Diabetes Reversal: Is It the Calories or the Food?

Diabetes Reversal: Is It the Calories or the Food?
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Even when study subjects were required to eat so much that they didn’t lose any weight, a plant-based diet could still reverse type 2 diabetes in a matter of weeks.


Diabetes reversal, not just treatment, should be a goal in the management of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with an extremely low calorie diet. Type 2 diabetes can also be reversed with an extremely healthy diet, but is that because it’s also low in calories? The study subjects lost as much weight on the green leafy vegetable-packed plant-based diet as the semi-starvation diet based on liquid meal replacements. So, does it matter what we’re eating as long as we’re eating few enough calories to lose 15 pounds a month?

Even if diabetes reversal is just about calorie restriction, instead of subsisting off largely sugar, powdered milk, corn syrup, and oil, on the plant-based diet at least one can eat food, in fact, pounds of food a day, as many low-cal veggies as we can stuff in our face. So, even if it only worked because it’s just another type of calorie restricted diet, it’s certainly a healthier version. But even participants who did not lose weight, or even gained weight eating enormous quantities of whole healthy plant foods, appeared to improve their diabetes. Thus, the beneficial effects of this kind of diet appear to extend beyond weight loss.

 The successful treatment of type 2 diabetes with a plant-based diet goes back to the 1930’s, providing incontestable evidence that a diet centered around vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans was more effective in controlling diabetes than any other dietary treatment. Randomized controlled trial: insulin needs were cut in half. A quarter ended up off insulin altogether, but again this was a low-calorie diet. Kempner reported similar results 20 years later with his rice and fruit diet, for the first time showing documented reversal of diabetic retinopathy in a quarter of his patients, something never even thought possible. An example was a 60-year-old diabetic woman already blind in one eye and could only see contours of large objects with the other. Five years later, on the diet, instead of it getting worse, it got better. She could make out faces, see signs, and read large newspaper print, in addition to being off insulin, with normal blood sugars and a 100 point drop in her cholesterol. Another patient went from just being able to read the big headlines to being able to read newsprint four months later. What was behind these remarkable reversals? Was it because the diet was extremely low-fat, no animal protein, no animal fat—or, was it because the diet was so restrictive and monotonous that the patients lost weight and improved their diabetes that way?

To tease that out, what we need is a study where they switch people to a healthy diet, but force them to eat so much that they don’t lose any weight. Then, we can see if a plant-based diet has benefits independent of all the weight loss. For that, we had to wait another 20 years, but here it is. Diets were designed to be weight-maintaining. Participants were weighed every day, and if they started losing weight, the researchers made them eat more food. In fact, so much food some of the participants had trouble eating it all, but they eventually adapted; so, there was no significant alterations in body weight despite restrictions of meat, dairy, and eggs, and enough whole plant foods—whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruit—to provide 65 grams of fiber a day, four times what the Standard American Diet provides.

The control diet they used was the conventional diabetic diet, which actually had nearly twice the fiber content of the Standard American Diet; so, it was probably healthier than what they were used to eating. So, how did they do? With zero weight loss, did the dietary intervention still help? Here’s the before and after insulin requirements of the 20 people they put on the diet. This is the number of units of insulin they had to inject themselves with before and after going on the plant-based diet. Overall, insulin requirements were cut about 60%; half were able to get off insulin altogether, despite no change in weight. So, was this after five years, or seven months, like in the other studies I showed? No, 16 days.

So, we’re talking diabetics who’ve had diabetes as long as 20 years, injecting 20 units of insulin a day, and then, as few as 13 days later, they’re off insulin altogether, thanks to less than two weeks on a plant-based diet. Patient 15: 32 units of insulin on the control diet, and then, 18 days later, none. Lower blood sugars on 32 units less insulin. That’s the power of plants.

 And as a bonus, their cholesterol dropped like a rock, in 16 days. Just like moderate changes in diet usually result in only modest reductions in cholesterol,  asking people with diabetes to make moderate changes often achieves equally moderate results, which is one possible reason why most end up on drugs, injections, or both. Everything in moderation may be a truer statement than people realize. Moderate changes in diet can leave one with moderate blindness, moderate kidney failure, and moderate amputations. Moderation in all things is not necessarily a good thing.

 The more we, as physicians, ask for from our patients, the more we, and they, get.  The old adage “Shoot for the moon” seems to apply. It may be more effective than limiting patients to small steps that may sound more manageable but are not sufficient to actually stop the disease.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Gerd Altmann via Pixabay and Daniellehelm, S, and Alan Cleaver via Flickr.

Diabetes reversal, not just treatment, should be a goal in the management of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with an extremely low calorie diet. Type 2 diabetes can also be reversed with an extremely healthy diet, but is that because it’s also low in calories? The study subjects lost as much weight on the green leafy vegetable-packed plant-based diet as the semi-starvation diet based on liquid meal replacements. So, does it matter what we’re eating as long as we’re eating few enough calories to lose 15 pounds a month?

Even if diabetes reversal is just about calorie restriction, instead of subsisting off largely sugar, powdered milk, corn syrup, and oil, on the plant-based diet at least one can eat food, in fact, pounds of food a day, as many low-cal veggies as we can stuff in our face. So, even if it only worked because it’s just another type of calorie restricted diet, it’s certainly a healthier version. But even participants who did not lose weight, or even gained weight eating enormous quantities of whole healthy plant foods, appeared to improve their diabetes. Thus, the beneficial effects of this kind of diet appear to extend beyond weight loss.

 The successful treatment of type 2 diabetes with a plant-based diet goes back to the 1930’s, providing incontestable evidence that a diet centered around vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans was more effective in controlling diabetes than any other dietary treatment. Randomized controlled trial: insulin needs were cut in half. A quarter ended up off insulin altogether, but again this was a low-calorie diet. Kempner reported similar results 20 years later with his rice and fruit diet, for the first time showing documented reversal of diabetic retinopathy in a quarter of his patients, something never even thought possible. An example was a 60-year-old diabetic woman already blind in one eye and could only see contours of large objects with the other. Five years later, on the diet, instead of it getting worse, it got better. She could make out faces, see signs, and read large newspaper print, in addition to being off insulin, with normal blood sugars and a 100 point drop in her cholesterol. Another patient went from just being able to read the big headlines to being able to read newsprint four months later. What was behind these remarkable reversals? Was it because the diet was extremely low-fat, no animal protein, no animal fat—or, was it because the diet was so restrictive and monotonous that the patients lost weight and improved their diabetes that way?

To tease that out, what we need is a study where they switch people to a healthy diet, but force them to eat so much that they don’t lose any weight. Then, we can see if a plant-based diet has benefits independent of all the weight loss. For that, we had to wait another 20 years, but here it is. Diets were designed to be weight-maintaining. Participants were weighed every day, and if they started losing weight, the researchers made them eat more food. In fact, so much food some of the participants had trouble eating it all, but they eventually adapted; so, there was no significant alterations in body weight despite restrictions of meat, dairy, and eggs, and enough whole plant foods—whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruit—to provide 65 grams of fiber a day, four times what the Standard American Diet provides.

The control diet they used was the conventional diabetic diet, which actually had nearly twice the fiber content of the Standard American Diet; so, it was probably healthier than what they were used to eating. So, how did they do? With zero weight loss, did the dietary intervention still help? Here’s the before and after insulin requirements of the 20 people they put on the diet. This is the number of units of insulin they had to inject themselves with before and after going on the plant-based diet. Overall, insulin requirements were cut about 60%; half were able to get off insulin altogether, despite no change in weight. So, was this after five years, or seven months, like in the other studies I showed? No, 16 days.

So, we’re talking diabetics who’ve had diabetes as long as 20 years, injecting 20 units of insulin a day, and then, as few as 13 days later, they’re off insulin altogether, thanks to less than two weeks on a plant-based diet. Patient 15: 32 units of insulin on the control diet, and then, 18 days later, none. Lower blood sugars on 32 units less insulin. That’s the power of plants.

 And as a bonus, their cholesterol dropped like a rock, in 16 days. Just like moderate changes in diet usually result in only modest reductions in cholesterol,  asking people with diabetes to make moderate changes often achieves equally moderate results, which is one possible reason why most end up on drugs, injections, or both. Everything in moderation may be a truer statement than people realize. Moderate changes in diet can leave one with moderate blindness, moderate kidney failure, and moderate amputations. Moderation in all things is not necessarily a good thing.

 The more we, as physicians, ask for from our patients, the more we, and they, get.  The old adage “Shoot for the moon” seems to apply. It may be more effective than limiting patients to small steps that may sound more manageable but are not sufficient to actually stop the disease.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Gerd Altmann via Pixabay and Daniellehelm, S, and Alan Cleaver via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

Although I have dozens of videos about diabetes, I think this may be the single most powerful one I’ve made. Please share this life-changing, life-saving video with anyone you know who has type 2 diabetes or is at risk for the dreaded disease. As far as I’m concerned, this should be required viewing for every healthcare practitioner. I wish I had seen this when I was a medical student!

If these kinds of videos have benefited you or your loved ones, please consider becoming a monthly supporter.

This is the final installment of a three-part video series. If you missed the first two, check out Reversing Diabetes with Surgery and Reversing Diabetes with Food.

For more on the remarkable work of Dr. Kempner, see:

And, here are other videos that may be of interest to you:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

238 responses to “Diabetes Reversal: Is It the Calories or the Food?

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  1. Everything in moderation including moderation because, on occasion, what is required is a radical departure from one’s previous patterns of behavior. If you want to see different results, do things differently.

    1. Hi Joe, I must admit that I have used the term everything in moderation in the past when consulting patients with their diet. Having watched this great video of Dr Greger’s Diabetes Reversal it increased my anderustanding of how to use this term in a better way.

      1. As Hippocrates quoted “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
        So when food is considered as medicine it should be followed diligently to have its utmost effect in curing a disease as it is indicated in this Diabetes Reversal video by Dr Greger’s website.
        ― Hippocrates

      2. Totally off topic — Is this statement true? ” the drug caffeine constricts the arteries and chokes off nutrients and oxygen from the brain”

        1. Interesting question, JJ. The short answer appears to be yes, caffeine is a brain vasoconstrictor (causes blood vessels to constrict, thereby reducing blood flow, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18191583), although a couple of caveats — 1) the amino acid theanine in tea appears to abolish this effect (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25761837), and I’d also speculate that antioxidants in coffee and cocoa would counteract this as well, and 2) the vasoconstriction may be brain-region-dependent (some areas more than others, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25644657). This strongly argues for drinking whole drinks (coffee, hot cocoa, tea, etc) as a healthier option compared to popping a No-Doz caffeine tablet. :)

          1. I take a generic excedrin (ave. 4qd) for chronic intractable migraine and wonder how concerned I should be. Have tried many herbs, etc with no help and some cause undesirable side effects. Would using tea or ? rather than water or soymilk when taking a pill help? Thank you.

            1. Hi JJ,
              Good question! That’s exactly what I’d do in your situation (take the excedrin with green or white tea, for instance, if you can’t find an effective alternative treatment). It might be worth using decaf tea so you aren’t getting double the caffeine (or alternatively, maybe you could use caffeinated tea and not have to take as much excedrin?). By the way, have you watched Dr. G’s video on ginger for migraines? http://nutritionfacts.org/video/ginger-for-migraines/

              1. Thanks Decaf for sure. Yes I saw the ginger video but it doesn’t work for me. Might be because triptans only worked for me for a while then quit and that is what the ginger was compared to. I’ve been on this journey a very long time and will continue on. Never give up on finding the healthier way.

    2. Unfortunately ‘everything in moderation’ has become almost an excuse to justify bad habits… Is a piece of cake or a steak ‘in moderation’ really worth losing eyesight, spending days on dialysis, or losing a limb for?

      From today’s video-
      “Just like moderate changes in diet usually result in only modest reductions in cholesterol, asking people with diabetes to make moderate changes often achieves equally moderate results, which is one possible reason why most end up on drugs, injections, or both. Everything in moderation may be a truer statement than people realize. Moderate changes in diet can leave one with moderate blindness, moderate kidney failure, and moderate amputations. Moderation in all things is not necessarily a good thing.”

      1. Agreed. That was my point in saying “including moderation” and “radical departure from one’s previous patterns of behavior [i]f one is interested in different results…”

        It is my preference to avoid taking pharmaceuticals precisely so that I can avoid their toxic side effect, and have made profound changes in diet in order to do so. A low fat whole food plant based diet (and planet based diet because it so good for the environment) can have profound human and ecological benefits. It is the recurring message of the research and point that Dr. Greger makes on this website.

        1. Yes I was agreeing with you with regard to moderation NOT being an option for many people :)

          Great to hear it has helped you!

    3. As Dr. Greger’s video stated everything is moderation must take on a new meaning and action if we are to be vigilant in our health behaviors. Change in moderation is good if we move away from the old and take on the new. I agree with movement from an unhealthy behavior to one that will give good results. Moderate changes in diet may lead to moderate changes in our health. Radical change is a good thing.

  2. Is this possibly giving some validity to the view that a person can be healthy despite being overweight, if they eat a very healthy diet and possibly exercise as well?

