic

      It appears that breakfast is an important meal for successful weight loss maintainers.
      http://www.wholefoodplantbasedrd.com/2014/01/763/

    • jjpowers

      Angela, Late night eating also seems to play a role. The length of time you fast might be key but I can’t come up with definitive research.

    • Thea

      Angela Marie: Great question. I’ve just got back from a week long conference on eating whole plant foods. There were great speakers there (including Dr. Greger). One of the speakers was Michael Klaper, who runs The True North center, one of the places I learned about when I read the Pleasure Trap talked about in the Forks Over Knives documentary. Dr. Klaper successfully uses fasting to reverse a great many health problems before putting people on a whole plant food diet. In addition to personal experience with fasting, Dr. Klaper seems to be aware of the research on the topic. Someone asked Dr. Klaper about intermittent fasting – ie, say fasting one day a week or skipping breakfast. Dr. Klaper said that these are generally good ideas and that someone who needs to lose weight and who practices “water only until noon” can do very well in promoting weight loss.
      .
      For long term health, we all need to eat at some point, and that food needs to generally be healthy whole plant foods. But it appears that it is also very healthy for the body to have a break from digesting food. When we sleep at night, we are essentially fasting for a few hours. If you can extend that fast for a few hours more by skipping breakfast, it can be a good thing.
      .
      Dr. Klaper also said that the idea that breakfast was the most important meal of the day came from a marketing campaign many years ago to sell breakfast sausages. I kid you not. :-O

  • alef1

    So what about the effect of diet even for people who have Type 1 diabetes?

    While diet alone may not bring blood sugar levels entirely under control for people with Type 1 diabetes (though I’ve heard of some instances where it apparently has), but it can apparently go a long way towards this, and markedly decrease the insulin requirements for people who have the juvenile form.

  • BobbiS

    Hi everyone! I am an RN and currently in Dr. Campbell’s corneal course Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition. I am learning how to assist my husband’s cardiology patient’s to learn about the benefits of WFPBD. The course is great and by no means allows me to call myself a Registered Dietician but at least I have a grasp of evidence based information and his observational studies to refer people to. I also include Dr. Greger’s App and How Not to Die in my resources and this incredible site. Having you all here to discuss ideas the patients want to know about is so helpful. I am 6 months on a WFPBD my lab work is incredible! Thank you to all of you.

    • Thank you for being on the site! And your additional training will likely help so many people! Way to go!!!!!!

    • at least you didn’t get spellchecked to “cornmeal”!!!! LOL!

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      That is awesome! I’ve been considering Dr. Campbell’s course just to better educate myself so that I can educate my patients (and everyone else for that matter) better, but I haven’t known anyone else that had done it…let me know how it turns out!!

    • Jim Felder

      True taking this course doesn’t qualify you to be an RD, but then having an MD doesn’t qualify a doctor to counsel patients on nutrition either, but I never notice that stopping most doctors. Knowledge is the key, both knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know. It sounds like you and your doctor husband understand this and are working to increase what you do know while staying honest and humble enough to never lose sight of the fact that there will always be things that you don’t know.

  • BobbiS

    Love spellcheck- ecornell.

  • Hello! I am a NF Volunteer moderator. I am a Certified Nutritionist (MS,CN) and mental health therapist with a specialty in disordered eating. I went to graduate school at Bastyr University in Seattle Wa and trained in a whole foods, mostly plant based dietetic program with a speciality in food and mood issues (the mental health therapist part). I have a private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona, and my animal advocacy and nutrition education led me to a vegan diet. I do work with all kinds of eaters, and believe that even though science may point us to one “best” approach, the ability to change can be elusive. I am a professor at Arizona State University, and teach courses on mindfulness (stress management tools) and a plant based mindful eating course called Sustainable Living & Mindful Eating. I am a meditator and yoga instructor, and use mindfulness as a tool to support my own healthy eating and work with clients. I look forward to reading your posts and sharing information about plant based eating!

    • Vege-tater

      Welcome Lisa, so great to see an influx of the healing professions that can actually help keep or restore health to our confused populace!

    • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

      Thanks for sharing. I am interested in the details of your private practice. Maybe off-line?

  • Angela ford

    I’m needing some direction reguarding PCOS. I’ve been vegetarian/ mostly vegan since a child. I was diagnosed with PCOS before starting to have children but kept it in check pretty much just eating healthy exercising. But now my daughters in early twenties – also raised vegan and continuing have the PCOS symptoms. Facial hair, acne, weight gain, etc and the one recently diagnosed. What can we do to fine tune our diet? Do you have info? Thanks safords@hotmail.com

    • Hi Angela – as you know, PCOS is complex. Dr G. has a video on PCOS and what the research shows for treating PCOS with food. You can find it here: http://nutritionfacts.org/questions/what-does-the-research-say-about-dietary-interventions-on-women-with-pcos/
      In my own clinical training, we learned to promote foods hIgh in glucaric acid = cruciferous vegetables – to support liver detoxification. Apples, broccoli, oranges. Losing weight is important if above ideal body weight through low glycemic index diet. Since stress is thought to be a big component with PCOS (and having PCOS is stressful) a regular stress management practice (gentle yoga, mindfulness meditation, breathing, progressive muscle relaxation) are all recommended. Let me know what you think about Dr G’s video.

  • Dr Andrew Morrice

    Very cheered by this! I’ve been taking this approach with new diabetics for a good while now – although its really only been in the last year that I’ve understood the pernicious effects of meat/excess protein/excess fat on diabetics, so my advice used to be a bit to carbophobic, and too relaxed about the ‘good ole corpse based foods’. I find that most people given a choice between diabetes and getting rid of it will have a go at changing. it is amazing how many succeed in changing things around, despite the fact that diabetic services are simply not organised around the (somewhat uncomfortable) truth that diabetes is a choice: granted, a choice that you are pushed towards by the entire food culture and much of the economy, but a choice nevertheless.
    The idea that effects in the “willing only” are weak is true in one sense, but it ignoresthe effect of such findings on the motivation of others. Seeing 13 diabetics get off medication, and off the disease register, will certainly increase the numbers of people willing try to do the same. Intention to treat is all very well, but we don’t tell people how likely a medication is to help them if they take it, based on the outcome for a whole load of people, most of whom people who didn’t take the medicine!
    For me, withholding this information from diabetics and assuming lack of motivation would feel like unethical practice.

    • BobbiS

      “corpse based food” I have to use that! terrific! Great post.

      • Dr Andrew Morrice

        only just thought of it. Dr G’s style is a creativity booster!

    • Fantastic post, Dr! Your patients are lucky to have you!!!

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      “For me, withholding this information from diabetics and assuming lack of motivation would feel like unethical practice.” Could not agree more! I only hope more physicians can discover this information and start to band together to help their patients…people listen physicians and value our opinions, though more of what is said here is less opinion and more fact.

  • Brenda Somers

    I am definitely one of the Health Motivated people. Diagnosed in Nov 2010 as type 2 diabetic with A1C of 9.3. With Dr’s OK I was allowed 3 months to lower my A1c by diet & exercise alone. I dropped it to 6.7. She, and I, were delighted. For the past 2 years it has been 5.0. I expanded my diet to include Terra chips, SKinny Pop popcorn and Kind bars on an almost daily basis. My A1c went up to 5.2 – I was horrified and my Dr. was amused at my reaction. My body simply can’t take it. Back to eating my whole food plant based diet and feel terrific. Oh yes, since the diagnosis I have lost 110 lbs, in increments of about 25 lbs each, and kept it off. I did the increments to be sure I could maintain the weight loss. And, I got rid of all the clothes that were too big, I’ve done the ‘keep the clothes just in case’ thing and it’s too easy to go back. And, just as a reminder, I’m 69. Just proves you’re never too old to change.

