How Not to Die from Diabetes

How Not to Die from Diabetes
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Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, arrested, and even reversed with a healthy enough diet.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, arrested, and even reversed with a plant-based diet—something we’ve known since back in the 1930s. Within five years, about a quarter of the diabetics were able to get off insulin altogether.

But, plant-based diets are relatively low-calorie diets. Maybe their diabetes just got better because they lost so much weight. To tease that out, what you’d need to do is a study where you switch people to a healthy diet—but force them to eat so much food that they don’t lose any weight. Then, we could see if plant-based diets have specific benefits beyond just all the easy weight loss.

Well, we’d have to wait 44 years, but here it is. Subjects were weighed every day, and if they started losing weight, they were made to eat more food—in fact, so much more food, that some of the participants had problems eating it all. They were like, “Oh, not another salad. Ugh!” But they eventually adapted; so, no significant weight change—despite restricting meat, eggs, dairy, and junk.

So, with zero weight loss, did a plant-based diet still help? Overall, insulin requirements were cut about 60%. And, half the diabetics were able to get off their insulin altogether—despite no change in weight. How many years did that take? No, 16 days…16 days later.

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 all their insulin altogether—thanks to less than two weeks on a plant-based diet, even with zero weight loss.

Diabetes for 20 years, then off all insulin in less than two weeks. Diabetes for 20 years, because no one had told her about a plant-based diet.

Here’s patient #15: 32 units of insulin on the control diet, and then, 18 days later, on none—lower blood sugars on 32 units less insulin. That’s the power of plants. And, that was without any weight loss. His body just started working that much better!

And, as a bonus, their cholesterol dropped—like a rock, to under 150—in 16 days. Just like moderate changes in diet usually only result in moderate reductions in cholesterol, how moderate do you want your diabetes?

“Everything in moderation” may be a truer statement than some people realize. Moderate changes in diet can leave diabetics with moderate blindness, moderate kidney failure, moderate amputations—maybe just a few toes or something. Moderation in all things is not necessarily a good thing.

Remember that study that purported to show that diets high in meat, eggs, and dairy could be as harmful to health as smoking—suggesting that people who eat lots of animal protein are four times as likely to die from cancer or diabetes?

But, if you look at the actual study, you’ll see that’s simply not true. Those eating a lot of animal protein didn’t have just four times the risk of dying from diabetes; they had 73 times the risk of dying from diabetes.

Now, those that chose moderation (only eating a moderate amount of animal protein)—they just had 23 times the risk of death from diabetes.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Videography courtesy of Grant Peacock

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, arrested, and even reversed with a plant-based diet—something we’ve known since back in the 1930s. Within five years, about a quarter of the diabetics were able to get off insulin altogether.

But, plant-based diets are relatively low-calorie diets. Maybe their diabetes just got better because they lost so much weight. To tease that out, what you’d need to do is a study where you switch people to a healthy diet—but force them to eat so much food that they don’t lose any weight. Then, we could see if plant-based diets have specific benefits beyond just all the easy weight loss.

Well, we’d have to wait 44 years, but here it is. Subjects were weighed every day, and if they started losing weight, they were made to eat more food—in fact, so much more food, that some of the participants had problems eating it all. They were like, “Oh, not another salad. Ugh!” But they eventually adapted; so, no significant weight change—despite restricting meat, eggs, dairy, and junk.

So, with zero weight loss, did a plant-based diet still help? Overall, insulin requirements were cut about 60%. And, half the diabetics were able to get off their insulin altogether—despite no change in weight. How many years did that take? No, 16 days…16 days later.

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 all their insulin altogether—thanks to less than two weeks on a plant-based diet, even with zero weight loss.

Diabetes for 20 years, then off all insulin in less than two weeks. Diabetes for 20 years, because no one had told her about a plant-based diet.

Here’s patient #15: 32 units of insulin on the control diet, and then, 18 days later, on none—lower blood sugars on 32 units less insulin. That’s the power of plants. And, that was without any weight loss. His body just started working that much better!

And, as a bonus, their cholesterol dropped—like a rock, to under 150—in 16 days. Just like moderate changes in diet usually only result in moderate reductions in cholesterol, how moderate do you want your diabetes?

“Everything in moderation” may be a truer statement than some people realize. Moderate changes in diet can leave diabetics with moderate blindness, moderate kidney failure, moderate amputations—maybe just a few toes or something. Moderation in all things is not necessarily a good thing.

Remember that study that purported to show that diets high in meat, eggs, and dairy could be as harmful to health as smoking—suggesting that people who eat lots of animal protein are four times as likely to die from cancer or diabetes?

But, if you look at the actual study, you’ll see that’s simply not true. Those eating a lot of animal protein didn’t have just four times the risk of dying from diabetes; they had 73 times the risk of dying from diabetes.

Now, those that chose moderation (only eating a moderate amount of animal protein)—they just had 23 times the risk of death from diabetes.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Videography courtesy of Grant Peacock

Doctor's Note

The first time someone visits NutritionFacts.org can be overwhelming. With videos on more than 2,000 health topics, where do you even begin? Imagine stumbling onto the site not knowing what to expect and the new video-of-the-day is about how a particular spice can be effective in treating a particular form of arthritis. It would be easy to miss the forest for the trees, which is precisely why I created a series of overview videos that are essentially taken straight from my live, hour-long 2016 presentation HOW NOT TO DIE: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers.

For the other videos in this overview series, see:

Inspired to learn more about the role diet may play in preventing and treating diabetes? Check out these other popular videos on the topic:

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

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