    1. I am not sure how you can arrives at that conclusion from this posting. Just because something is healthier does not necessarily mean that it is healthy. From the Anderson, Ward study, one can conclude that it is healthier to over eat on a high carbohydrate, high fiber plant based diet than eating nominally on the control diet because they were able to reduce their medication which is a good thing. That doesn’t mean that over eating in and of itself is healthy, nor does it indicate that being over weight is healthy.

      Did you look at the Abstract of the Anderson, Ward study? The study population were described as 20 lean men with DM. They were fed a baseline diet for 7 days and then fed them a high carbohydrate, high fiber plant based (HCF) diet for 16 days.

      1. I have to admit, I didn’t check the study. It just sounded like the weight loss was less important than the healthy diet. I personally have maintained a 100 pound weight loss for 6 years. I started out with calorie counting and lots of exercise and then went to a healthier diet. The weight loss alone improved my health a lot. Eating a lot of fiber by eating WFPB is also very helpful for weight loss and health. My experience is that the quantity of calories matters a lot for weight, but lots of exercise reduces the need for calorie cutting for weight loss. Just be careful about increasing calorie intake while increasing exercise.

        1. Daniel, we have something in common then. I transitioned to a LFWFPB diet six years ago out of health concerns. One of the benefits of the change was that I started feeling great almost immediately. Another was the large weight loss that I experienced which I have also been able to maintain. Before going WFPB, I found that exercise was not enough. Afterwards, I found the weight just came off on its own accord without much exercise. I now exercise because it feels good for my body and my mind, not because of weight loss.

          I have subsequently deviated from my very spartan regimen by introducing nuts and seeds into my diet. I am not longer eating a LFWFPB diet. I was starting to feel unsatisfied, and had cravings, so I added higher fat foods back into my diet. Doing so made me feel better.

          It was my experience that going low fat in the beginning was good for me, but at some point, it stop being a benefit so I made an adjustment. This makes sense in the context of letting food be thy medicine. Going on an ultra low fat diet my be exactly what one’s body requires at the time, but may not serve when one’s condition changes.

          We have all heard stories of long term vegans who have had cravings and have felt the need to go back to eating meat. If one subscribes to the notion that a plant based diet is nutritionally complete, then such cravings should be viewed as an opportunity to consider how one’s current diet may be deficient, and make adjustments accordingly.

          I would think that an investigation what food cravings may imply for people on a WFBP diet would be a topic that would be of interest to our community, and would be a fruitful subject of inquiry.

          1. I guess I lost the weight first and then went plant based and then lost about 10 more pounds. Exercise didn’t help with weight for a long time, until I REALLY increased the dose of it, as my doctor suggested. Just running 3 or 4 days a week like I used to didn’t effect my weight that much. When I began to ride my bike for transportation to work and elsewhere absolutely everyday at least for an hour, no skipped days at all (even holidays) is when I really started to lose weight. I also started to track caloric intake at that time. I went as Vegan as possible since then. One side benefit of journaling my intake is that is makes me think about everything I eat. Doing so enabled me to give up meat completely and to eat as little dairy and eggs as possible. I have also given up a lot of pastries and junk food as well. IF I wasn’t tracking what I eat, it would have been hard to change my eating habits. Much of the basis for giving up the meat is the cruelty to animals issue. I just have to think about how the animals are treated and then any faint craving I might have disappears. I used to love bacon and cheese, but I have no desire to eat them anymore at all. I also am not particularly low fat or low carb, since I eat about 4 or 5 ounces of nuts each day. I also eat carbs in the form of oats and fruit everyday as well. Since I still exercise absolutely everyday, I don’t have to limit my caloric intake that much to maintain my weight loss. I also have a “stand up” job which does increase my calorie burn over and beyond the bicycling. I also think a WFPB diet does really cut down on cravings, since nutrient density as well as fiber intake reduces hunger. I make sure, for instance, I eat dark green leafy vegetables, which are very nutrient dense, everyday. Some people, such as Gary Taubes, claim that EXERCISE is what causes excess hunger. I would say it is the processed food that does. A WFPB diet is the cure for toxic hunger, not stopping the exercise. I would credit Joel Fuhrman for a lot of what I learned about “toxic hunger.”

            1. I like the functional fitness aspect of your program – biking to work, etc. I live in a highly walkable city so I’m able to incorporate walking and bike riding into daily errands and appointments. Jogging 3-4 days a week for 3 miles or so is probably the max you want to do in that department, since we now know that very vigorous activity is inflammation producing.

              I spent years running marathons, ultramarathons, triathlons, century bike rides – now find out decades later that those activities were not improving my health but causing inflammatory changes! I’m so over the hard core exercise, but my knees are a bit arthritic these days, I prefer my long walks and bike rides to the market. There weren’t any orthopods back then telling us not to run 10 miles a day but even if there were, I doubt I would have listened!

          2. Do you think a lot of cravings are psychological rather than physiologic? I’ve heard numerous anecdotes from WPFB people who say once they stop straying and stay 100% compliant, the cravings disappear. I suspect it’s because of nutrient density, their bodies are finally getting what they need. I know I’ve never suffered from “cravings,” I’m satisfied with my diet but I’ve been at it for nearly three decades. I assume it doesn’t take that long for most people, but resistance can take many forms, and cravings may be more of a brain trick than physiologic for some people?

            1. I don’t know. Perhaps, there is a psychological component to cravings, but then again, to deny one’s own feelings, is to begin a process of disassociation from one’s body and its needs. To be deaf to the demands of one’s body, seems to be a dangerous course of actions.

                1. Ha ha, very funny. That is not what I am talking about, but of course, you know that.
                  You do allude to a good point though.
                  How does one discern between addiction cravings and craving from a nutritional deficiency?

            2. Hi Paul-
              I keep reading more and more that gut bacteria sends out chemical signals that influence thinking in various and sometimes surprising ways. But the one most cited is that the chemical signaling influences both the frequency of appetite and what to eat. This makes sense if what the bacteria are doing is signaling that they want more of the stuff that helps sustain them. So if you’re eating junk or harmful foods, then the bacteria that thrive off those “foods” are going to proliferate and want more of what they live on, while the good bacteria get suppressed or unsupported. Conversely, if eat foods that support a healthy foods, then you will support more good bacteria and suppress the bad bacteria and the good bacteria have plenty to work on when you eat a high fiber diet.

              Similarly, Dr Furhman contends that when you eat a high fiber nutrient rich diet, the nutrients signal the brain that they have enough of what the body needs and not to eat more just to get more of the missing nutrient. This latter point speaks to your question. I’m not sure if there’s proof on either. But it certainly makes sense and as research on gut bacteria and food signaling continues to increase, we’ll probably know a lot more in just a few years.

              Anyway, those are my thoughts.
              Mark G.

    2. That’s a great question. I agree that the research Dr. Greger reviews, particularly the paper where the researchers prevented weight loss, weakens the argument that weight loss is necessary to reverse diabetes. It also provides direct evidence for the notion that the benefits of plant based diets in diabetes result from the plants that compose the diet, not from changes in caloric intake resulting in weight loss. Although these papers don’t directly support the view that a person can be healthy despite being overweight, they don’t contradict that idea either.

      On a related note, there is some evidence that obesity is a consequence (often one of many consequences) of a failure in some upstream process. This perspective yields more testable hypotheses than considering obesity as a primary cause of ill health. I like it!

      Gut Flora and Obesity

      Obesity-causing Chicken Virus

      Obesity-causing pollutants in food

      1. I remember watching a PBS documentary a few years ago about obesity. It’s findings included that there was a correlation between obesity from grandfather to grandson, but not the son/father in the middle. Same with the daughter, with obesity running along maternal lines from grandmother to granddaughter, skipping the daughter/mother in the middle. I thought that was interesting. In this case, I like to reflect on the hope offered by the findings that your genes are not your destiny. The epigenetics of lifestyle (stress, exercise), exposures (pollutants) and diet all play a part.
        Mark G.

          1. Glad to hear WFPB diet got you most of the way there, and that you’re able to lose those last 30. Just curious, do you ever a consume any oils in with your food? I don’t mean whole foods, like nuts, I mean like olive oil added to something. Just curiuos.

            1. Absolutely not, I barely even add any whole high fat foods and can’t really eat nuts. In fact, I was making muffins the other day for an occasion, had no liners and nothing in house to “grease” the tins with, so had to do battle to get them out!

              1. Interesting. That’s how I test fats too, although I have some walnuts daily. But I’m very lucky that I’m not overweight, although my father became obese in his thirties. Thanks

      2. Do you also think that it is necessary to go low-fat to get most of the benefits described in these studies? I find it a little unclear whether they are using low-fat WFPB, especially in the study where they deliberately kept the weight up.

    3. I think you can be healthier and perhaps even much healthier, but perhaps not healthiest. And I would imagine a lot depends on where the extra body weight is located. Visceral fat packed in and around your organs is much more biologically active than subcutaneous fat. But let’s not let perfect be the enemy of good. As the video says you can be much healthier in a period of time much shorter than it would take to lose all the extra weight, so do that. Make the changes and be much healthier. Then you can work on losing the extra weight and further improving your health. If nothing else extra weight is an increased mechanical stress to the body and causes more wear and tear type degeneration.

      1. Especially in the beginning, I’ve had people tell me when they start plant based diets that they feel hungry all the time. So they eat more and are terrified they won’t lose weight. Or they actually DON’T lose weight for a while because it takes time for the body to adjust. People should start a plan like this eating as much as they want, because if there is anything that kills a “diet” or an eating plan, that would be hunger. :)

          1. Wow, look at the weight loss in that study! 17# in 21 days. :O The beneficial effects of this diet are so amazing. :)

            “Eat More Weigh Less” was the book written by Dean Ornish that got me started on a plant based diet back in the 90s. :) My dad had a CABG right around the time the book came out, and I started the diet hoping my dad would get on board with it. Unfortunately, he never did, and his preventable diseases eventually killed him. I was a vegetarian when the book came out so it wasn’t a huge deal to drop the oil and cheese and eat 100% plants. I owe my life to Dr. Ornish.

    4. Right Daniel, and the question I would like answered is you always hear a WFPB diet will normalize your weight. If you are doing it right you can’t be too heavy…and that has not happened. I have lost 150 pounds, but still need to drop at least 30 more. I add NO oils or fats and barely ever eat nuts, avocados, or high fat items and never eat anything processed besides canned beans occasionally. I eliminated all the obvious health issues, but I’m still not where I should be weight-wise according to most opinions. Ad libitum doesn’t work for me apparently, so now what?

      1. I am not your doctor, but I would definitely keep up the WFPB diet. What I would do instead of Ad Libitum, is to count calories or track what you eat. That is what I do. Some people think I am obsessive, but I also weigh and measure my food as well with measuring cups, spoons as well as a food scale. Of course a high dose of daily exercise can help as well, if intake is also controlled. You might also consider eating ONE ounce of nuts per day. I eat 4 or 5 ounces a day and don’t gain any weight back. You probably couldn’t eat this much and not gain weight, but I would try ONE ounce together with your salad, so as to absorb the fat soluble vitamins. Also add some ground flaxseed to your diet. I eat two tablespoons of this a day, in addition to the nuts I eat. You might try one tablespoon a day. I do budget my calories for the nuts and ground flaxseed. Another aspect of calorie counting is that it is very helpful to find out which calorie intake level maintains your weight. Once you find this out by daily weigh ins and careful tracking of diet, either decrease your intake by about 200 calories OR keep your intake the same and increase your exercise. Of course make sure you are eating a lot of whole foods with lots of fiber. I haven’t tried the chronometer, but I have heard some people find it helpful. Not only can you track your calories with this, but also your nutrient intake as well. Maybe this won’t work for you, but you might consider trying it. It is approximately what I have done to lose 100 pounds and maintain every pound of this weight loss going on 6 years now.

  3. Very powerful video, especially the part about moderation. The Universe is much too complicated to apply that principle to everything!

    1. Great testimonial! :) And couldn’t agree more with the idea of ‘everything in moderation’…. Reminds me of the final attempt of the tobacco industry to smoke ‘in moderation’ as discussed towards the end of the 2015 nutrition year in review video here- Food as medicine

  4. Hi, I’m Kim Lindsey, your moderator for this morning. After training at Emory University, my doctorate in pharmacology gained me a faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School and a job as a scientist doing brain imaging research on cerebrovascular disorders at McLean Hospital. Perhaps ironically, all that classic training has helped me realize the power of lifestyle and dietary changes to alter health trajectories. I’m enthusiastic to share my experience and expertise with you here as a volunteer moderator on the Nutrition Facts Forums!

      1. Dr Michael Greger, Interesting timing that you posted this right after there was a special on SBS “Insight” about diabetes and calorie restriction only this week (http://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/tvepisode/beating-diabetes). The famous Dr Michael Mosley (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Mosley_(broadcaster)), a doctor from the UK, was the special guest on “Insight”.

        In fact, I had a patient a few days ago talking about this program and he was telling me that he is going to do the program. I don’t have time to watch TV but I always set up my TV to tape Insight and I happened to watch this afterwards and saw what the patient was talking about.