    • WOW! Congratulations Brenda, you are inspirational!!!!!!

      • Brenda Somers

        Thanks. Just wish I could make some people I’ve talked to want to make the change. Too many have told me either it’s too much trouble or they’ll just up their meds to compensate for what they eat.

        • Vege-tater

          Your story and issues are very familiar! Congratulations to you, and unfortunately, we all have lots of “them”! Best of luck!

        • Rebecca Cody

          I think most of the people who aren’t interested in changing think the medication actually helps them more than it does. I guess what I’m trying to say is, they don’t understand that, even though they have better control of their blood sugar, the disease continues, often leading to loss of eyesight, neuropathy, amputation of feet, heart attacks, etc. Controlling blood sugar doesn’t really control or reverse the disease.

    • Joe Caner

      So, how does it feel to only be half the girl you used to be? :-)

      • Brenda Somers

        It still surprises me to see me in a mirror. And when someone comments on how ‘tiny’ I am. I’ve also had people not recognize me and think my husband has a new wife – which he does.

        To make it easier for some to understand my size difference: was able to get into a size 24 pants and 3X top. Now wear a size 8 pant and size Small top. Shoe size is now 5M not the 5XW it used to be.

        Haven’t weighed this little since about 1965. It took a long time to put it on, so a long time to take it off seemed reasonable.

    • eatliveprosper

      Brenda, thank you for sharing your story and a huge congratulations to you for sustaining success. You represent the power of nutrition – both in healing and fostering optimal health.

      • Brenda Somers

        Thanks for the acknowledgement, really only my doctors’ seem to appreciate what I’ve done on my own, well, my husband’s doctors also but he won’t make the changes necessary to be healthier.

    • Jim Felder

      Brenda, did the A1c come down faster than the weight? And when eating a WFPB diet were you able to eat until you were satisfied or did you have to learn to put up with being hungry all the time? I was talking to someone I know who is diabetic about eating a WFPB diet since it can reverse their diabetes. He didn’t think he could eating this “horrible, horrible” diet for years and years without any tasty foods on top of having to be hungry all the time while he was losing all the extra weight he is carrying in order to reverse his diabetes.

      I told him my understanding is that you don’t have to lose all the weight. That even just a few weeks on a 100% WFPB diet can return insulin sensitivity and insulin production back to near normal levels. I know that is what Dr. Greger and others say, but it never hurts to have confirmation from somebody who when through it.

      • Brenda Somers

        Guess I forgot to click on ‘post’. Yes the A1c came down faster than the weight loss.

        While my diet is rather boring I do jazz it up with herbs and spices, vary the beans and lentils, have different veggies depending on what’s ready to harvest.

        I have my special oatmeal every morning: oatmeal, water, unsweetened cocoa powder, either hemp seed with vanilla or chia seed with cinnamon, flax seed meal and either sunflower seeds or natural peanut butter (just peanuts with a little salt). I either weigh or measure everything – even after almost 4 years of this breakfast.

        Lunch: raw veggies usually celery (OG store bought), peppers from the garden, carrots from the garden, a low carb high fiber (11g) wrap with 1/3 cup beans or lentils, 2 tbsp salsa and 1.5 – 2 oz assorted greens from the garden, 1/2 oz raw walnuts & 1/2 raw almonds, and about 100g fruit like a Cutie, strawberries, loquats, or citrus.

        My morning, afternoon and evening snacks are usually fruit, a wrap heated in the microwave till it puffs up, a Kind bar a couple of times a week, or some veggies with PB.

        Dinner: 2 oz homemade seitan, 85 g (serving size listed on pkg) broccoli, brussels sprouts or cauliflower or 2 cups assorted greens (kale, collards, bok choi, tat soi, swiss chard, beet greens, red or green cabbage all from the garden) steamed and seasoned, plus some raw veggies like peppers or carrots. Sometimes I just make it all into a salad. Sometimes I make a pizza with the wrap laid flat a little pizza sauce, seitan, veggies and nutritional yeast and spices, or a taco salad with seitan and one shell crumbled on top. I’ve made cream soups with homemade almond milk and pureed broccoli stems or mushrooms or even carrots. I’ve stuffed zucchini from the garden with almond flour, mushrooms, etc and baked them. Grilled zucchini and sliced tomatoes. Baked winter squash seasoned like pumpkin pie with no sweetener, winter squash or zucchini fritters make with lots of spices and almond flour and baked. Stir fry with seasonings and a soy sauce/PB sauce with no thickener, just cooked down. Baked eggplant slices layered with a little canned diced tomatoes with nutritional yeast and lots of Italian seasoning is good in season. Eggless tofu salad in a wrap or on the salad. None of my meals take more than 20 minutes start to finish. I do cook in quantity and freeze in meal sized portions.

        So….’Horrible, horrible’? I certainly don’t think so!!

        My salad dressing is either lemon or lime juice from the fruit in the yard or bottled as a last resort or my tofu ranch dressing.

    • Jim Felder

      Oh, and on the subject of keeping clothes just in case, I have the reverse. I have never been big, but when I got married 8 years ago I focused a little more on what I was eating and lost 20 lbs and got back down to my high school weight so I would look extra good in my tux. I had to get a whole new set of pants. Well married life agreed well with me and all too soon the 20 pounds were back. BUT I have kept those nearly new set of jeans and slacks because I am determined to relose that 20 and get back into them.

      My Dad lost 60 pounds about the same time. On his way down he would take the old set of clothes to the donation door of the Goodwill and then go in the front door to, as he put it, “rent” another set of clothes for pennies on the dollar. In a few months those new “rentals” were too big, so he would repeat the process. Finally he hit is goal weight and after weighting 6 months to make sure that he keep it off, he finally treated himself to a set of new clothes.

      • Brenda Somers

        I was, and still am, a customer at a local thrift shop. My clothes cost $1 a piece and I buy name brands of high quality. When they get too big, I take them back for resale.
        The thrift happens to support a Rape and Emergency care, a subject close to my heart and very deserving.

    • Mary

      Where do you live and what, if any, were the foods you found most
      helpful while going through this process? I have a terrible sweet tooth
      and would rather not have sweets in the house at all. Since I do not
      live alone, this is hard to do. Besides whatever you were told by your
      doctor, were you supported through the beginning or during your journey?

      • Brenda Somers

        I live in SW Florida. I have an insatiable sweet tooth and really think chocolate should be a food group!! However, I knew that changing my diet was a matter of life or death for me. No kidding, I was in terrible shape. Besides the diabetes I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, skin cancer requiring surgery (stress upon stress).

        I had a meeting with am RN who was certified diabetes educator who went over all the bad things that could happen if I didn’t get the diabetes under control. Blindness – I am a voracious reader, loss of feeling in fingers and toes, loss of limbs. Not a life for me. I’ve seen those results in a neighbor who wouldn’t change – he went from a very active golf playing, gardener, reader to a blind, loss of several toes, sit in the chair eating everything in sight.