        It would be interesting if you could get a spot on Insight!

        1. Dr Mosley is not interested in a WFPBD. His approach is to fast for 2 days so you can eat the SAD or SWD for the rest of the week. Perhaps Dr Greger can have a chat with him.

                    1. The 5:2 diet wasn’t exactly healthful, if I remember from the documentary. They were promoting eat anything you want on the “5” days and people were eating burgers and fries! I’m guessing many people’s “2” days aren’t healthy either, they are just lower in calories. And now he’s promoting a low carb Med diet? :( Mind boggling.

    1. Kim: Did the subjects of this study consume refined oils (olive oil, corn oil, coconut oil, etc.) during the study, or did they adhere to a strict whole-food vegan diet? Thanks

      1. If you mean the Andersen and Ward study, I checked the original paper, and I did not see any information about the source of the fat in the control or experimental diets. The authors indicate the experimental diet was composed of 70% carbohydrate, 21% protein, and 9% fat; the foods listed as providing these macronutrients include grains, whole grains, starchy vegetables, other vegetables, fruits, and milk.

        1. Thank you Kim. 9% fat content may mean that the diet contained little or no refined oils. Containing milk, this is not a vegan diet. It’s just a low-fat diet Interesting. But then the question is, are these numbers based on the calorie content or just weight?
          Thanks again Kim.

          1. Thanks for pointing out the ambiguity in my reply. The paper reports those are the percentage of calories supplied by each macronutrient, and I edited my original answer to you to clarify this point.

          1. Hello, the authors just report “milk” without further specifying the type of milk. I do think it’s safe to assume they mean cow’s milk. Eggs are not mentioned anywhere in the paper.

      1. Not until just now, but the quick reading I just did revealed that the Ma-Pi 2 diet has similar macronutrient ratios to the diet in the Anderson study that is one of the main topics of today’s video.

          1. I haven’t done enough research on this diet to have made any conclusions about it. Thank you for putting it on my radar though!

              1. I’m happy to participate in a dialogue about papers if you have specific questions or comments about them. I’ll be back next Friday for another 2 hour shift. In the meantime, you can ask questions under the general forum heading and see what others have to say.

    2. Hi Kim – I am a T2 diabetic and have found that whenever I eat even the healthy carbs recommended my blood sugars go through the roof. I find this very scary and so go back to a low carb approach. I am perplexed and confused as most people have said their blood sugar levels falls within days or weeks on a plant based diet. Why don’t mine?

      1. Hi Kaz, Diabetes is far outside my area of expertise, but I’m not surprised to hear that carbohydrates increase your blood sugar! I think there’s considerable variation in what foods are “healthy” depending on individual factors, and I think that your observations about the responses of your own body should be important factors in your dietary decision making process.

        1. Hi Kim – I appreciate your taking the time to respond but must admit I am getting a tad frustrated as i can’t seem to get a definitive answer to this question from anyone who recommends a plant based diet! Oh well – back to the low carb diet !!

          1. Someone else with a deep commitment to plants might come along to help, but I’m here because I’m a big fan of evidence-based lifestyle medicine. If your evidence indicates your diet isn’t working, my philosophy would say change it. One clue tho… I think it might be beneficial to consider grains separate from other types of plant foods. At least one of the plant based diets that worked against diabetes (cited in Dr. Greger’s Diet and Diabetes video series) limited grain-based foods, and based on this I wonder whether a plant-based diet with carb sources skewed toward plant foods other than grains might be better.

            1. Thanks Kim – maybe it is the grains! Will try it again without the grains. Could you send me a link to the video that limits grains so I can check it out?

              1. You’re welcome. One other thought… maybe the phenomenon has to do with starches. Since starches easily break down to sugars (starting in the mouth), I bet limiting potatoes and other starchy foods (in addition to grains) might help too.

                Here’s the video that contained the reference I mentioned, and I copied a link to the reference below just to make sure it was clear. Good luck!
                Diabetes Reversal: Is it the Calories or the Food?


      2. Kaz: You mention eating “healthy carbs,” but I can’t tell if you were adding some foods that you consider to be healthy carbs to a diet recommended by the ADA or if you mean that you were 100% eating the diet (LOW FAT, whole plant foods) that Dr. Barnard and others would recommend for dealing with T2 diabetes. I highly recommend the book, “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program For Reversing Diabetes”, which is based on a study clinically proven to be 3 times more effective than the standard ADA diet. There are even recipes in the back of the book. This is the diet which has “healthy carbs” done right and which long term, after the fat clears out of your cells, should restore insulin sensitivity.

        I’m sure the program doesn’t work for everyone, but it seems to work for many people And for those people who it works for, it helps them get rid of the diabetes symptoms, often reducing or removing the need for drugs. The trick to making it work though, is to understand the diet and to apply it 100%. To be successful on that diet, it is also important to work closely with a doctor since there are cases where the *low fat* whole plant food diet worked so well that the people had to be taken off medications very quickly to prevent problems.

        Note that some people are diagnosed with T2, but really have a milder form of T1 or a combination of T1 and T2. In that case, eating the low fat whole plant food diet would still be the best option for long term health, but it is not a cure and you would likely always need at least some insulin (though some people report needing less).

        Does that help?

        1. Hi Thea – many thanks for your reply. Yes it was the carbs recommend by Dr Neal Barnard’s book. I would much prefer to do this type of diet than the low carb vegetarian but my blood sugar levels go up even on these recommended carbs! If I knew it would only be for a week or two and they would then drop again I would be happier to risk it. I just need someone to tell me how long it will take for my body to adapt on this regimen to give me the confidence to try it again. Has anyone else had these problems and overcome them – if so how long did it take?

          1. Hopefully Vegetater can jump in. I think she once said that it took her body 10 days to adapt. But just as a reminder, it was just adding “carbs from Dr. Barnard’s book”. It was also removing the fat… Good luck!

            Hey you recovered T2 people! Care to share your story here?

            (Kaz: There are many such people, but I don’t know how many will see your post. I think your best bet is to work with a doctor and trust that it will work. If you don’t have a doctor in your area that knows the science and that you trust, you might look into Dr. Klaper’s phone consultation option.)

            1. Thanks Thea – I’m going to give it another go for a couple of weeks and try not to panic. Will also look into Dr Klaper’s phone consultation as the UK works differently. Will let you know how I get on! :O)

  5. The 1979 article by Anderson and Ward is listed as being freely available, yet when I click to read it, I am asked for a password or a credit card. Since I can’t read the text to find out for myself, I will ask my question here. In that 1979 article, do they give a the macronutrient break down for the High carb high fiber diet used?

    1. Hello, I just looked this up, myself (and had to use my academic login to get the paper, FYI). The authors indicate the experimental diet was composed of 70% carbohydrate, 21% protein, and 9% fat. See below for a list of foods they mention as the source of these macros.

        1. Great question! From what I can tell, the outcome measures included fasting glucose levels and postprandial glucose levels measured 3 hours after the noon meal. Both these outcomes decreased on the experimental diet. No oral glucose tolerance test results were reported. I agree it would have been nice to have those. However, I think the postprandial numbers serve as a reasonable substitute in this case because the conditions are so tightly controlled in research subjects on a metabolic ward. Does that make sense?

        2. I hadn’t really considered the implications of OGTT test results in LCHF dieters until you mentioned it. But I agree, and now I’m furthermore curious… what sort of “prior prep” could a LCF dieter do that would influence an OGTT outcome?

          Regarding fiber, there is so much research yet to be done, but the importance of fiber plays right into my own pet hypotheses about the importance of gut flora (all our commensal flora, actually). I know Dr. Greger loves to talk about fiber too here on NutritionFacts – there are literally five pages worth of search result links to videos that at least mention fiber.

          1. My answer is based only on my reading, not personal experience. Further, I am not any sort of medical professional.

            As I understand it, if someone is following a LCHF diet and is scheduled for an OGTT then they must increase their carb intake (150g or higher) for 3 days prior to the test. If that is not done, the readings are almost guaranteed to be in the diabetic range.

            Regarding fiber, I know that it alters how the body digests carbohydrates, is the same true for fat? What I’m trying to ask is: Is low fat necessary (all the diets that reverse T2D seem to be low fat, even the Newcastle shakes are 20% fat– which is lower than the typical Western diet) or could a higher fat high fiber (IOW plant based) diet work too? I ask because if nuts and avocados (for example) could be added long term adherence to the diet might be easier for some people.

            It would seem (based on his collaboration with Michael Moseley) that Roy Taylor does not think macronutrient ratio matters. All that matters is low calorie. This video indicates that position is wrong. But is low fat a requirement if calorie restriction is not imposed?

            1. I’ll have to spend some time pondering the implications of your OGTT info. Regarding the eco-Atkins question, it seems to me the evidence supports the idea that both low calorie diets and high plant diets are sufficient to alter outcomes in diabetes. Since eco-Atkins is high in plants, I’d predict it to have diabetes-altering effects. Simplistic, I know, but consistent with the available evidence to my knowledge.

              1. This site: http://www.mangomannutrition.com/causes-insulin-resistance-lipid-overload-2/ would suggest that a high fat vegan diet would not have the same benefit. The author (a T1 diabetic with a biochemical background but not an MD) lists his sources at the end.

                Also, I asked about Eco-Atkins before looking into it. Having done so, it does not seem based on whole plants (because to get to the fat levels they want you have to ingest a lot of refined oils). My guess is that it would not be likely to reverse T2D.

                1. You are indeed correct that the original Eco-Atkins authors described their diet as plant-based vegan, and it does contain vegetable oil. To add a little fuel to the fire, I’d also point out that dietary carbohydrate intake has been shown to be more strongly correlated with circulating saturated fatty acids than is dietary saturated fat intake. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4240601/ The idea that eating fat produces increases in circulating fatty acids turns out to be too simplistic.

                  1. A couple things about that study, which I have read. The subjects in the article were not diabetics, which may make a difference in terms of response to diet. Plus, under competing interests it is noted the following: Professional Associations (Dairy Research Institute, The Beef Checkoff and the Egg Nutrition Center) were sponsors of this research.

                    To be clear, I am not arguing that the one and only diet is low fat. But to reverse T2D (and insulin resistance), so far the only evidence I can find is for a HCLF diet, which can be but need not be vegan.

                    1. You’re right about all that. The question has not yet been definitively addressed by the research. The thing that confuses me is that when people eat calorie restricted diets, the missing energy that their body needs is supplied by their own fat reserves. Overeating is clearly bad, but when calories aren’t excessive, I’m not clear what’s the physiological difference between running your body on your own stored fat reserves versus running your body on dietary fats with a similar composition.

  6. This does not match my experience at all. In my body it takes BOTH–WFPB diet + Calorie Restriction. I will gain weight on my 5’3″ frame (work out hard daily for about 45-60 minutes) if I eat over about 1200-1300 calories/day and if I do gain just a couple pound they all go to visceral fat and insulin resistance. I can go from having fasting blood glucose in mid 70’s up to a diabetic 125-130 with only a few days of small “extra” in the medium calorie density range. I just need to add 1/2 cup or so of beans/intact whole grains and maybe an extra piece of fruit or two to what I have been eating.

    I know I am not the usual in this; unfortunately for me I seem to live out on the tail of the bell curve. But the folks out on the bell curve tails are the ones that always get missed by the big studies and suffer accordingly unless/until they can figure it out for themselves!

    1. Thank you for sharing your own experience. My partner is T2D, we have been on WFPBD for about nine months now with no caloric restrictions. I have lost sixteen pounds but my partner absolutely zero. However his A1C is now down to 6.1. I have been scratching my head trying to figure out why. I will encourage him to watch this video and read your message, thanks again for sharing.

    2. You and GumboGoddess’s partner are not alone. There’s a group of five of us who met on the site, and despite being thin, fit vegans following a WFPB for years, can’t reverse our pre-diabetes. In my case, I got my pre-diabetes while on a plant-based diet (appears to be an auto-immune issue). But we’ve all succeeded in reducing A1Cs to near-normal values (around 5.3-5.6) by cutting carbs substantially and increasing plant fats, and following an Eco-Atkins diet. But more calories definitely pushes post-prandial glucose up, which is why this is necessary too.

      1. Can you please advise what you mean by “increasing plant fats and following an Eco-Atkins Diet” as I’m in the same boat, thanks in advance.

          1. Fascinating video, but the concept eludes me. What are the macros on this diet? Is it the reverse for CHO and fat? Like 80% fat, 10% protein, 10% CHO? Do you just load up on avocados and nuts or do you use oil? It also sounds like it could get much more expensive than a high carb plant based diet?

            1. I’m on the Eco-Atkins style diet, and my macros are 24% carb, 23% protein, 53% fat, with the fat coming from avocados, nuts, and soy – no oils. Despite the extra calories from fats, my BMI stays at 18.5, so insulin resistance is not an issue with my pre-diabetes. Yes, nuts do cost more than rice, but they sure taste good!

    3. What age did you start WPFB? I’m pretty much a bottomless pit for food but I started in my 20s (25+ years ago). I wonder if some people’s bodies carry “residuals” of the disease states they had at the point they started the diet?

      What does medium calorie density mean?

    4. I can so relate to the weight issues, thank you for posting, though thankfully my diabetes has so far stayed in check!

      1. Hi Charzie, I’ve been looking for you :) I just got about 100 kg of beets dropped off from my neighbor! I want to try fermenting them…if you would like to help me with some tips I would appreciate if you send a message to
        cambriaATxtra.co.nz I would really appreciate that if you have time, thanks

  7. Important presentation. Hope doctors watch it and make interventions based on the information given. Yet, real life means taking responsibility for yourself, educating yourself, practicing good lifestyle habits, questioning the status quo, questioning authority figures, and making your own decisions and choices. We’ve known for eons that Seventh Day Adventists and others who eat mostly plants don’t get sick much. However, it can’t be reiterated enough that diabetes is a self-caused, diet-caused disease.

    1. Hi thanks for your good comment and I like to add that Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistenace becomes an issue in the body for which diet plays an important factor. And you are right by being more involved in educating ourselves about our diet and health we can take better control of our health. That is why I am so glad to be volunteering in this great website NutritionFacts.org which provides evidence based research solution to diet and health.

    2. Shirley, Thank you for your post.

      I am in agreement with your comments. Taking responsibility is important when it comes to one’s health. Long gone are the days when clients just take everything the doctors recommend.Medicine has evolve to the point where we have to take responsibility for our own health and be our own advocates. My motto is get educated, take action,get healthy.

  8. Two thoughts: 1) What a powerful, eloquent illumination of the concept of moderation. Nice to put a crack into that edifice.
    2) Regarding the discussion of the weight-loss vs. no weight loss in diabetes treatment: We should not get too tunnel-visiony. Regardless of the impact of stored fat on diabetes (which I thought had been settled), we know enough about excessive fat stored in and around organs and muscles to know that it would be dumb not treat that as a health risk factor.

  9. I hope that whenever you cite Kempner, you will also acknowledge that he was abusive to his patients. I was acquainted with a young woman whose parents lied about her age so she could live at Duke in his program. She said that when visitors came, she would be required to lay on an exam table with only a small cloth covering her crotch, while Kempner talked about her and poked her. She was 16 years old and a very fat person. I’ve been a fat rights activist for 20 years. I’m all for a plant-based diet. There are many vegetarians and vegans in fat activist community. The weight bias and abuse that we face when we seek medical care is a serious and ongoing threat to our health. We have data about the high levels of weight bias among MDs and other heatlhcare and fitness professionals. For personal stories, I highly recommend firstdonoharmblog.blogspot.com. I also recommend looking into the community of health, psychology, nutrition, and fitness experts who use a Health At Every Size approach, which confers reliable benefits to both health and human rights. The HAES professional organization website: sizediversityandhealth.org. Fat-shaming doesn’t encourage people to enjoy a plant-based diet, it does not good, much harm, and just gets in the way of an otherwise excellent message. (I’m not saying you were doing fat-shaming, but it certainly happens in most discussions of food and health.) As a person of good conscience, it’s an area where you could make a difference. – Marilyn Wann, author of FAT!SO?

    1. Thank you Marilyn for sharing your comment. I think as a human being respect is great virtue to have and it does not matter what size of body we are. We are all individuals and should respect and value our individuality.

      1. As far as the argument regarding research of Dr Kempner in the past and ethical approval of the way his research was carried out is beyond the scope of this forum.
        I understand that the ways of carrying out research with human subjects ethical approval has changed. In fact the Belmont Report has three important aspects that researcher has to consider which are 1. Respect, 2. Beneficence, 3. Justice.


    2. Marilyn, this is definitely a discussion worth having! As a person who has always been overweight and battled it to the point of resorting to an obsessive use of diet pills in high school to numb the necessity of starvation to keep close to “normal” boundaries, I sure understand the fat shaming issue! Once I decided to have babies, the diet pills had to become history, at which point I eventually ballooned up to morbidly obese after 2 pregnancies, and though I wanted more kids, was scared to. Doctors were outright mean and assumed all I did was stuff my face all day and sit on my butt, when in reality I watched other kids besides my own so never could sit for a minute, and though I certainly didn’t eat the best foods, (high fat & processed carbs…mac & cheese etc., cheap food) I never liked eating meat and was a gardener, so fresh veggies were almost always on the table, chicken and fish were “protein”. I wish I had known then what I know now! Besides a monthly chocolate yen, I never liked sweets much either. I still think we ate better than most people I knew, and my kids were normal weight while still at home. Mom however was not, and learned to hate herself because she was obviously a failure and not “normal”. On a 1,000 calorie diet, counting every bite, literally, I lost 10 pounds in six months! I probably tried every diet out there and the only way I could ever lose any appreciable weight was starvation. Weight Watchers loved me, I supported them for years! I followed it obsessively and always erred on the low side, and while everyone else was losing pounds a week, I would stay the same, but at least I wasn’t gaining. By the time I hit middle age, I confess, I just gave up, but by then my self esteem was below zero after the daily self hatred and hearing comments from doctors like “Can you even have sex with your husband?” “Quit wolfing down the bon-bons and you might make it easier for yourself”. Nice, thanks, so helpful! Anything that ailed me, no matter what, was an opportunity to fat shame, as if I didn’t do it enough to myself. Of course I developed many health issues over the years, eventually became disabled, and was basically waiting to die. I was 57. When diagnosed with diabetes, and after seeing my husband lose a leg and suffer from it, I bottomed out. I was so depressed, if it wasn’t for my love of family, I would have gladly offed myself, it seemed pointless to suffer anymore. And then I happened upon the movie Forks Over Knives. It was a little ray of hope that I needed desperately! I dove into the research and with high hopes but without much real expectation, decided on a WFPB trial for one month, because it made so much sense to me. The “trial” lasted less than 2 weeks because the changes were so dramatic! The diabetes resolved in that time, the intractable pain from severe arthritis, fibromyalgia, and even spinal stenosis and other back issues began to abate, high blood values plummeted, relentless IBS disappeared, on and on! I was even able to quit smoking, another battle I never thought I’d conquer, especially after seeing others who’d quit pile on the pounds! Over the next 18 months I went on to lose 150+ pounds and was eating more than I ever had! I got off over a dozen drugs including potent narcotics! Amazed doesn’t even touch how I felt! I went from someone who couldn’t sleep and dreaded each day, barely able to walk, to someone who sleeps like a rock, celebrates each new day riding a bike, able to garden and other things I loved! The damage is done but I feel better than I can remember, and it should end there, but doesn’t. I am still overweight and can’t seem to find the solution to ditch the last 30+ lbs. I can’t clean up my diet anymore, but strive for the health benefits that the additional weight could limit.

      1. First Charzie, i’ve got both arms around you and im hugging for all im worth. I think I come here two or three times a day for the facts and stories like yours. Thanks for taking the time and pains to write that up.

        Im going to tell you what works sometimes for me. I figured out that i plateaued because i snacked too much at night before bed. But if i didnt eat enough i would wake up hungry and just had to sneak out in the night for a top up.

        my solution, which is not a recommendation but just FYI, was to take a promethazine tablet about 20 min before bed. that stuff knocked me out so I could sleep right through without raiding the fridge. By doing this I got past the 200lb barrier and was able to change my eating habits and still sleep. I only did this for about 2 weeks, just to break the barrier.

        Good luck Charzie…hey lets talk about pickled beets sometime, yawanna?

        1. Big hugs, Rhomb, thanks, I appreciated that! I think part of my problem is I am a mutant! LOL! I have been a night owl from day one, and am never hungry in the daytime. I know eating smaller amounts more frequently is better all around, especially with blood sugar issues, but I honestly never even think of eating until late in the day, at which point I eat one meal and normally don’t snack because I try not to bring anything in the house to snack on, and I don’t have a TV…snack central! When I do snack it’s stuff like zucchini “chips” (raw slices) or cukes and my own vegan yogurt, or if my dinner was pretty light I’ll bake a couple corn tortillas presliced into eighths with fermented salsa. My one “big” mistake was finding out that rice noodles, Asian veggie “shrimp chips” and even Mexican duros will puff into quick and fatless chips in the microwave instead of frying them like the instructions tell you! It’s so cool to see them expand, but it’s so easy and cheap I can eat too many and they always need dip because they are tasteless alone…and I doubt very nutritious since they are made out of flours! Too easy to use the rationale that they are better than greasy chips, but still…addictive.

          Pickled beets huh? Sure! In fact, last time I fermented red cabbage kraut I added a bunch of raw beets and blueberries and it was awesome! lol

          1. So when you sleep, its good solid 7 hrs?

            About the fermenting, I watched a bunch of vid’s and read up …but the things that gets me are

            1. pathogens. I am a little scared of relying on the natural mix of bacteria (and yeast?) to do the job. I’ve made cheese and yoghurt. Both require a lot of care to ensure pure cultures. Do you have any experience with this? How do you start the cultures

            2. Salt! Drives both of us into the firmament bp wise. Do we need to add salt to the ferment? whats the min. allowable?

            3. Do you cook or peel first? I’m thinking of peeling and then freezing to loosen up the hard beet and release the juice.

            hope it is ok to discuss all this here mods…let me know if a problem.

            1. Yeah, seven hours no sweat, sometimes more because I tend to stay up all night!
              1. I was kind of paranoid too in the beginning, I think we all are after being brainwashed into being germophobic from day one. But there are lots of good germs too and the ideal is that the good germs outnumber the bad germs, in our guts or wherever, to boost our immunity, keep illness at bay, etc., and ditto in a natural ferment. Keep in mind people have been doing this for millennia to preserve their food in much less than sanitary conditions. (In S America women spit into the corn so the amylase starts breaking down the ferment into an alcoholic beverage.) Fermentation is a natural process that just needs some plant material, a receptacle to keep out the air and enough liquid to keep the solids submerged, a bit of salt or herbs to discourage mold and other undesirables until the lacto bacilli populate, and a bit of time! If you want a chuckle (or gasp) check out the opening of this video where the “master” fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz checks in on his crock of fermenting Kraut. http://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000003819616/sandorkraut-a-pickle-maker.html?action=click&gtype=vhs&version=vhs-heading&module=vhs&region=video-area
              2. I usually use a bit of my last ferment when I start a new one to speed up the process and thereby reduce the need for much of the salt. I would assume some of the purchased starters could do the same, but find them unnecessary and pricey. Some people add some lemon or another acidifier to lower the ph and speed up the growth of the lacto bacteria, but I usually just salt to taste and add herbs, so you’d have to research salt free fermenting for better info to be sure. I know there are specific herbs and spices that are recommended, but not the exact measures so I don’t want to steer you wrong. In my trials, if anything goes wrong, it is OBVIOUS. Ugly furry mold, disgusting smells, etc. and that was only when I tried to make it go wrong, so I wouldn’t stress. The only problem I’ve ever had was kahm yeast, a harmless while scum that can form when solids rise above the liquid. You can scrape it off, or stir it in, not an issue. Speaking of liquids, a lot of people will grate, then salt, and squeeze and beat their veggies into submission, to try and coax the fluids out. That works fine for moister stuff, but really, a pain for others. Pack your veggies down well, and cover with lightly salted water.
              3. I never cook first because the lacto bacteria needed for fermentation live on the veggies. If the peel is obnoxious you can peel, just handling the veggies will transfer the microbes, but I mostly leave the peel on. Older beets I do peel, and then either grate or toss into the processor for a few. Things ferment quicker when they are finer, and are easier to use, so I like to shred them fine, but it is personal preference really. Freezing? Not a clue honestly, but since I have fermented canned veggies or jarred salsa by using a culture from another ferment to get it started and it has always worked fine, I guess it would apply to frozen as well.

              Just a tip…cabbage or other leafies is probably one of the easiest ferments to start with. (because of all the surface area I guess?) If you do try, make sure to use extra liquid so you have a reserve culture for other ferments. High sugar veggies like beets and carrots are certainly doable but can sometimes be a bit trickier to get off on the right foot by themselves on low salt…they want to become alcohol. (Try them with red cabbage, great!) It’s a lot of fun seeing what the creative combos of foods and herbs will end up as they develop! Taste them as they go and shake them daily, there is no right length of time to ferment, but when they taste best to you. I don’t recall a failure yet…unless you count making too little of what came out awesome!

              1. OK sounds great!! I’ve got a wheel barrow full of red beetroot soaking in water. I’m scrubbing them down and triming them up. I got too charged up and cooked a batch whole in the pressure cooker. Short time.
                then peeled and diced, covered with salt water in ball jars and added a tbs of skim milk yoghurt. Mixed by inversion and tried to shake up all the air bubbles…and failed.

                But I will do the next batch just as you say. I figure to stay with some salt at least until I get the hang of it.

                We’ve got piles of beet greens and chard. Hmmmmmm would you ever try fermenting those.

                This is great V-tater…thank you very much. Wish you could stop by for some homemade applesauce..its harvest time here.

                OH right…I’ve closed these up tight. but I think they need to burp from time to time right?