        I kept a food journal for the first 3 months writing down EVERYTHING I ate, what time, and how I felt. Even that one peanut that hubby dropped on the counter.
        I gave up all sweets, pasta, bread, white potatoes, rice and starchy vegetables. I tested my blood sugar several times a day. My doctor wrote a script for the test strips and with Medicare I pay very little, thank goodness. I found what I could eat. Fruit was my sweet – but mainly citrus, strawberries and loquats. Melons made my blood sugar soar. Instead of chips, or my favorite Cheetos with my lunch, I had celery cut in bite sized pieces that I ate one at a time. I did not use sugar free anything – usually they still have too many carbs or too much fat for me.

        Support – my doctor, my family by e-mail, my neighbors (altho one said I should take a drug so I could eat like a normal person), and my husband in his own way. He never objected to what I ate, even tho he found much of it very unappetizing, as long as I fixed his dinner, he fixes his own breakfast and lunch, giving him what he wanted. And you know what, I didn’t care what he had and was never tempted.

        I really think it all boils down to a mindset. I was not going to take meds and certainly was never going to give myself insulin injections – it took almost 6 months before I could do the finger prick without psyching myself up for it.

  • Rhombopterix

    A lot of people say Make Type 2 illegal. I’ll make it illegal. Put all the T2’s in jail. Feed ’em WFPB. Make America Gaunt Again!

    • I heard an amazing presentation at a HumaneSociety US event a few weeks ago by an Arizona Department of Corrections official who implemented a WFPB diet for all of the inmates of the Maricopa County prison system. It was really interesting! And guess what? The inmates are getting healthier!!!

      • Rhombopterix

        I wish I could send my family there! Forced feeding is the ONLY way they would accept WFPB. (Except Kelly, good going sis!) but the rest of ’em are hopelessly addicted They look at me and marvel…as though it was divine intervention. If I could, I would send them to gael and let em eat caldo verde, channa masala and stir fry with red rice. Oh the pain…Sheesh.

      • Rebecca Cody

        I bet it has cut down on violence and addictions among the prisoners, too. Julia Ross describes in her book, The Mood Cure, how she uses diet and supplements to get people off all sorts of addictions – alcohol, food, drugs, etc. She talks about how, when our brains don’t get the nutrients they need, they will become addicted to something to fill those receptors. That something will be different things for different people. She uses supplements to help fill those receptors quickly while changing the diets. She doesn’t use WFPB, but her diet is still much better than most addicted people eat.

  • Tim Rapson

    Can’t wait to watch and hear the third installment of this series.

    • A Newton (NF Moderator)

      Yes Tim, I agree. I think the third installment will really help bring all these videos full circle. I’m looking forward to it myself.

    • Dr. Jen _NF Volunteer

      Love the video series! It’s always hard to wait for the end. :)

  • Summer

    What about us skinny people? I have been diagnosed w/pre diabetes, and don’t eat sugar, flour, and weight 117lbs.

    • Rhombopterix

      Are you the exception that proves the rule?

      This has always fascinated me. I was just about the only fat guy in the ward when I got my quad bypass. You get pretty chummy under those circumstances…these people were from my region…hard working farm folk. Typical Kiwi diet, meat, spuds and veg.

      What are your chems?

    • Jim Felder

      Do you still eat meat, dairy or eggs? My understanding is that excess weight is a secondary factor or perhaps even just a comorbidity of insulin resistance and the primary causal factor is the content of the diet. If you do still eat these foods, a simple test is to go 100% whole food plant based for a month and then get retested to see if your fasting blood sugar doesn’t drop.

      • Summer

        Hard to give up after a whole lifetime (I’m retired) of meat eating…but I copied the diet from today’s video and will give it a gung-ho try :-)

        • Wade Patton

          You don’t have to “give up” anything the way I look at it. I enjoyed eating animal products with reckless abandon for nearly 50 years (should I say I “survived” such?) and now I enjoy the better health and benefits of a plant-based, whole food diet, PLUS I yet reserve the right to eat animal products in an occasional way. I think a huge deterrent to even considering the concept of vegan-type eating is that folks think it’s an ALL/NONE thing. It’s not. It’s simply that more plants is always more better. I’m going to have some cheese, some bbq, some fish, some steak-now and then, but not a lot and not without LOTS of plant foods offsetting the negative affects brought by those foods. It’s just not difficult. It’s roughly 40 times easier than quitting tobacco. I know.

          • VegEater

            I have to say that I was nearly eating nearly vegan just by preference for several months before I finally dropped the egg whites, and I saw changes right away after that. It doesn’t seem to make sense, but that’s what actually happened.

          • Vege-tater

            So true Wade. Focus on the positives and strive to make the best of it instead of focusing on the negatives and feeling deprived, regretful or sorry for yourself! The sensory appeal of food is just taste and textures, but it has so many strong emotional ties people get confused. Look at the knee jerk reaction from certain people who don’t want to hear meat isn’t a health food! They get so defensive and bent out of shape about It’s a choice and it’s your own thoughts and mindset that can limit you, but certainly not the foods! I also agree that allowing yourself leeway is a good psychology too, nothing worse than prohibition to create rebellion! Not feeling like we have choices backs us into a corner and I don’t think anybody likes that position. (Especially not without a cigarette! Ha ha, get that part too!)

        • Jim Felder

          Like Wade says, in the long term you might not have to completely remove animal products. But you mentioned that you aren’t overweight and have made some healthful changes to your diet. So to see if the pre-diabetes might be due to any remaining animal products in your diet or even possibly added vegetable oils, try a dietary challenge of committing to completely eliminating animal foods and added vegetable oil from your diet for a month or two to see if your pre-diabetes responds. Think of it as taking a course of medication that might give you some side-effects (in this case missing some of the flavors you are used to and having to learn some new recipes), but that you stick with because you want to get better overall.

          If a therapeutic diet does work, then you know that you are in fact able to reverse your condition. Then you can if you want experiment with adding back in some of those foods and see if your pre-diabetes returns. And if it does, then at least you know what to do to get rid of it.

    • Tom Goff

      You might find it useful to read this page by a diabetes institute affiliated with Harvard University
      http://blog.joslin.org/2014/05/thin-and-type-2-non-obese-risk-factors-for-developing-diabetes/

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      As some eluded to below, it’s not just the processed stuff (flour, sugar) that is associated with a higher risk of diabetes…it’s the animal products themselves. I’m glad you’ve taken it upon yourself to try a different dietary approach. I’m only 35 and have been essentially vegan for 2 years. I did it for health reasons, though no one would have considered me unhealthy at the time (normal weight, no medical issues, etc). I was an avid lover of steaks and hot dogs. I loved hot dogs so much that after completing residency in 2011, I went to all 30 Major League ballparks (I’m a big baseball fan, too), and I ranked the hot dogs at each stadium…I probably had about 40-50 hot dogs in a 90 day period, and these weren’t your standard grocery-store size dogs…they were huge. I made the change, however. I won’t say that some dairy hasn’t snuck in during the occasional meal out or at the occasional wedding/birthday party when cake is served, but I haven’t a slice or even a piece of actual beef, chicken, turkey, or fish since I started. And, honestly, I don’t miss it at all. I have found so many thing that I now love to eat that before I would have never given the time of day! I snack on oranges and walnuts or apples and cashews. I eat spaghetti squash covered in homemade tomato sauce. I make enchiladas out of sweet potatoes, red peppers, black beans, and onions, and they taste so much better than what you get at a Tex-Mex place…and they’re cholesterol free, guilt free, and I can eat as much of it as I want and not get sick. I’m only 2 years into it, so I’m still coming across new vegetables to try and different ways to prepare them. I now own multiple cookbooks just because they are fun to read, and I think that is part of the key. Grow your recipe library so you always have something new to try. You’ll have such a stack of recipes of stuff you’ll want to make that you won’t even have time to go back to eating the meats. I often get recipes off of the Forks Over Knives website. They are easy to search, there’s a ton of them, and they are even easy to view on your phone at the grocery store. Oh, I even look forward to cooking now! I’m a 35 year old male who cooks…all the time…and I enjoy it.