                1. I’m jealous of all your beets! I planted a few and it was too hot and dry and they just didn’t do much. I love beet greens and chard, and yeah you can ferment those too! Chop em up and add some onions/garlic, whatever you like and pack em in your jars! Usually for the first couple of days, depending on the temps, they don’t do much, but if you see the veggies rising off the bottom or bubbles forming, then it’s time to taste, which effectively burps, and then shake it to submerge everything that might not have been before, Some people weigh the stuff down with an inverted kid, a weight, a plastic baggie filled with water, a clean rock in a baggie, etc. but I find the taste/shake routine works well for me. Sometimes I might stuff it down depending on how coarse it it, but whatever works. They make fancy jars with airlocks so they burp themselves too, but I’m too poor and cheap. I’ve even used recycled glass jars, and knock wood, so far, so… not gonna jinx myself! LOL! I have blown tops off bottles second fermenting kombucha, but they just pop on, not screw on, for that very reason. One time I tied a rubber glove on the neck to amuse my grandkids, the next day it looked like it sprouted udders, hilarious!

                  Not so sure about using dairy yogurt? I know some people use the whey but I always use my kraut or pickle juice…or whatever ferment I have that’s juicy. Rejuvelac is easy too, it’s a slightly fizzy kinda lemony beverage made from fermented grain sprouts. Not my fave beverage, but quick, full of probiotics and great for making ferment starters, especially for plant based cheese.

                  As for time, 75 degrees and up, and a week may do it, but lower will slow things down quite a bit. When it gets below 70 it can take weeks and each food is different which is why I like to taste it as I go along. Here in FL I have no choice but store the completed ferments in the fridge for the most part, and even there they will continue to age over time. Very slowly, but they do change. It’s fun! Not to worry, unlike canning, there has never been a case of botulism. Mold, maybe.,,judgment call!

                  Ha, funny mold story…when my son was young we were watching the Perseid meteors showers and he ran in the house and made a sandwich and shared half with me. It was a PB&J, but it was especially good, so I went to make another and found the secret ingredient…the dense whole grain bread was covered in a fine white mold that sort of tasted like banana! We didn’t get sick or anything…

                  Oooo, applesauce sounds awesome! Where are ya?

                  Hey if you want to get into this more, just email me at chargc at gmail dot com so we can save some room here, but before I do, Donna Schwenk is passionate that fermenting made her well and saved her from diabetes…

  10. Hi Everyone, My name is Foroogh Haajizadeh and this is my first session as your new volunteer moderator! My background is in nutrition and dietetics. I have a master degree in clinical nutrition from Surrey University in U.K. I have worked as a dietitian internationally and I hope to be able to contribute to this great forum to the best of my ability.

  11. Hi, I have been diabetic (type 1) for 38 yrs. I also have a several issues resulting from the
    diabetes. Almost 9 months ago I started drinking protein shakes from a company thats well known for their (all veggie ingredients) the protein in their drinks come from the veggies themselves. Anyway, along the way I’ve gone almost totally vegetarian. No meat, very little butter, beans-but not as much as I should, unfortunately I still eat some bread, not every day maybe 3 days a week.
    I was taking 24 units of Lantus and on a sliding scale for Humalog. I am down to 16 units of Lantus and very little of Humalog. I do not take any cholesterol meds anymore, I also take only 1 not 2 pills for H.B. pressure. The question I have is I really don’t feel any better. The one person that I know that went (vegan) says she feels great since she changed her diet, although she was healthy to begin with.
    I’m not putting the blame on my change of eating because it could very well be the diabetes. Any advice from any knowledgeable person in this area would be (absolutely) welcome!
    I would also like to know where to look for the food list the Dr. was talking about in the video above.
    Signing up to receive these videos was the best decision I could make! Very eye opening! Thank you all so much!

    1. Hi bcbailey :)

      What was the reason for starting the protein shakes?

      Which animal products other than butter are you consuming?

      There its a lot of evidence to suggest removing the saturated fats from animal products from a diabetic diet improves insulin sensitivity, and hence may help you feel better. See here- How saturated fat raises blood sugar

      Is there something you can switch the butter for? Such as avocado, hummus (particularly good for diabetes- Legumes for diabetes and lowering blood pressure AND Diabetics should take their pulses), almond butter or an all-fruit spread? Or cooking with balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, herbs and spices or other low-fat/sugar/salt condiments? Or baking with mashed bananas or apple puree?

      You mention bread as something you wanted to limit… please consider the following video which mentions- “Eating whole grains, like whole wheat bread or brown rice is associated with lower risk of diabetes”
      White rice and diabetes

      That’s fantastic that you have reduced your insulin! Whilst type1 diabetes is believed not to be able to be reversed like type2, you are proof that a plant-based diet helps significantly with it’s management :)

      As you have shown, a whole foods plant based diet is fantastic to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure also! Win-win!

      What are your symptoms of ‘not feeling better’? I’d like to help more if you want to list more specifically?

      Which food list are you referring to? In this previous video (Reversing diabetes with food) it mentions-

      “Eating a diet that emphasizes all-you-can-eat greens, lots of vegetables, beans, some whole grains, nuts, and seeds, at least 90% plant-based. So, at least one big salad every day—like a pound of raw greens, veggie-bean soup, a handful of nuts and seeds, fruit at every meal, a pound of cooked greens, some whole grains, but no refined grains, junk food, or oil, and a restriction on animal products.”

      Also, if you click on the button under the video that says ‘sources cited’ you can view all the literature and scientific studies referred to in the video.

      A particularly good place to start for plant-based diets and diabetes is here-

      Plant-based diets for diabetes


      Diabetes links

      And be sure to check all the other links in the doctors note below the video.

      Some books recommended by Dr Greger for diabetes and diet include-

      Dr Neal Barnard, M.D.-

      Reversing diabetes

      Dr Joel Fuhrman, M.D.-

      The end of diabetes

      Brenda Davis, R.D.-

      Defeating diabetes

      So glad you are loving the videos! I do too! The search tool above is also great for filtering videos and blogs to your specific questions :)

      1. I’m not a professional bcbailey, but from my personal experience with (T2) diabetes, I absolutely had to be totally plant based, eliminating processed food and all added fats (keeping the total under 10%) to get the best results, and adding cultured foods to my diet helped enormously in how I felt both physically and mentally!

        I’m puzzled why you are adding a protein supplement when excess protein has many negative effects (especially on kidneys in a diabetic) and a deficit is almost impossible?

  12. Hi, my name is Renae and I’m excited to be one of the new NF medical/nutritional moderators! I’ll be here until 6pm this evening, so feel free to post your questions and I’ll do my best to answer them!

    A bit about me-
    I’m a graduate medical/surgical student in Melbourne, Australia, about to complete my final pre-intern placement in November 2016, after which I will be an MD. My undergraduate studies include journalism, academic/professional writing, exercise physiology and nutrition. I also hold McDougall’s two online certifications, am a personal trainer and eating disorder therapist, and attended the PBNHC 2015 where I was lucky enough to meet Dr Greger himself! In April this year I will also spend six weeks interning at TrueNorth under Dr Klaper. My introduction to a plant-based diet was when I was 5 years old and my father had cancer and adopted a McDougall/traditional Pritikin approach combined with juicing to heal. My family has been predominately WFPB ever since, and my obsession with nutrition and health has been almost life-long, spending countless hours in the library and online learning as much as possible! I am honestly humbled to be able to give back to a resource like nutritionfacts.org that was the foundation of so much of my learning! :)

    1. So glad to have you join us! It’s great to “see” all these new moderators with all the posts and questions begging commentary! Dr G rocks for sure! :)

  13. I had Metabolic Syndrome and pre-diabetese was one of the classic symptoms I had to overcome, of which I did following a Dr McDougall MWL program (Maximum Weight Loss). I did a one year experiment on myself following this program and recorded all the results of numerous physical and blood markers during the year at 3 month intervals. My results can be found here: https://www.drmcdougall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=35090

    In three months I dropped my fasting glucose from 131 to 77, In another 3 months I further dropped it to a low of 72! during the next 6 months, while continueing to lose weight I managed to keep my glucose number’s in the 70’s. All of this, while eating a diet of close to 90% carbohydrates!! (so much for the idea that carbs are bad.)

    But as a further interesting point, about 2 months following my experiment, I entered the hospital with a medical issue that required me to go on a 7 day fast. I was on a no-calorie intravenous fluid only for that week. No food or water. My glucose level reached a low of ~64. Thats right, a week of water fasting and my glucose level only dropped 8 points from eating a WFPB diet of ~90% carbs to eating nothing for a week! Just another data point showing that carbs are not the issue in raising blood glucose levels…its all about the totality of diet and lifestyle, not any one factor…

    BTW if you want to know how I did it, you can read my one year experiment journal here: https://www.drmcdougall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=27969

    It contains a daily log of everything I did and ate every single day of the year during my experiment. You can see just how easy it was along with all the data.

  14. I plan to send this video to my brother-in-law who was recent diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Big meat eater. I can’t even look at meat after reading How Not To Die. I started pbwf diet. Never felt better. I’ve lost weight without ever feeling hungry. In fact most days I find it impossible to eat all of the daily dozen recommended. Is this a problem? Should I try harder to incorporate all 12?

    1. Congratulations of starting a PBWF diet and feeling great!

      In line with the content on this website, the daily dozen represents what the best option is based on the current available evidence and nutritional research. So the ideal goal is to aim for the daily dozen.. but also to recognise every step closer is a step in the right direction :)

    2. I have a friend doing the Daily Dozen and she also said the total amounts are too much food for her so she eats what she can and she’s steadily losing weight. The plant based docs recommend eating until you are “comfortably full” and then not eating again until hungry. That rule should serve you well in your journey. :)

  15. I have lost some 50 lbs after 4.5 years on WFPB. I would like to ask a question about blood pressure. I still need to take 95 mgs beta blocker, 20 mgs ACE inhibitor and 10 mgs of a calcium blocker to keep it around 140 over 75. Recently I decided to ween off those drugs. I stocked up on fennel, blueberries and everything else even rumoured to drop bp. At first it all seemed to be working…but then, wham…just about when i was down to “no synthetic drugs” my daily numbers shot up to 200/90. A nurse told me that I was likely to have a stroke at any second at that high level.

    Now I’m back on the dope and my numbers are back to my “normal”. Here is the question. What would you do or what have you done that worked well enough to get you off drugs? I am now down to 185, 5’10, eyes of blue… and I am really quite fit doing farm type stuff and carrying heavy loads, real physical work. Id probably in the best shape in over 30 years (i’m 62). My blood sugar stays around 8 to 10 mmolar. Not sure of my current cholesterol, my dr doesnt think its a big deal. I paid to get it done in the usa ($85!) a few years ago and it was right about 160.

    Im ready to do or try anything to get this last hurdle behind me. OH right, when i reverted back to 200/90…is that a strong indication that my vessels are still pretty loaded up with the goop? I’ve had a quad bypass as many of you know. Sorry about the novel :)

    1. Have you tried hibiscus and flax? Is it possible that your BP went up suddenly because your salt consumption increased or potassium consumption decreased?

      1. I am very sensitive to salt. so we dont even have a salt shaker on the table. but there was no change in my usual diet.

        regarding flax…I did stop eating my usual oatmeal/blueberry breakfast with 2 tablespoons of flax. I switched to chickpea curry…but that has no flax, lots of turmeric. maybe that had something to do with it.

        I still havent found a good supplier of hibiscus here. we are not supposed to order in any biological material from outside the country (NZ). That is a good rule because, for example, we are free of foot and mouth and rabies

        1. New Zealand! Black currants are common in New Zealand, aren’t they? Black currants are known to be good for blood pressure, probably due to their high potassium content. Is there Amazon New Zealand, or do you have to order from Amazon Australia? Amazon carries all kinds of tea.

          1. Thanks, I drink this every day: 1 shot of Barkers unsweetened single strength Black Currant Juice, 1 shot of beetroot juice, 1/4 glass of grapefruit juice, a tiny shot of ginger syrup and top up with soda stream. Chill with Lemonade ice cubes. Especially in summer.

            Are you a kiwi?

    2. Well,you’ve probably already seen all the videos and comments here on the website so I suspect there is nothing I can write that you haven’t already considered. Although it is odd that it all went well until your BP spiked up. It suggests that it either took days to get the drugs out of your system or there was some insult to your cardiovascular system

      One question though, have you had your kidney function tested?

      1. I havent had any kidney tests. Albumin? what would I ask for, just “Kidney test” or ? I was pretty shook to see that spike. I will look into that. I know that is a serious possiblity with high bp. And enlarged heart…thats what got my mother. Thanks Tom. Worth a looksee.

        1. I think albumin is measured in liver function tests. However, if you just ask for kidney function tests, that should see you right. Cheers.

          1. Thanks Tom. Does this statement make sense to you:

            “it makes sense for a low dose diuretic to be part of your blood pressure medications.” Thats it. No support is given as though it is self evident that forcing your body into dehydration with a drug is a good thing. Fewer side effect with leaches. Or just a good bleeding will do the trick. I’m so skeptical of Drs now.

            Logic says that high bp is the result of something amiss. Forcing it down with dope may prevent a stroke but ignoring the root cause seems short sighted. Why are my arteries constricted?

            I have checked the effect of my morning coffee…I can’t detect a change. In fact it always comes down from a morning max as the day goes on whether i’ve had coffee or not.

            I wish I could see inside my plumbing. I have this creepy notion that its all lined with yellow streaks that are too calcified to reverse. That would mean I’m on these drugs for the duration. If I knew that I’d quit stressing and accept it.

            I’m hoping it helps others as well as myself to talk it over here. You know, i’ve been trying fennel and some days it really drops the diastolic an hour after a cup of fennel tea. Other days I cant see much in it. I’m looking for a synergistic combo of stuff that avoids the side effects.

            1. Thanks but I remember reading about 5 years ago that the UK National lnstitute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) looked at this in great detail and concluded that diuretics were the first choice -few side effects, effective and low cost.

              On the bright side, you are addressing the root cause by your WFPB diet which has been proven to reverse cardiovascular problems. Time to revisit Esselstyn?

    3. Have you been tested for secondary causes of hypertension? Primary/essential hypertension improves with diet but in secondary hypertension, another condition is responsible for the high BP and thus diet is not curative. Would be worth exploring with your general practitioner given the degree of elevation of your BP and your healthy diet. Here’s an overview of secondary HTN from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/secondary-hypertension/home/ovc-20184436

      1. Thank you very much. I had not considered this at all. Neither has my Dr. but that is not a surprise. I’m on it now.

  16. Sunflower seeds, rich in Thiamine, where reportedly good for diabetes. Do diabetics like Sunflower seeds? Thiamine and Vanadium and Chromium, food in green beans, were good for diabetes. Diabetes is similar to beriberi disease. I love life and the plants of life! Thank you for letting me here. I wish to stay!

      1. Yes, thank you. I am doing great. I was deeply troubled by several mood disorders, including schizophrenia, ADHD (the feeling I was being prosecuted on the :15 and the :45), and autism. I think that was a phosphorus deficiency. I have several bizarre and persistent delusions, such as that people are on opium (which might be bromine! it is supposed to be in salt, like all halides), and that women have autism from writing with their wrong hand. Some one once told me women are left handed. I didn’t know what to say! If that is true, every right handed woman would have autism! I am terrified by the concept of a growing Iodine deficiency and pain epidemic. I am horrified that there is no cure for the coming pains. I think pain works out to an Iodine or halide deficiency and delusions of persecution work out to a phosphorus deficit. I am better after I have some pop. I really want to work on my mental health problems. I love wood. You remind me of wood, which when I rub together I feel better. The holy doctor wood. All saving. All providing. All merciful. Wood features prominently in my life as a symbol of desire. A symbol of resistance. A symbol of humor of all things. Very rye sweet humor. I should be more taken aback. I have found help in nutrients. I hear there are mental health resistant networks. I guess people talk a lot about the mind. I like thinking it can heal and my mental health problems were biological rather than genetic. I have discovered orthomolecular medicine, and it is really healing me. I am thrilled that women are so innocent through religion. I am setting myself up to be saved everyday, everyway by my savior. I hope it goes double for the whole world. Thank you for asking. You are a kind soul. I am very interested in being well. Did you know that Hortons or cluster headaches can be caused by Paxil or Depacot? They are fatal.

        1. You’re sounding better all the time. Good you are keeping your positive attitude and good sense of humor working for you. I am so much happier when I focus on WFPB. Those migraines are a thing of the past. Best wishes

          1. They say to take 10,000 iu of D3 for migranes or hortons everyday. I was so happy there is a cure. An orthomolecular treatment to Hortons or cluster headaches or suicide headaches. The pain that killed them all! I wonder if I was a women and I had my period or my menstrual cycle if it would say to take Paxil or Depocot, because the moon features prominently in my life. The 28 day cycle of a full rotation. A full rebirth. I am new and old every 28 days, with women. The gravity rotation pattern seems to be 28 days in many things, not just months or lunar cycles. The Earth seems to spin in 28 days in many ways too. Perhaps there are 28 minutes in an hour and there are twice as many hours in a day as we think.

  17. I know this is off topic but I have gone through many videos on the subject and can’t find a precise answer. Can I get the best way to use turmeric please. I have food grade organic turmeric powder. I want to know what is a good amount to take each day and in how many doses per day. Also the amount or ratio of black pepper to add. Or anything else that would be good to add if necessary. .And should I just add water to it and drink it raw? Or is there a more effective way to ingest. Please, as much specific advise as possibly so I can get the most out of this. THANKS!!!

    1. I use a lot of turmeric. I make turmeric soap and we all use it because it cleared up our skins.

      Orally, a Dr. here, DrPsych recommends a supplement. I recommend eating it as a spice along with some black pepper seasoning. If you include a fatty food, avocado or nuts, then the curcumin is absorbed more efficiently.

      The way I see it, Turmeric’s activity was first noticed because people who used it a lot in cooking had virtually no alzheimers. I’ll have what they’re having….do you like curry?

      best thing you should search it in the search box and watch n read

      good luck

    2. Being an Asian, I’ve been eating turmeric since my first meal of solid food. In small amounts, turmeric has no taste, meaning you can add it to anything (curries, rice, soups, pasta sauces, salad dressings, chillies, gravies, spreads, stews, smoothies, shakes). Curcumin is insoluble in water but soluble in fat, so make sure that you consume turmeric with food contains some fat/oil. If you decide to suspend turmeric in water and drink it, make sure your tummy is full because turmeric in the empty stomach can cause irritation. (I have a friend who put 1 full tsp of turmeric in water and drink it! She says she controls her blood pressure by doing that.) In India, a popular way to consume turmeric is called golden milk, made by boiling milk with turmeric . I haven’t tried but it should work with almond or soy milk in place of milk. If none of these methods are appealing to you, there’re whole turmeric capsules. I’m afraid I haven’t paid attention to pairing turmeric with black pepper to improve bioavailability.

    3. Greetings from the NutritionFacts.org Team! Turmeric is powerful stuff! Dr. Greger recommends ¼ teaspoon of dried turmeric daily as part of his Daily Dozen. This amount is equivalent to about a quarter inch of fresh turmeric root.

      In terms of black pepper, we have one study that shows adding a quarter teaspoon of black pepper can significantly boost the compounds of turmeric in your blood. You can find that study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120

      Lastly, turmeric can really be added to anything – smoothies, entrees, soups, even desserts! Enjoy experimenting with the endless (and delicious!) possibilities.

      Have you seen all of Dr. Greger’s videos on turmeric? It’s good stuff! You can find them here: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/turmeric/

      I hope this helps answer your questions. Please let us know if you need any additional information. I’m sure other members of the NF Team will be adding in their thoughts as well. Be well!

    4. A good question about turmeric. I wanted to follow up on the last comments. Turmeric has been found to have many benefits including being useful for all cancers, has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits.

      In Dr. Greger’s book, “How Not to Die,” on page 274, he recommended 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric a day along with any other herb and spices. Turmeric can be taken in various forms such as pills, powers or even tinctures. Powers can be used in teas and smoothies for a delicious drink while your body enjoy the benefits. You might enjoy adding it to your morning juices instead of drinking it raw. I drink turmeric with my green fruit juices in morning adding 1/4 teaspoonful to the mix.

    5. Thanks for the response. So just to be clear what ratio of pepper to turmeric should I use? I ask because I prefer using as little pepper as possible, but will use whatever is necessary.
      Also, is more turmeric better? Maybe twice a day, or a bigger dose?
      Lastly is it more effective mixed with certain foods or is just adding the pepper sufficient to getting the maximum benefits?

      Thanks for everyone’s help.

  18. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) http://www.idf.org/about-diabetes is an excellent resource for learning more about diabetes. Under the category of “What We Do” are the guidelines, and the postmeal glucose guidelines are especially enlightening. In people with normal glucose tolerance, postmeal glucose generally remains under 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l). Elevated postprandial glucose is often the first sign of a metabolic abnormality, even before fasting glucose and HbA1c become higher. Studies have shown a strong association between postmeal and OGTT hyperglycemia and cardiovascular risk, and hyperglycemia is also linked to retinopathy, cognitive dysfunction, and cancer.

    What to do? “Nutritional interventions, physical activity and weight control remain the cornerstones of effective diabetes management.” They also recommend self-monitoring of blood glucose as currently the optimal method for determining plasma glucose levels. The best target would be to achieve normal glucose tolerance of postmeal under 140 mg/dl, which returns to basal levels two to three hours after eating. To reduce the risk of hypoglycemia, the IDF recommendation was adjusted to a glycemic target of 160 mg/dl (9.0 mmol/l).

    The Accord glycemic control study, which was stopped prematurely due to increased mortality, revealed the limitations of drugs to reduce HbA1c. The intensive treatment with drugs was probably responsible for that increased mortality, while plant based diets can achieve a lower HbA1c safely.

    The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/The American College of Endocrinology (AACE/ACE) state that “Lifestyle therapy, including medically supervised weight loss, is key to managing type 2 diabetes. Glycemic control targets include fasting and postprandial glucose.” And this is the part that’s really great. In their 2016 algorithm on diabetes management, under Lifestyle Therapy, they state “All patients should strive to attain and maintain an optimal weight through a primarily plant-based diet high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, with limited intake of saturated fatty acids and avoidance of trans fats.” https://www.aace.com/sites/all/files/diabetes-algorithm-executive-summary.pdf

    Finally, there is this article in the Clinical Endocrinology News: “Data increasingly support plant-based diet for diabetes prevention, care”. http://www.clinicalendocrinologynews.com/home/article/data-increasingly-support-plant-based-diet-for-diabetes-prevention-care/0c412272cf40f61fcdd2a07fce6abe63.html

    There is hope that mainstream thinking is changing!

  19. 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.

      1. Thank you so much for your reply. I’ve read the AAE information and seen the video. The video is a source of great info but contains nothing about root canals. The info on the AAE website is consistent with what all dentists think about root canals- that they are safe but after adopting a plant based diet the only doctors I trust are the ones that advocate a plant based diet. I would like to know where the plant based medical community stand on the root canal issue- doctors like Michael Greger, John Mcdougall etc. They all seem to have some info on dental health but nothing on root canal therapy which is a common procedure. However there is a huge amount of info on the internet regarding how unsafe and toxic for your health root canals are- all stemming from a study done by Weston Price. According to Dr Price root canals can be the cause of many diseases, arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue, depression, tooth grinding. Do you know what Dr Greger or any of the other doctors think of root canals? Once again thank you so much for your reply- it is greatly appreciated as I have to make a decision soon.

        1. I have a friend who is a dentist and has been practicing for over 30 years.

          Here is his response:
          “Not all root canals are the same. Done well, I would always choose the root canal. It can result in healing as effective as an extraction, total. There are several people in town I would choose to deliver superior, thoroughly clean and filled systems. I have done 6 on my wife. All have over 30 year success. Of the two implants, one required great expense and additional surgery to extend its life prognosis and she and I will worry MORE about the longevity prognosis of the implant than my root canal therapy.

          All of the concern about RCT stems from books (I own and have read) drawing from cases from decades ago looking at styles of therapy that are prehistoric. Personally I have done all of my own patient’s root canals for 35 years and when there was only one specialist in town, I did RCT’s for about 8 other dentists on referral.”

          I hope this helps your decision.

          1. Thanks again for all this information and for taking the time to ask your dentist friend for his thoughts on the matter. Your friend sounds like a good dentist and if I do decide to have a root canal I hope my dentist is as good as he is. I appreciate your postings on Mercola’s views but like Tom Goff I tend to be very wary of his opinions as I disagree with most of them particularly when it comes to health and nutrition. Is there anyway to get Dr Greger’s views on the topic? Or any other plant based doctor like John Mcdougall, Neal Barnard etc? I’d really like to get the opinion of a respected plant based doctor before I make my decision.

            1. No, I agree about Dr. Mercola. I have read much of his stuff and it relies on PseudoScience. Here is a post I just left for Tom Goff,
              “We just started this new moderator program and we are working on getting the ‘kinks’ out. A lot of this stuff is new to them but we highly appreciate their volunteering to answer questions that are asked which is something that we have been lacking since Joe Gonzales, RD left. Now, though, we are very excited to have about 25 new moderators from very diverse backgrounds to help answer questions. I know in time we will all be on the same page regarding credible references.”

              Regarding getting views from a plant based doc, the Dentist I quoted has been ‘hardcore’ plant based for 4 years now and is a very credible resource. But just for you I’ll ask my friend John McDougall, MD if he has any opinion one way or the other.

              1. The fact that your dentist friend is a plant based doctor definitely helps put my mind at rest about the procedure. Thank you so much for asking Dr McDougall for me. I love his work- I’ve been following his Starch Solution for the last 6 months and it has completely changed my life for the better. His opinion would definitely help me make an informed decision about the procedure. If you could ask him for me I would greatly appreciate it- so very kind of you- thank you so much.

                1. Here is a reply to your question from John McDougall, MD: “I have not studied this business. But I have personally turned down on invitations for my self to have one.”
                  Have a great day!