    • Vege-tater

      Sounds like late stage T1 or 1.5 or what ever they are calling it? We had a crew here in that category a while back…anyone?

  • A Newton (NF Moderator)

    Hello all, I am a new NF volunteer. I am a Registered Dietitian and also have my PhD in Nutritional Sciences. I am happy to be here to answer questions, clarify areas of confusion, and add to the discussion!

    • vmh

      Glad you’re here! My question: Based on this article

      https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157084.html

      where a small group of people were given high-dose statins and saw improvement or less porgression in their macular degeneration, I asked my retinal specialist yesterday if I could clear out some of the fat-and-cholesterol-packed drusen in my retinas if I went on an extremely low-fat diet (which I figured would have the same impact as a high-dose statin). She ccouldn’t/wouldn’t say because there are no studies and proof. Just do what’s healthy, she said.

      I asked her about adding nitrite-rich foods to open up blood vessels. She said macular degeneration is not a problem of blood flow. Then she started talking about inflammation.

      Dr. McDougall has had good success with treating inflammatory arthritis, but I wonder if his no-meat diet would give me enough zinc. (Zinc being very important for macular patients.) Plus, all those phytates in the beans I eat bind up zinc, I understand.

      So I’m leaning toward a cross between the Pritikin and McDougall plans, maybe eating vegan every other day and 2 or 3 servings of meat a week — with one serving of red meat a month. I started doing this a week ago when I saw the above study.

      Then there’s this study that shows statins worsening on macular degeneration:

      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811684

      which I’m kind of discounting because I hope it’s just showing correlation not causation.

      I’m 63, female, normal weight, otherwise healthy and take no medications. The only supplement I take is vitamin D because I live so far north. I have dry macular degeneration and it’s gone to the point where I’ve given up driving. (It’s a little scary to see half-cars coming down the road at you.)

      Have you seen any cases of retinal drusen clearing up on a low-fat diet and does the clear-up help stop the progression of macular degeneration?

  • Sai

    I have been eating mostly plant based food, especially after reading “how not to die”, but my a1c is still 6.2. I am 5’6″ 115 lb, with barely no body fat. I work out regularly and sleep well. I like macrobiotic diet and eat healthy. What else can I do? My mom was diabetic for 40 years before she passed away and I feel lost.

    • A Newton (NF Moderator)

      Hi Sai. How long have you been on the plant-based food diet? A1c is a 3 month indicator of blood glucose, so it may take some time to see changes, especially significant changes.

      • sati

        I did 3 months only with WFPB diet.

        • A Newton (NF Moderator)

          Implementing changes in your diet for an extended period of time (>3 months), especially life-long changes, will likely create the changes you are aiming at obtaining.

    • sati

      One more thing. I tried 100% vegan for 3 months and my a1c was still the same 6.2, although my LDL went down from 142 to 71. My HDL is 144 and extremely high. Any suggestions?

      • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

        Sati, I suggest you keep plugging away at it. That LDL from 142 to 71 is more than significant…that alone dramatically decreases your chances of developing heart disease, having a stroke, etc. And that HLD of 144….if that is the actual number (that is extremely high), I would count my blessings. HDL is the good cholesterol. The more the better. Interestingly, dietary changes have a much smaller effect on HDL (same goes for medications). When looking at your cholesterol, I would concentrate on your total cholesterol and your LDL. If you keep your total cholesterol less than 150, you are in REALLY good shape. We do not see heart attacks in folks with total cholesterols less than 150. And your LDL of 71 is great…that kind of drop usually takes a high potency statin to go from 142 to 71. I hope this helps encourage you in your quest for better health.

    • Vege-tater

      Hi, I’m curious if you are still using any added oils? When I finally dropped them, my diabetes was history in a matter of weeks. I was overweight however, but the diabetes was gone before I lost any substantial weight. I’m not a doctor but I know that diabetes is an issue of too much fat inside the cells, but body fat can be a separate issue sometimes, one doesn’t always accompany the other.

      • sati

        Hi Vege-tater, you mean, dropping oil completely, even one tea spoon of olive oil for your kale salad? Or do you mean animal fat? If my WFPB diet doesn’t change my a1c after 3 months, I don’t know what I should do next.

        • jj

          Oil is not a whole food so is not a part of a WFPB diet.

        • Thea

          sati: Here’s what I think Vege-tater is getting at: If you understand type 2 diabetes as a problem of excess fat getting into the cells, thereby creating an insulin sensitivity problem, then you need to cut out excess fat from all sources, not just animal sources. Eating vegan is not sufficient and oil is nothing but pure fat. The devil is in the details.
          .
          How about doing just a three week trial on a diet that is specifically designed for T2 diabetics? There are two ways you could do this: One is get Dr. Barnard’s book on preventing and reversing diabetes. The book includes meal plans and recipes so you can see exactly what types of foods to eat. Note that Dr. Barnard’s program is *clinically proven* to be three times more effective than the standard ADA diet. Your library may have this book, or you can get it cheap from Amazon:
          http://www.amazon.com/Neal-Barnards-Program-Reversing-Diabetes/dp/1594868107/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
          .
          Here is a completely free option: One of the suggested resources in Dr. Greger’s book is PCRM’s (Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine which is headed by Dr. Barnard) free 21 Day Kickstart program. That program is super great for beginners because they hold your hand for 21 days – including grocery lists, meal plans, recipes, cooking videos, inspirational e-mails, and a forum moderated by an RD where you can ask all sorts of questions. If you are interested, click the green button on the following page to register: http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome
          .
          Actually, I recommend doing both. Get the book and check out the 21 Day Kickstart Program. Hope this helps.

          • sati

            Thank you Thea! Actually I am a big fan of Dr. Barnard and followed his diet for 3 months. Maybe I didn’t follow strictly enough, as my a1c was unchanged after 3 mo. I will try another book you recommend. Do you think 21 days are enough to see the results? Also I heard that fasting is good for pre-diabetes. Dr. Mitsuo Kouda’s recommend not to eat breakfast and rest your organs, and eat very lightly twice a day (veggies and brown rice, about 1,000 cal/day although calories are not the center of focus). What do you think about these half-fasting-methods?

          • Thea

            sati: According to the studies, 21 days seems to be enough for most people (maybe not everyone) to at least start to see a significant effect. The devil is in the details, however. You have to stick to the diet 100% to see the results. And I do mean 100% as there are lots of reports from people on this website who report not seeing significant benefits for whatever problem they were trying to deal with until they went 100%.
            .
            As for skipping breakfast and restricting calories, I believe Dr. Greger is saying that studies show that calorie restriction has bee shown to be helpful. So, yes it can work. But diet change without the calorie restriction can also be helpful. And calorie restriction (below what you need for long term maintenance) is only a short term solution. If I were in your shoes, I would want to start with just using the method that I oculd apply long term and see if that worked- ie, just eating a healthy diabetes-specific diet. Those are just my thoughts/values. If you are the type of person for whom temporary calorie restriction is exciting and you want to try, I don’t think it would be a problem (especially if you are working with your doctor) and is likely to help. Good luck!

  • Ross

    I sure wish I could get all the people around me killing themselves to hear this message! I love veggies and the biggest problem I hear from friends who are going down the type 2 path is that they cannot give up the foods they love. It is kind of masochistic on their parts. I am 36 and feel like I am 20. I know I will die like everyone else, but I hope to be kicking when I do.

    • Ross

      Great job on this site by the way. I am ordering the book and loaning it out to friends.

  • dougronald@gmail.com

    I completely do not understand the whole “Disqus” requirement to login there before being able to comment here. Can someone explain? Disqus just doesn’t work, for me at least.

    • UCBAlum

      It seems to be working…

    • Tommasina

      Hi Doug, I hear your frustration. The two logins just don’t work well together, so we recommend logging out of NutritionFacts.org, refreshing the page, and in a second tab, login to Disqus.com. Then go back to NutritionFacts.org, and comment away. That way you’ll be able to see a log of all of your comments and access of the neat user settings that Disqus offers. These instructions might be helpful also: https://nutritionfacts.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/205405437-Making-a-comment.

      Hope this helps!

  • Paul

    That diet looks like Eat to LIve.

    • Vege-tater

      Yep, no matter what you call it, it’s about eating WHOLE foods and minimal to no animal products or processed junk.

      • Paul

        Right, but I mean doesn’t it look like Dr. Fuhrman’s version of WPFB. :) I agree though, just keep it whole!

        This morning I was reading the blog of the guy eating nothing but potatoes for a year. :o He’s two months in and has lost about 35# already, I assume he adds condiments like spices and some sauces, but nothing but potatoes.

        • Julie

          You are right, Paul. Notice that Dr. Fuhrman was one of the authors of the study.

  • Vege-tater

    I am THRILLED to see all the doctors here! This video is old news to me, but the info changed my life, maybe saved my life. I hope this knowledge goes viral! Ahem. :)

  • Mary Sutherlin

    Hello Dr. Jon. I’ve been a fan of NutritionFacts.org for over a few years now. Although I am not totally vegan, I am trying. I currently live in WA state (for over 2 years now), am diabetic (diagnosed over 3 years ago), and also have Hypothyroidism, which I’ve had since 1982. My main problem is that I can’t really find a doctor here that has conveyed any interest in how I am actually doing as my appointments are all handled as if its the first time they are seeing me, completely detached. I spend an awful lot of money on my health care insurance and get very little for it. Whenever I do go to the doctor and need various labs done, no one EVER knows what anything is going to cost me, my deductible is very high and thanks to Obamacare I am not able to be self-insured when, realistically, I am. Its a viscous cycle that has me stressed to the point that I am now under more stress than ever and am developing other issues. This year I turn 65 and would like to make some serious changes in my future care. I have decided to NOT fund the insurer I have and no longer am carrying insurance. I also decided to start seeing a Naturopathic Doctor, which I went to in December. The end result of that visit was pretty much the same, costly and no one knew what they were talking about regarding pricing – I was given unreliable information so I am now off them. I am again back to the beginning in trying to secure dependable help in my care.

    After seeing this video I am now wondering if I might be a candidate for this, “Reversing Diabetes With Food”. So, my question is, rather than continuing to go to medical offices that may not actually be able or willing to help me with this, can anyone there help me to narrow the field? What type of doctor or specialist should I go to that may be willing to help me with this process? I really think I could do it, but know I will need help in getting started.

    Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      Mary, I understand your frustration. Might I suggest a couple of websites for finding a physician that would be willing to work with you:
      http://www.plantbaseddoctors.org
      https://happyherbivore.com/2014/09/plant-based-vegan-doctors-list/ (click on DOCTORS in the upper right hand corner…there are a number of docs listed in the state of Washington on this website)
      I hope this helps you!!!

    • vmh

      Hi Mary,

      I can commiserate on one score — I just went to my retinal specialist today (I think she’s one of the best in the state) but she won’t TELL me anything unless it’s been proven in a study. Very frustrating as my eyesight keeps deteriorating and the studies aren’t being done.

      I’m not diabetic myself but I’ve decided to try a very low-fat diet anyway. I’m going to try a cross between the Dr. McDougall diet and the Pritikin diet:.

      https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/free-mcdougall-program/

      and

      http://www.pritikin.com/?ibp-adgroup=PPC&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Branded&utm_term=pritikin%20diet&utm_content=79005588322&creative=79005588322&keyword=pritikin%20diet&matchtype=p&network=g&device=c&gclid=Cj0KEQiAu9q2BRDq3MDbvOL1yaYBEiQAD6qoBjfIuOMOspFJonPMagX2nerjqiF1JQ-MzNXx2K85yN8aAlLu8P8HAQ

      On the McDougall diet you never get meat; on the Pritikin diet you get meat once a day. Both sites have recipes and info for diabetics. There are other people too with very low-fat diets but with different twists. Here’s a life story from a compulsive over-eater chef who is now a size 4 and has her own site:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyR1OcQynfQ&list=TLV_f73uQEZrUyNTAyMjAxNg

      I called the Pritikin site this week. They have a nutritional consultation as part of a membership package that includes a week’s worth of lunch/dinner food shipped to your door. I din’t want to buy the food but they said I could purchase just the consultation. I think it will be worth it to me to talk to someone with a lot of experience with this type of diet. (Also, your local hospital might have somebody on staff that you could hire.)

      There’s a Canadian site called eatracker that I like. You write in everything you eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner and it gives you a bunch of nutritional breakdowns, including how many fat grams, which is important to know on a very low-fat diet:

      https://www.eatracker.ca/

      The Americans have a site too, supertrakcer, but I started with eatracker and find it simpler. The American site is:

      https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/foodtracker.aspx

      My sister is diabetic and I’ve been asking her to try an extremely low-fat diet but so far she won’t. I do know that it’s a profound change and medications HAVE to be adjusted. I hope you can find a doctor who is willing/able to help!

      • Vege-tater

        From my own experience, I wish you would at least give a whole foods, animal free, no added fat diet a fair trial and see how you feel. Get in on one of the kickstarts if you feel stumped, they walk you through it with a group of others doing the same. It seems intimidating in the beginning, but the rewards are so worth it, and once you get the hang of it you will discover worlds of opportunities. All food is just flavors and textures and every one of them can be replicated with a WFPB diet!

        • vmh

          Thanks for the input. I’m still in the process of deciding how low-meat to go on my new low-fat-plant-based diet. I’m definitely willing to do anything that would help.

          • Alan

            I believe that you can go N0 Meat and still have good health. I take that back – I know you can. I do it everyday. Have lots of energy, work hard and have not been sick in years. I am almost 61 years old. But you need to make sure you are eating enough calories to sustain you. It is not necessary to count them as long as you eat plenty of Starches – brown rice and other grains, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, and beans. If you try to live on mostly fruits and veggies you will be hungry most of the time. And hungry people will eventually find food to eat and if they think the WFPB diet is not working they will go back to the meat.