                  1. Thank you so much- so wonderful to get a reply from him. It sounds like he’s very wary of root canals. I know this is probably pushing my luck but would it be possible to find out Dr Gregers view on the topic also?

        2. Here is a video where Dr. Joseph Mercola, a natural MD discusses root canal. He stated that he does not recommend root canals and offer an alternative. He recommends extraction with options of replacing the tooth.

          Here is the link for you to watch the video-
          why you want to avoid root canals

          1. Mercola is not an MD. He is an osteopath (DO).

            He is also a believer in homeopathy, that diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol are harmless, and appears to believe that all vaccines are harmful. He also has a number of other strange beliefs which appear to run counter to known facts. For example, he states that large LDL particles are not harmful!. Of course, he also makes a lot of money selling a wide range of pills and potions. He has, I understand, also been the subject of a number of FDA orders to stop making illegal claims about products sold through his website.

            I would be extremely wary of any recommendations made by Dr Mercola, unless they can be substantiated by peer reviewed studies published in credible journals.


            1. I agree Tom. We just started this new moderator program and we are working on getting the ‘kinks’ out. A lot of this stuff is new to them but we highly appreciate their volunteering to answer questions that are asked which is something that we have been lacking since Joe Gonzales, RD left. Now, though, we are very excited to have about 25 new moderators from very diverse backgrounds to help answer questions. I know in time we will all be on the same page regarding credible references. I appreciate your input!

              1. Thank you for your response. I was only sharing an individual’s opinion about the topic or question asked. I was in no way trying to mislead anyone or giving false information.

                1. No worries. This stuff is all new. I just sent you a message through Slack. Check it out. Let me know if you have questions. I’m glad to have you on board and helping us out!!!

  20. Ok off topic from the video but I recently learned about the “Hygiene Hypothesis” in my immunology course. My professor suggested that we’re experiencing higher rates of allergies and autoimmune diseases in developed countries because we’re too clean so we aren’t developing our immune system properly. However, Dr.Greger seems to indicate that these allergic/autoimmune reactions are attributable to meat consumption as well as low plant consumption. Any thoughts on this?

    1. I don’t see any contradiction. There are almost certainly multiple factors at play here including genetic predisposition, reactions to drugs and viruses, food sensitivities and factors such as the hygiene hypothesis. I don’t think that Dr G is suggesting that animal foods are the sole factor in autoimmune and allergic disorders. He is simply referring to the research showing that they can be an important factor or trigger for certain disorders eg
      This is not a radical proposition. It is widely accepted that foods can and do play a role in autoimmune disease.

      Disentangling effects on a population scale can be difficult though. As societies become wealthier, they become “cleaner” but they also eat more rich foods such as meat, dairy etc. Attributing population-wide increases in autoimmune and allergic disorders is problematic. It may even be that better access to health care and improved reporting systems are responsible for some of the increase.

      So, in short, it is quite possible and indeed IMHO likely that both are correct.

    1. I’m not sure what you are asking. In the current video 5 of the nine papers cited are 7 years or less in their publication and two are within the last 4 years. The older citations are to show you the history of how diabetes has been known for a very long time to be reversible.

  21. IS there such a thing as remineralizing your teeth? Or repairing cavities without dental surgery? What does the science say?

    1. Thanks for your great questions, There are a couple of very interesting videos under the topic dental health that will provide some information and references to answer your questions. I have including the link for you and if you want to explore the information.

      this is NutritionFacts!

  22. Hi Dr. Michael Greger! I am studying nutrition in Ecuador and i am vegan since 2011. I wan’t to specialize in plant-based nutrition and eating disorders and create a fully plant-based treatment for eating disorders. But i have trouble finding studies and scientific based information. A lot of psychologists and eating disorder specialists say that veganism is the worst way to recover from an eating disorder. That is sad. I want to show them, with scientific information, that what they say is not true.

    1. This is a very interesting topic. There is no doubt that vegetarianism is associated with eating disorders. However, the association appears to be similar to the association between normal/low/ideal cholesterol and bodyweight in elderly people, and increased mortality and morbidity. That is, reverse causation i.e. unexplained weight loss and declining cholesterol are often pre-clinical symptoms of serious chronic diseases like cancer, Azheimer’s, alcoholism etc

      It appears that eating disorders and mental health problems generally may predispose people to vegetarianism. In the case of vegetarianism for example
      “Most of the eating disorder sample with a history of vegetarianism reported that the eating disorder preceded the adoption of a vegetarian diet, as was found in some prior work (8). This finding is in line with research suggesting that vegetarian diets may be used to facilitate ongoing restriction rather than cause eating pathology (3,19)”
      “Following a vegetarian diet is often associated with health-related benefits such as a decreased likelihood of cardiovascular disease (1,2). However, when a patient with a suspected or diagnosed eating disorder becomes vegetarian, health care professionals may view the behavior with skepticism and as a red flag. Researchers have suggested that vegetarianism may be used by some as a socially acceptable way to legitimize food avoidance and avoid certain eating situations (3) and as a “smokescreen for more severe eating pathology” (4). A vegetarian lifestyle may also further simplify the lives of individuals with eating pathology in terms of providing clear do’s and don’ts of eating, which may facilitate efforts at restriction.”

      In the case of mental health problems, similar temporal relationships may be seen eg
      “The analysis of the respective ages at adoption of a vegetarian diet and onset of a mental disorder showed that the adoption of the vegetarian diet tends to follow the onset of mental disorders.”

      You may want to follow up these references and the associated links on the PubMed site. For me however, the take-away message is that, if people with eating disorders adopt vegetarianism for weight loss or weight management reasons, it may well impede their recovery or at least be associated with a poorer prognosis. However, if they choose to adopt vegetarianism for ethical or overall health reasons, it should not signify reduced prospects for recovery, eg
      “From an eating disorders perspective, individuals who are sincerely motivated to adopt vegetarianism for primarily non-weight reasons (e.g., ethics) may be less concerning than individuals with weight-based motives. Practitioners may also want to be mindful that vegetarianism is more likely adopted by individuals with preexisting disordered eating attitudes/behaviors, rather than being the cause of such pathology.”

      1. Hello, i’ll chek up the links! Thank you!
        I think that it is not about how someone eats or what he/she eats. Is about the will to recover. That means someone who really wants to get better. People with anorexia who are very underweight won’t want to eat anything at all, but i don’t think is a good idea to give something like dairy (because of its content of fat) or meat (because of its content of protein) just because he/she needs to gain weight. I don’t think that’s healthy for anyone. But, what about giving mostly plant-based, something like a semivegetiarian diet with enough calories until he/she achieves a healthy weight that allows he/she to follow the whole treatment with the whole treatment group (psychologists or psychiatrists).

    2. Hi there, sounds like a very interesting project you are embarking on and thank you for turning to NF and Dr Greger for scientific information. Eating disorders are a very important specialty in dietetics and nutrition, but it also involves many other health specialties and the scientific literature on the topic can cover many different fields. The dietitian or nutritionist is often just one specialist within the team.

      Currently there are not no videos under the topic eating disorders or individual eating disorders. However there may be individual studies that Dr Greger has cited that may help you. The references are always under sources cited to the right of each video. An example may include,

      this is weight gain

      Thank you for your interest in NF and best of luck with your studies

      1. Thank you! I’ll check up the link :-) yes, recovery should be wth a recovery team that means a doctor, a psychologist and a nutritionist. Sometimes, the treatment also includes psychiatric attention. But i don’t think is a good idea to give pills to fight depression or anxiety. It works for some people though.

    3. Hi Salo- I’m a new moderator on this site and also happen to be a specialist in the treatment of eating disorders in adolescents. This is an area I think about daily in my work. Given there are no studies (at least that I am aware of) that support a strictly PB treatment for ED patients, I currently do not endorse such eating during the active recovery phase. While most of my patients with EDs start out with a sincere desire to be healthy, and often adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet as part of this, something about their personal genetics/environment/personal history causes what was meant to be healthy to become unhealthy. Their eating becomes more and more restrictive, often cutting out foods most of us here would endorse (e.g. whole grains, nuts, fruit). To help them recover, they need to adopt a less restrictive and perfectionistic mindset. As another commenter said, when vegetarianism or veganism was a part of the disease development, they need to not feel the pressure to be perfect at such a diet. To do this, they need to eat as wide a variety of foods as possible. It’s about mental health more than the foods, but to improve mental health, we have to look at the food. Once they are fully recovered, I tell them that we can readdress their desire to eat more PB. We look at their personal risks and the potential benefits, as well as discuss their motivations to eat in such a way. I am so happy to hear you want to do work in this important area!

      1. Hi Cathleen! Thank you very much for your answer. I agree with you. Sometimes, i think it’s all about the will to recover, the will to learn about nutrition and all the benefits you can get from a healthy lifestyle. But i know it is not as easy as it sounds. I know that recovery is not just achieving a healthy weight (altough many people believe is that way). I agree iwth you with the possible future restriction, my intention would be to encourage the person to find what is best for he/she. But in the other hand there is this typical argument from vegans about the effects of producing dairy and meat in the environment. And then i just don’t know. I am just a student. Thank you very much again :-) i am very happy to find people i can talk with about this subject. Byee

  23. I finally gave up the last animal products, eggs and cheese in January. I went from 200 units of insulin a day to 24 units a day now. So incredible. My hope is when I drop more weight (I am currently 70 lbs overweight) I will be off completely. Been type 2 diabetic for 34 years.

  24. Could large amounts of fruits naturally rich in sugar cause diabetes? I eat a vegan plant food diet. I was a bit worried that all that sugar would have an adverse effect. I am not eating over my calculated daily allowance of calories, but out of my calorie allowance a lot of them are sugary fruits like bananas, apples, pears and oranges.

    1. My doctor advises that fresh fruit rides on its fiber which makes it slower to affect blood sugar. I have type 2 and do not worry about the fruit I love to eat on the plant-based diet. It never gives me spikes and my A1Cs are great. I can’t speak for everyone’s experience, but I have never felt better and my diabetes no longer is a big problem. I am hoping to be off Metformin soon.

        1. Thanks, Thea. Your helpful comments when I started out really helped me. My eyes have been opened and I will keep this eating plan the rest of my life. My other help along the way came from Dr. Greger, especially his book “How Not to Die.” It feels so good to finally be resolute in my decision. I waited till my old age to learn how to eat, but it is wonderful.

          1. patcee14: So happy I could help. Also, I couldn’t agree with you more about the wonderfulness (that’s a word, right?) of How Not To Die. It’s an awesome book.
            Now you are giving back to others by sharing your success. :-)

  25. Klempner i.e. High Carb in the Morning and ecoJenkins i.e. Low carb in the evening. Best of both worlds? Making sense? See e.g. Mark McCarthy in carbohydrate concentrated cc. No Paper.

  26. The science is irrefutable. Fat people are fat by choice, conscious decisions and actions. Being fat, from the point of view of science and medicine, is factually worse than being a smoker. Fat people grossly underestimate the amount of food they eat. Fat people overestimate the amount of exercise they get. They’re sneak eaters. They engage in ignorant fat logic to justify their condition and life style choices.

    They should focus on being a reasonable size so they can avoid:

    Cancer; Knee/hip replacement; Upper GI/Lower GI issues, Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, COPD, etc etc. They are waddling, scooter riding train wrecks. A simple lifestyle change of EATING LESS and moderate exercise and, presto, the weight will come off.

    It’s fundamentally impossible to be HAES. If you’re fat, you’re not healthy and delusional thoughts/writing supporting HAES that diametrically opposes all LEGITIMATE medical and scientific positions allows fat people to use “fat logic” to justify their size and lifestyle. Obesity is the #1 health problem in America and has increased over 400% since 1980 which is NOT genetic and NOT even remotely related to evolution. It’s simple math, physics and chemistry. You eat fewer calories than you expend, ergo you WILL lose weight. It’s the Laws of Thermodynamics. People like Linda Bacon are liars and have NO studies to justify their position nor has she done any legitimate research. All REAL medical science realizes HAES is ludicrous and illogical. Only fat people will buy this and believe it because it’s easier than eating right and moderate exercise. NO ONE gains weight on a kilocalorie deficit. NO ONE! You can, literally, lose weight eating McDonald’s or the “Twinkie Diet” IF the calories consumed are LOWER than those expended.

  27. Hi, I have type II Diabetes–I’m nearly 70 and managing blood sugar levels just okay with meds. My question–I’ve had “floaters” in my eyes now for over ten years and wonder if they’re related to diabetes, and if there’s a way to get rid of them.

  28. I just watched two videos regarding diet and diabetes reversal. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was put on Metformin, but was not required to inject with insulin. Metformin wreaked havoc on my GI tract so I decided that the only way to reverse diabetes was to STOP EATING SUGAR! In addition, I reduced my portions and incorporated more fruits, vegetables nuts and good fat in my diet. I began walking about 20 minutes a day. I adopted this plan immediately after my decision. It has been 8 months and I have lost 41 lbs., reduced my AIC to 5.9 and my fasting blood sugar has gone from 411 to 89. I have been on cholesterol meds for years and even with the meds, my numbers were still high. All of my cholesterol numbers are within normal range. It was great to watch these videos and know that I am doing the right thing and getting the results that some of these studies produced!