          • vmh

            Thanks for your comment. One of my concerns is getting enough zinc, which seems to have a therapeutic effect on the retina and is mostly consumed in animal products. Eating meat does not offend my food philosophy. Philosophically, if I were a hungry traveler 700 years ago, happening by a campfire with a wild-caught rabbit roasting on a stick, there is no way I would pass up an invitation to share. However, I’m willing to eat any diet therapeutically, including a vegan diet. I just have to be reasonably certain it’s going to have a benefit. One thing I feel sure of, I was eating way too much meat before, even though I also consumed plenty of fruits and vegetables. (Basically, I was replacing the satisfying starchy food with satisfying meat/fish/eggs.) So I’m looking for a new approach. Maybe it’s the peasant approach. Eat lots of starch.

          • Alan

            Hi again vmf – I quit eating meat about 25 yrs ago. At times i would go back to eating a little or eggs – usually eggs. I Felt like something was missing. When l i started keeping up with the teachings of Dr John McDougall and started eating more starches – whole food carbs, not refined.the need of falling back on the animal products disappeared. If you do not know much about Dr McDougall i suggest you check out his website. Here is the link to the page where he has a Free Program with a 10 day menu with recipes. My wife and i eat real simple and do not rally use many recipes but i use it as a guide line. He has LOTS of good info on his website.
            Here is the Link https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/free-mcdougall-program/ The tabs on the right are the ones you need to check out if you have an interest. I want to add that i would be eating meat if i thought it was the best for my health. There is too much science that shows that a vegan diet is healthier IF a person does it right – a low fat, lot protein wfpb diet or lifestyle.I do hope that you get the help and direction that you are looking for.

          • vmh

            Thanks for the link. I started looking at the McDougall site after I found this site, where somebody else mentioned it. I’ve been listening to his podcasts, etc. This was one of my favorites, in case you haven’t heard it you might find it interesting:
            https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/podcast/nathan-pritikin/
            It’s not about the McDougall diet, of course, but it’s amazing how much information one man (Pritikin) could pick up and utilize long, long before the internet. And thanks for the well wishes.

          • Alan

            Thank you for your link. About a year ago I actually watched the first one and part of the second and somehow got sidetracked and never got back to them. Now maybe i will. Pritikan was ahead of the health movement for sure. One thing i do not totally agree on with McDougall is he recommends no or very little nuts and seeds. I do believe that low fat is the way to go, but there is too much evidence that nuts and seeds in moderation are good for you. I try to keep my consumption to about an ounce a day. That is about 1/4 cup. Dr Essyltyn of teh Cleveland Heart clinic also recomends no nuts are seeds, but he deals with some very seriously ill heart patients. Most of them have been given up on by the mainstream medical profession. The ones that follow his plan do get well though.

    • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

      Mary, your story just breaks my heart. Please see Dr.Alex’s suggestions, below. I feel sure that you would be helped by starting on a plant based diet. You might need to start out on your own. Here is the website for a “21-day Kickstart” program that will at least give you some ideas about how to get started:
      http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome [Just highlight the whole address, then right-click it, and you should be able to open the link].

    • Alan

      Hi Mary – I agree with vmh below with their comment. Dr McDougall has a LOT of info on his website which also contains a free program. It suggests which foods to eat and the ones not to eat. He also gives a 10 day menu with recipes. He has helped many people get over many different health issues with diet. Here is the link to the Free McDougall Program. The info is on the right side of the page. He will also answer emails if you have any questions.

    • Thea

      Mary, I just wrote a reply to someone else that may help you. I can see that others already recommended the 21 Day Kickstart program that I included. But I also point to a book that may make you very happy. I found the book to be quite empowering. Check out this comment from above: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/reversing-diabetes-with-food/#comment-2557209173

  • bobluhrs

    The study at the end, by Dr. Fuhrman and some others, is very impressive. Its design is actually an interventional, not just a retrospective case study, however, because something was deliberately changed. The ‘control’ could be considered as their prior diets. So, I think the study is a lot stronger than given credit for by calling it ‘retrospective’ alone.

    • Tom Goff

      Yes, the same reasoning applies to Esselstyn’s heart disease reversal study which also did not have a formal control group. The issue of a lack of control group and its effect on determining causality are discussed in Esselstyn’s 2014 journal article.
      http://www.jfponline.com/the-publication/past-issue-single-view/a-way-to-reverse-cad/f74f8ebb9261a837f3511f407516c7e5.html

    • Jim Felder

      I’m with Tom. I think “self-control” is not given nearly enough weight in studies, but I think it has the potential to be the most definitive way to compare different treatment approaches. After all if a host of powerful drugs hadn’t cured someone’s diabetes or Lupus or heart disease even after years of treatment and then switching to a WFPB diet completely reversed their condition, what are the odds that this is due to coincidental spontaneous remission or placebo effect? Even in a single case I would have to say the chances of it not being due to the dietary changes is very low. So if it happens in a high percentage of subjects, a study with even a dozen or two subjects like Dr. Esselstyn’s initial study with 24 (with 18 conforming to the diet) can be definitive in my opinion. On the other hand a study with 100,000 subjects could still have very weak results if the differences between groups is so small it requires very sophisticated statistical methods to even be able to see any difference. It all about signal to noise ratio.

      Perhaps Dr. Greger could develop a “strength” number to assign to the results of any given study that would take into account not only the number of subjects, but also how strong was the response to the proposed treatment or how different was the response between two alternatives and post those numbers in the “Dr’s Notes” section for each of the studies he used.

  • pbwfmd_NF_Moderator

    Hey guys, I’m another new volunteer with NF. I am a family physician who jumped into the world of a plant-based whole food diet 2 years ago. I only “stumbled” onto nutritionfacts.org shortly after reading Dr. Greger’s book. I’m glad to be here to help everyone on the journey to better health–and make no mistake, I’m on the journey, too!

  • Vege-tater

    After watching this video, and the link to the one above about diet and drugs lowering diabetes, (the link itself is not working by the way, I get a page not found error) I am wondering if it could be possible to study how much obesity itself is a detriment to health, rather than as a marker for the typical associated health risks? I keep hearing how you can’t be fat on a whole food plant based diet, but I am! So the consensus seems to be I must be doing it wrong, or that I am lying to myself, which is beyond stupid because who would it hurt and why would I be asking for input? No matter how I try, I cannot get to an ideal weight, even though I am more adherent to this diet than even I can believe because I feel so well and have ditched so many health issues, its easy once you get a handle on things, and delicious! So can you be a “healthy” chubby, or should I just stop eating? LOL, I joke but it’s frustrating. I am never hungry in the day and do tend to eat one meal late, but it never exceeds the recommended caloric intake, usually far from it. Not that I count calories anymore but previous posts about the same issue got suggestions to track my intake. I am never physically hungry (empty growling stomach kind of thing) nor do I register as “full” until my stomach is over-distended and uncomfortable, it’s like the sensations are missing. After being obese all my adult despite (misguided) efforts to change that, and because of these odd issues, before going WFPB I learned the average stomach holds about a liter, so along the lines of the results of gastric bypass, trained myself to never eat more than a 1/2 liter of anything, besides a naked salad maybe. Of course I was still eating SAD, so even that didn’t help much. When I went WFPB there was a dramatic change in health, and before I had even lost any substantial weight, diabetes, IBS, fibromyalgia, high cholesterol/blood pressure and a slew of other problems were history. I went on to lose over 150 pounds 4-5 years ago now, but could happily lose at least 30-40 more, and I’m clueless! I know I should probably eat smaller amounts more often, but I’d have to force myself. That just seems contrary.
    I’ve read eating too little can slow your metabolism, yet caloric restriction is supposed to be a benefit and a way to keep trim! I am so confused, help!

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      I completely understand your frustration. When I try and help patients with weight loss and a PBWF diet, it can be hard because it does seem like so many of them hit a plateau on their weight loss and then they cannot get over that hump. What we try to do is look very hard at exactly what they are eating…are they simply eating more fatty foods (avocados for example) or higher-calorie plant foods and do we need to try and cut those out for a period of time until we get to a goal weight. You mentioned at one point you counted calories…I wonder if it wouldn’t be worth going back to that for awhile and see exactly where you are at now and possibly cut back just a little and see what happens–maybe 100 calories less a day which is 700 less a week, which will add up over time. I often hear that plant based whole foods people don’t have to calorie count, and that is true to an extent, but I think it is for folks who are at the weight that want to be at…not necessarily for folks that are really trying to lose weight. I know it’s hard!! I think it is completely AWESOME that you have done what you have to this point and gotten rid of multiple medical issues–a cure for fibromyalgia, a normal blood pressure and cholesterol, no more diabetes, no more IBS! Keep pushing!!!

    • Tom Goff
    • vmh

      As I mentioned elsewhere, I like eatracker. It’s free. You only have to keep track of a couple of days worth of food before you see any any flaws from all their nutritional graphs about what you eat.

      https://www.eatracker.ca/

      After being pretty sedentary most of my life, a few years ago I read the book “Born to Run”. It’s a fascinating account of the Tarahumara Native Mexican tribe that can run all day. They run into their 90s.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_to_Run:_A_Hidden_Tribe,_Superathletes,_and_the_Greatest_Race_the_World_Has_Never_Seen

      It helped change my life and it might benefit you as well. At any rate, it’s an interesting read and very well-written. I see it’s going to be made into a movie. Can’t wait.

    • One of my colleagues at Arizona State University wrote an amazing book called “Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health”. http://www.amazon.com/Big-Fat-Lies-Weight-Health/dp/0936077425. He skillfully addresses the scientific evidence regarding obesity. As far as your own situation, focusing on the significant positive changes you have made to your health by switching to WFPB is amazing! Celebrate those accomplishments, focus less on the number on the scale – keep upgrading as best you can your food choices. Investigate Mindful Eating – practice forgiveness (to self first), incorporate food blessings, find ways to make peace with the scale, and your beautiful and amazing body just the way it is. Congratulations on your progress!

    • Jim Felder

      All great advice for all the other folks, but I just want to say 150 POUNDS WOW! That is beyond awesome!

    • 2tsaybow

      I have slowed my weight loss greatly, but it’s still eeking it’s way off. I find I do better if I keep to Dr. Greger’s recommendation of eating beans three times a day. Like you though, I do like to eating in the evenings and that may slow down the weight loss.

      One the other hand, ain’t it great to be rid of the pain! I don’t care so much about my chubby butt now that I can move again! It just feels so great to be able to go out hiking and to enjoy the world again.

    • Julie

      Vege-tater, you are doing awesome and are an inspiration to us all! You didn’t mention exercise; increasing your activity may be the ticket. You are right, reducing food too much can lower metabolism….but exercise increases metabolism! Remember, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn. Exercise increases the mitochondria in your muscle, and these energy producing factories burn calories and give you energy.

    • Alan

      Hi Vege-Tator – I believe that Julie’s advice below about exercising is good sound advice.{If not doing it already.} I know that it makes a big different in my appetite. I try to do some physical labor or exercize before every meal. Also if you do get your appetite back you may try eating your smaller meal at night. I will help you to be hungry in the morning.

  • clive neumann

    When one loses weight, it is either through loss of fat or muscle. Does it not make a big difference, which one loses. Losing muscle lowers ones metabolic rate. I have begun checking my bodyfat level with an impedance monitor and ignoring the total change in bodyweight. I have not checked my sugar level recently, but last time I checked it was normal.

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      From a physician’s perspective, I don’t think it matters. You have to consider, too, when some folks start to lose weight they will lose A LOT of water weight. When you go to a PBWF diet and you cut out the salt, you stop retaining a lot of fluid…it’s why very obese people can lose a large amount of weight and a very brief period of time…that significant loss will stop once they’ve lost that weight, however. I think the most important thing to think about is “What am I eating?” as oppose to “Am I losing the right kind of weight?”. If you are giving your body the correct nutrition, it will take care of itself…it’ll keep the muscle you need and get rid of the fat you don’t. Hope this makes at least a little sense.

  • Food really can be our medicin. I just hope more doctors would re-educate themselfs. There are many diabetics in my family and all of them are encouraged to eat chicken, dairy and eggs and to reduce rice, potatoes and fruit. It´s so frustrating :-/ My dad in the other hand, got rid of his high blood sugar levels and high cholesterol by changing his diet to a plant-based diet with no oil.

    • 2tsaybow

      Yes it is frustrating! I have several friends who rely on the Veterans Administration for their health care and they have never heard anything about a whole food plant based diet as a way of healing their diabetes or heart problems. I have taken to gathering books at thrift stores so that when I talk about a WFPB diet I have a book to give them to reinforce the fact that there is much medical proof that this way of eating works.

    • Wade Patton

      Go DAD!

  • Art2000F

    Question: As an overweight diabetic, aged 66, with 6.4 HbA1c, my key goal is to lose weight (currently 282), goal 175). After switching from a low carb high protein to whole food plant based in December, just a few months ago, I have noticed my lipid profile move from poor to outstanding, but my overall BG is bouncing around more and I am finding it difficult to lose weight. I clearly need to add exercise to my routine. Any suggestions ???

  • Joan

    Hello, I am a new NF moderator and look forward to responding to questions and comments. I have worked in the wellness field for over 20 years promoting health but only in the last year (after husband’s unexpected triple bypass) have I focused more closely on the connection between nutrition and disease. I’ve recently earned a certificate in Plant based nutrition and look forward to learning more with you.

  • Joan

    I’m a new NF Moderator. As a nurse educator I’ve promoted wellness for over 20 years, but only recently focused more on the connection between nutrition and health. I’ve recently completed a certificate in Plant based Nutrition and am eager to continue learning with you on this site.

  • starchy

    Been suffering from Hypoglycemia for 20 years and on my way to becoming a type 2 diabetic when I discovered a Plant Based Diet. Been on the diet for six months and it has completely cured my hypoglycemia and changed my life for the better. I have a question though which is slightly off topic but somewhat related to my previous blood sugar problems. My teeth have suffered a great deal over the years because of my poor diet and recently I chipped one of my teeth. The dentist recommended I have a root canal and crown fitting. I keep hearing a lot about how root canals are toxic and bad for your overall health. I was wondering where does the plant based health and medical community stand on root canals? Is it considered safe for the health or is it better to get an extraction? Any advice you can give me would be much appreciated.