    1. Congratulations on taking charge of your health, Susan! Thanks for sharing your success with all of us. I hope it will inspire others.

  29. I stumbled upon this site while trying to find some other information. I have been diabetic for the last 3 years. I have experimented with both the plant based diet and the Low Carb High Fat/Ketogenic diet and have good results from both, though I am seeing better results from the LCHF diet. I am keen to understand the mechanism of how blood glucose levels are managed within the body and the effect of diet on them ? Are there any long term damage that are probably not visible now ?

  30. if following the food restrictions you talk about, do one continue medications until tested or quit immediately when on the food restriction plan?

    1. Medications are usually adjusted depending on your response to the dietary changes, therefore you should talk to your healthcare provider and ask them to work with you in making adjustments with your medications as they are needed. This way your doctor can perhaps plan on keeping a closer watch by testing more frequently so you don’t run into a problem of low blood sugar once the dietary changes start to make a difference. Best of luck!

  31. What about eating boiled oysters? They should have much less heavy metals than predatory fish. And most of the heavy metals are in the hard part of oysters that humans do not eat.
    I just orderer some “Crown Prince Natural, Boiled Whole Oysters, Packed In Water, 8 oz (226 g)”. I plan to eat oysters to get more copper. My Blood Ceruloplasmin which measures copper is low and eating cashew nuts does not seem to help, although cashew nuts in average contain a lot of copper.

  32. From several of NF videos, Dr. Greger indicates that fat intake is a primary player in diabetes. I’m currently reading a book “The case against sugar” which implicates sugar as the biggest contributor. Is it (primarily) the sugar? Or is it the fat?

    1. May I suggest you switch your opinion piece reading material by a journalist to this book by a medical doctor clinically reversing diabetes-

      The most simple explanation is to imagine the cells of the body have a door to allow glucose in. The lock on the door is the insulin receptors. Fat in the insulin receptors is like chewing gum in a lock- the key (insulin) cannot work until you remove the chewing gum (the fat).

      Diets rich in fat also promote obesity and further insulin resistance, and saturated fat itself can be directly toxic to beta-cells of the pancreas. So saturated fat not only reduces insulin sensitivity by blocking up the insulin receptors, but also reduces insulin secretion by impairing beta cell function-

      Diets rich in fat have been shown to dramatically increase glucose intolerance within just two days-

      For more info-

      1. Thanks for the links. The animation of how insulin interacts with the muscle cell is fantastic.

        Another great animation would be the mechanism by which sugars (high blood sugar) damages cells in your body. Why does it do that?

        In defense of The Case Against Sugar, it’s not so much a nutritional guide as it is a history of sugar, and why it’s so ubiquitous now.

        Thanks again

  33. Dr. Greger–thoughts on the study by Stentz et al. in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care (http://drc.bmj.com/content/4/1/e000258) that showed that a 30% protein diet (primarily from animal products) reversed prediabetes, while high-carb 15% protein diet that emphasized whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes did not perform as well? It’s a small study, but the results shocked me!

  34. Hi Jessica, I’m one of the medical moderators here on the NF site. Thanks for your question. I have a few issues with the study you cited. The most important issue is that the high carbohydrate group (HC) was not given a whole foods plant based diet. “For example, dietary fat sources focused on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, that is, plant oils, semiliquid margarine, nuts; dietary CHO sources emphasized whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes; and dietary protein sources included lean meats, fish, chicken, eggs and non-fat dairy foods, that is, fat-free milk and low-fat cheese.” The important point is that these were the choices for both groups.
    It says dietary CHO sources emphasized whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes which doesn’t mean that’s all the HC group ate. In addition the protein sources listed were all animal sourced proteins so both groups were given animal sourced protein the HC group was simply given a lower percentage.
    In addition, the participants were given choices of what they could eat based on their preferences, so theoretically if someone preferred a meat protein over a plant protein they could choose that as long as they kept within the percentages of each macronutrient based on the group they were in.
    Finally, both groups were allowed the same percentage of fat (30%) which included plant oils, semi-liquid margarine and nuts. If the participants were eating animal sources of protein then the fat content of the animal products must be factored in so clearly they were eating some saturated fat. Again this is not reflective of the common fat sources used on a healthy WFPBD such as avocado, nuts and seeds.
    The problem I have with studies that are based on differences between macronutrients alone is that they are unable to account for the differences in the nutrient value of the foods eaten and can be manipulated to show anything the researcher wants them to show.
    This was a small, short study but I would venture to say that if you followed these two groups over a longer period of time you would find that their overall risk for chronic disease and mortality would end up being about the same because there wasn’t a lot of differences between the actual foods each group was eating.

    1. Thanks, payoung. The high-carb diet certainly does not sound ideal, but I’m still puzzled about the high-animal protein diet actually helping. I hope the researchers will conduct a longer term trial to see if the improvements persist over time.

  35. I have been following a plant-based diet for 5 weeks now after watching the videos and reading Dr Greger’s book. Over the first couple of weeks I was able to reduce my insulin fromm 35 units a day to 16 due to low blood sugars. Fantastic! However, over the past couple of weeks my 2-hour post meal blood sugars have been really high, in the 220-270 range. Everything I read says that carbs do not cause high blood sugar, but I’m seeing a direct correlation between carb consumption (fresh fruits, brown rice, whole grain breads and pastas, potatoes, etc.) and high blood sugar. I’m really getting frustrated and unsure what to do. I feel like I need to raise my insulin doses back up some and go back to eating more snacks again to avoid the lows (which is what my doctor says diabetics have to do.) That’s how my insulin doses got up to 35 units a day in the first place! I don’t want to do that, but I’m not sure what else to do. Anybody got any insight into this?

      1. Thank you fit sharing this link. I watched the video, as well as a couple of others that were linked to it, and I think this will be very helpful. It’s all so complicated but I am determined to work my way through it! Thanks again.

    1. Kris Allen: My recommendation is to get a book from Dr. Barnard on preventing and reversing diabetes. He has published, clinical research proving that a low fat, low glycemic index whole plant food based diet is effective at helping type 2 diabetics lower or get rid of their insulin. The diet is consistent with Dr. Greger’s diet, but tweaked specifically for type 2 diabetics. The book is a super fast read and contains meal plans and recipes. Maybe this book would help you get where you want to go? Here it is if you want to check it out: https://www.amazon.com/Neal-Barnards-Program-Reversing-Diabetes/dp/1594868107/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505098580&sr=8-1&keywords=barnard+diabetes

      1. I actually have read this book. At the time I read it, I thought the diet seemed very complicated and restrictive, but now I’m thinking maybe I should give it another look. Thank you for reminding me of this. I appreciate it very much. 

        1. Kallen4267: Based on what you describe your diet is now, I think you have already made the hard change. I think you will see Dr. Barnard’s recommendations as just a tweak on what you are already doing now.

          I really admire you for taking the hard road and doing what it takes to fix your problem. Most people go for the drugs and refuse to make any changes. Good for you. Best of luck.

  36. I’ve been eating whole food, low fat, plant based for over a month now. My blood sugar as slowly been inching towards diabetic for a few years now. I’m 50. For the past few years I’ve been trying to eat low carb, high fat but it just wasn’t sustainable. So early last year I went vegan for 3 months. This had no effect on my blood sugar, which has been hovering around 130. So I went back to low carb again, which didn’t work very well and I couldn’t get my blood sugar under 105. To be fair, looking back on my 3 months of vegan, I was eating vegan junk food. I was eating white bread, lots of oil, and seitan. Not much whole grain or veggies and fruit. It’s no wonder that didn’t work. However, for the past month+ I’ve been eating whole food, plant based, low fat. The only oil I’ve eaten is in the occasional tortilla chips and some vegan mayo on a whole grain tomato sandwich. No oil in anything else. Well, my fasting blood sugar this morning was 143. What am I don’t wrong? I eat whole oatmeal every day for breakfast. Pinto beans burrito for lunch. Stir fry (no oil) veggies on rice for dinner. I’ve been making pineapple, strawberrie, pear, grape, blueberry salad for my sweet tooth. Every few days I eat navy bean soup. This is all i’ve been eating for over a month. Why isn’t my blood sugar going down?

    1. Hello- I’m Dr Anderson, cardiologist and Health Support Volunteer. You’re getting there! Just need a nudge to go a step further. I’d suggest you get Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen app, which includes the 12 evidence based foods to prevent and reverse illness. Also focus on portion sizes. While it doesn’t seem fair, any vegan mayonnaise or fried chips, as well as, to a lesser extent, whole grain bread, can contribute to rise in blood sugar in your situation. And while fruit has many health benefits, you may be eating more of it than is needed. I think what would help the most is finding a plant based dietician to review your food log for a few days or a week. There are online resources for just this; search around to find options. You’re on the right track, and a few tweaks will help you reach your goals! https://nutritionfacts.org/video/dr-gregers-daily-dozen-checklist-2/

  37. Hello,

    I have been following this site for over a year now. As a T2 Diabetic that has had all the autoimmune testing done, and the conclusion is that I am “run of the mill” T2 diabetic – this diet is not reversing my diabetes.

    I went on WFPD diet – 100% – no cheating for over 9 months and my A1C does not come down. I manage at a 7.2-7.4 A1C.

    For the first 9 months I did not cheat on this diet. I went full steam and did everything that the diet suggested. No overall change in A1C. I mean no cheating at all… I was 100% committed to this diet.

    Do I believe that WFPB diet is a better choice for overall health? Yes. Do I believe that I am benefiting my health in other ways? Yes.

    I am concerned because the claims that you and others make concerning the reversal of diabetes only end up causing depression in someone like me because we try so hard but don’t see the results. What happens and I am sure others reading this feel the same way – you try so hard. You try and try, but you see no result. This makes you throw up your hands and just give up and give in… and then you don’t believe any claims anymore.

    I have bought the cookbook, the original book, and I watch the videos. I read and read and read… nothing works.

    I am in Canada and I cannot find a Doctor that will help me with this. I cannot find a Doctor that will even really discuss it other than to say that WFPB is a good diet choice.

    Obviously I am doing something wrong…? Am I?

    I am looking for your comments. What do I need to do?

    1. Ken,
      I can imagine how frustrating it is when you are trying so hard to take control of your health. I commend you for doing what you can and please do not give up. It may require some adjustments to an already excellent diet you are currently consuming. I recommend that you check out Masteringdiabetes.org. This group was started by Cyrus Khambatta ,PhD in molecular biochemistry, who is a type 1 diabetic. He has helped all types of diabetics through his online coaching program. They advocate a WFPB low fat diet so you will find that some plant foods they have in the yellow light category (nuts, avocados, olives).

  38. 50 year old man. Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 20 years ago. Not on Insulin. Been on Dr Greger’s How Not to Die protocol for over 1 month. Has not lost any weight. Why? What to do? Thank you!

    1. Ramona Cohn: You are on the right track. I’m glad you asked for help.

      Dr. Greger mentions using the principle of calorie density for losing weight. It helps to watch a couple talks to really understand what this means. Eating whole plants based on calorie density is not hard, it just helps to have a few more examples.

      1) Doug Lisle, one of the experts in the Forks Over Knives documentary, gives a great ‘calorie density 101’ talk officially called: “How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind.” I have watched this talk several times and think very highly of it. And it’s free!!! And it’s entertaining! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAdqLB6bTuQ
      2) As good as Doug Lisle’s talk is, I also recommend a talk from Jeff Novick, a famous RD who gives a few more details and is also entertaining. The talk is: “How to Eat More, Weigh Less, and Live Longer,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CdwWliv7Hg And then supplement that with this short article from Jeff: https://www.forksoverknives.com/the-calorie-density-approach-to-nutrition-and-lifelong-weight-management/ , which includes some extra tips beyond just eating by calorie density.

      3) For a very moving story of someone who struggled with serious weight loss her whole life and what she did to fix it (all consistent with the above information), check out the following talk from Chef AJ. I think her talk is motivational and also helps explain that losing weight may be a “devil is in the details” sort of thing. If Chef AJ can do it, you can do it too!!! Note that Chef AJ also has a program to help people lose weight. You may want to look into that. Her program is not free, but it’s safer and cheaper than surgery or letting diabetes go unchecked… https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/videos/advanced-study-weekend-experts/chef-aj/ Alternative to doing Chef AJ’s program, she has a ton of free videos on youtube…

      Best of luck to you. Let us know what happens.

    2. Hi, Ramona Cohn! Without having more detail on specific foods eaten, amounts, and activity levels, it is difficult to give a definitive answer. The key to weight loss is to focus on the most nutrient dense foods while minimizing the most calorie dense foods and eliminating some of them, such as sugars, oils and animal products. It is also helpful to be as active as possible. You may find Dr. Greger’s soon-to-be-released book, “How Not to Diet” to be particularly helpful in fine-tuning the whole food, plant-based lifestyle for weight loss. Meanwhile, you can find everything on this site related to weight loss here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/weight-loss/ I hope that helps!

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