  • starchy

    Been suffering from Hypoglycemia for 20 years and on my way to becoming a type 2 diabetic when I discovered a Plant Based Diet. Been on the diet for six months and it has completely cured my hypoglycemia and changed my life for the better. I have a question though which is slightly off topic but somewhat related to my previous blood sugar problems. My teeth have suffered a great deal over the years because of my poor diet and recently I chipped one of my teeth. The dentist recommended I have a root canal and crown fitting. I keep hearing a lot about how root canals are toxic and bad for your overall health. I was wondering where does the plant based health and medical community stand on root canals? Is it considered safe for the health or is it better to get an extraction? Any advice you can give me would be much appreciated.

  • painterguy

    Eating a pound of cooked greens per day is mentioned in this transcript. That is a lot. Is anyone blending greens? What kind of blender are you using? Where did you get the blender? What kind of greens are you blending?

    • Corey Hamilton – NF Moderator

      Great question painterguy! Dr. Greger did a series of 5 part series of videos on smoothies. The first one http://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-green-smoothies-good-for-you/
      details how blending can help maximize nutrient absorption. Links to the other 4 videos in the series can be found at the bottom of this video. Personally, I blend whatever raw greens I have in my refrigerator, spinach, kale, spring mix, and broccoli are my favorites. I tend to also include some fruits, flax or chia, and avocado to improve the flavor and enhance the nutrient content rather than using just blending greens alone. I’ve used a nutribullet, vitamix, and ninja blenders. Each has its pros and cons. Look for recipes online from the WFPB experts of your choice. Have fun and enjoy your greens!

  • Christopher Patterson

    Hello. Do you have any thoughts on the use of an alpha lipoic acid supplement as an antioxidant or for any other reason in a healthy middle aged vegan male? If so, at what dosage? Thank you for your time and assistance!

  • painterguy

    I’m looking for a Vitamix blender. Dan

  • Ronald Green
  • I am trying to reverse Vitiligo with a plant based diet. I have been on a plant based diet for almost 2 months. I am wondering if there is anything else I should do. I am considering sun bathing because I read that it may increase melanin production. I have had vitiligo for a few years but I feel that I can cure it with a plant based diet. Any ideas?

  • Huffy

    Hi! I’m a diabetic and health motivated. I would like to give the vegan life-style an opportunity to improve my health, but have one question up front. My blood glucose levels are already high. It’s been my experience that the more carbs I eat, the higher the levels go. Am I missing something? What have others with diabetes experienced? Looking forward to your reply! Thanks!

    • Thea

      Huffy: The thing to remember about T2 diabetes is that it is caused by having too much fat in your cells. So, if you eat more “carbs” without clearing out that fat, then you could expect your glucose levels to go even higher.

      I think it’s awesome that you want to eat healthy and get rid of that diabetes. I recommend you get a book (it’s probably in the library too) called “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes”. He explains all this way better than I can, including going over a clinical study proven to be 3 times more effective than the ADA diet. And he tells you exactly how to implement the diet, including recipes in the back of the book. I think that book may be your ticket to getting this right WITH the caveat that you must work with a doctor who is willing to work with you on this. There are many cases where people implement this diet and all of a sudden, their bodies do a 180 and they must get off their T2 diabetes medication right away. So, I would suggest you find a doctor who will help you down this path.

      Here is a link to the book if you are interested: http://www.amazon.com/Neal-Barnards-Program-Reversing-Diabetes/dp/1594868107/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459553265&sr=1-1&keywords=prevent+and+reverse+diabetes Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! Also, if you want some testimonials, check out the reviews under the book.

  • Agnieszka

    Hello,

    My son is 12 year old, he lives 6 years with diabetes type 1 , has an insulin pump.

    His results are getting worse ,

    There are tumors of the thyroid gland,

    but TSH , thyroid blood tests is ok .

    Its been a year since my son suffers from chronic foot pain when he runs . ANA test is 1: 100

    We are from Poland. In diabetes hospital children get breakfast sandwich white bread with butter and ham ;(

    I am looking for help for my child , I do not know what to do, what research , what diet, what to exclude from diet and what to enter it to help my child .

    Agnieszka

    • Thea

      Agnieszka: I’m sorry your son is having so many problems. What a lucky boy he is to have you as his parent, who knows that white bread with butter and ham just can’t be healthy…
      .
      I’m not an expert, but I have read a fantastic book by Dr. Barnard (a book showcased in one of Dr. Greger’s videos) titled “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes”. Unfortunately, as Dr. Barnard explains in the book, type 1 (T1) diabetes is not something that we know how to cure.
      .
      ***However,*** there are several people on this site who have T1 diabetes and who have reported that they have had good success in lowering their insulin needs when they eat the healthy diet explained in Dr. Barnard’s book. Also, while not a guarantee, a low fat, whole plant food based (WPFB) diet might help with the tumors and running/joint pain. (You can see many videos on this site concerning cancer and arthritis.) So, even if your son’s is not able to get rid of the T1 completely, he could improve his life in other areas, or at least help prevent additional problems from popping up if he ate a healthy diet as defined in Dr. Barnard’s book and here on NutritionFacts.
      .
      Thus, I think a low fat WPFB diet would be a good idea to try. The main concern is that you would need to work closely with a doctor if you change your son’s diet. Sometimes a healthy diet can work so well that insulin amounts must be adjusted quickly in order to avoid harm.
      .
      If you think this is a good idea to try and if you would have trouble getting Dr. Barnard’s book, I suggest you look into the free on-line program called “21 Day Kickstart.” This program is run by a group called Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which is headed by Dr. Barnard. What’s more, the program will “hold your hand” for 21 days, including meal plans, recipes, videos, inspirational messages, and a forum (moderated by a very respected RD) where you can ask questions. This program would hopefully help you to understand what your whole family should be eating.
      http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome/
      (Click the green “Register Now” button.)
      .
      But to quickly answer your question of what to eat and what to exclude:
      > Exclude -> meat, dairy, eggs, oil and other highly processed foods.
      > Include -> beans, intact grains, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, and some nuts and seeds.
      Be sure that everyone gets a B12 vitamin supplement. You can see Dr. Greger’s general recommendations here: http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/
      .
      There is SO MUCH variety and delicious tasting food on a healthy diet. I think that once your family adjusts, they will really like it. Does that help?

  • Laura Amezquita

    Do you still have to Watch your carb intake? New to the vegan diet.

    • Dr. Jen

      Hi Laura,

      In general you should not have to watch your carbs on a WFPB diet. Obviously things like soda and processed carbohydrates are linked with diabetes since they are calorie rich and nutrient poor. However, a diet heavy in beans, whole grains and vegetables can actually reverse diabetes. That being said, everyone’s body is different so if you are already diabetic keep an eye on your blood sugars and your body will tell you what it likes and needs. Dr. G has several great videos on this subject. Check them out!

      WFPB diet for diabetes

      Beans and Diabetes

  • Anna

    I’ve been eating WFPB and last 20 pounds over the last 2 years. I’m not heavy but my A1C won’t budge below 6.0. Any ideas?

  • meganstartch

    Hello, my brother has been diagnosed with type one diabetes, rather than type two. As, from my understanding, the diseases are quite different in their cause, is a PBD as successful in managing type 1?
    Thanks!

  • salominho_t

    I love these videos, they actually wake me up every time I see one. I am doing practices at a private hospital right now and it makes me so angry that doctors and nutritionists are not informed about all these studies with actual evidence about junk food and animal products!!! It makes me so angry that they are so closed about alternative ways. :(