How Not to Die from Diabetes

How Not to Die from Diabetes
4.65 (93.06%) 173 votes

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, arrested, and even reversed with a healthy enough diet.


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 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.

326 responses to “How Not to Die from Diabetes

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  1. Lots of vegetarian in India have diabetes. My mother who is vegetarian is diabetic. My neighbour diet from Diabetes and was vegetarian all his life. So it appears that is not just being vegetarian that helps. I think it is also important to look into the composition of the diet. Looking at the study by James W. Anderson M.D., I see that he mentions a high fibre diet. It may be that the indian way of cooking removes fibre from vegetables or turns them in into a non useful form. Also Indian use a lot of oil and salt in their cooking. That may have an impact. Or the Indian diet does not have much fibre as there is more lentils and rice. Can you kindly comment? What is going on here?

    1. You’re right, looking at total diet and lifestyle is important when considering diabetes management. Fibre is one piece of the puzzle. Fat is another. Good news, fibre cannot be destroyed by cooking, any method. It is simply the component of plant foods that cannot be digested and absorbed. Fibre contributes to bulk for good bowel function and also regulating blood sugars. So, for people with diabetes, lentils and other legumes are some of the best foods they can eat! On the other hand, high fat diets or meals contribute to insulin resistance, so that one’s ability to regulate blood sugars isn’t as good. As for rice, even brown rice it is not a great source of fibre and in large portions can negatively impact blood sugars and subsequent diabetes management. Hope this helps to clarify things.

      1. How about high-fats from raw nuts like pecans? Could these be an issue?

        And, should they be eaten in the same meal as fruit and other carb sugars, or should they be eaten in the abscence of these foods?

        1. Insulin resistance comes primarily from the fat we eat… whole food plant based diets are very low in fat and the fat we wear.. being over fat causes fats to be put into the blood and recirculated back to fat cells. Although a bit over simplified this characterization of the problem helps persons understand why by cutting fats out of their diet their serum glucoses improve quickly. As they lose fat off their body and get down to normal weight and they continue to improve but more gradually. Nuts in small quantities should not be a problem. They are however calorie dense at about 2800 cal/# so if one of your goals is to lose fat they are best avoided or minimized. Simple sugars are also calorie dense at 1800 cal/# and contribute to being overweight. Whole plants are less calorie dense: vegetables 100 cal/#, fruits 300 cal/#, starches (tubers, grains) 500 cal/#, beans 600 cal/#; on average. I believe we make too much of timing. Eat the correct foods when you are hungry. The only caution is that if you are on diabetic medication and/or blood pressure medication you have to work with your providers to lower the dosage of these medications. Rice is not a problem as Dr. Greger mentions in his video’s. Dr. Kempner was reversing diabetes and hypertension with white rice diet in the 1930’s. I would recommend you review some of Dr. Greger’s previous video’s on diabetes and of course keep subscribed to as the science keeps changing! Good luck.

          1. Thank you. I had thought that the bigger issue was not the fat on the body but the large fat in the meal, as ‘this fat’ is the fat that impairs insulin’s ability to get glucose/sugars from foods into the cells. Lots of vegans I have spoken with feel this is actually the bigger issue than the one you have brought up about body weight. I simply do not understand who is right, but i do appreciate your beliefs.

            1. For what it’s worth, even after losing almost 150 lbs, I’m still pretty large, but no longer diabetic as long as I stick to a whole foods plant based diet low in fat.

              1. Good job loosing all that weight! wishing you good health and keep up the good work. Thanks to Dr. G. for these amazing information on this website.

              2. what is low in fat for you, as in how many grams a day? Nuts and seeds or oils? Just curious, but wondering if you make it to the 100 percent RDA for total fat, or how much you fall beneath that. And yes, I know it is not necessary to meet the RDA set by our government for fat intake. Thanks.

                1. I try to keep it around 10%, never use oil unless it’s a few drops of toasted sesame oil for flavor on my stir fry, and rarely eat nuts or any other high fat whole food because of my weight issues. My thyroid was somewhat low when I quit my pill pusher, uh, doctor, and trying to find a suitable replacement to get HEALTH care instead of sickness maintenance!

                2. Fats in seeds, avocados, etc., are free of any animal protein. A colorful whole plant food diet, which includes the fat in nuts and avocados, will never be a problem.

              3. “…plant base diet low in fat.” You are a living example of what your body can do for itself if you do not poison it with animal protein; that is the real problem. There is no way to eat animal fat without the protein in it.

            1. I ate low carb, high fat for over 15 years. My a1c climbed to 5.8 and I was having high post-prandial spikes when not eating any carbs! I gained weight steadily over the years, in spite of keeping my calories low. I was eating less than 30g/carbs a day. Whole foods, no sugar of any kind. My carbs were salads veggies and broccoli. I started high carb, low fat, again with whole foods. Things started turning around right away. My a1c dropped to 5.4, cholesterol dropped, weight dropped. I feel fantastic. Low carb may work for a while but it’s bad in the long term, in my experience.

              1. Individuals have greatly different individual experience. We need to see what our bodies can do well on. Some are gluten free, meat free, extremely low fat, dairy free, high plant fat, there are many variations and people have done well on many different variations. Experiment and see what does well. Although the average may do well in a study, that doesn’t mean that your body is average or will do well on that diet. Try the most proven ones first is my recommendation and see how you do. John S

              2. That’s an interesting point you make. Some people do well on keto whereas others do well on high carb or other diets for that matter. I was on keto for about a year and just felt fatigued and could not exercise much towards the end of the diet. Right now I get around 80% of my calories from whole food plants (with very minimal processed foods) and I feel decent and have even started doing some exercising. I don’t know if I will go for 100% WFPD but instead am going more with how I feel. After having left keto, I still respect their diet, especially if there are people who thrive on it. Keto is not just about eating tons of fats and meats only – a well balanced diet would include lots of low carb whole food plants.

                My issue with some of the topics and comments on this site is the claim that there is a single diet that is for everyone – which I absolutely don’t believe in.

            2. Losing weight will initially help, whether it’s a low carb diet, crack, or cancer, and severely limiting carbs will obviously reduce the demand for insulin, but that only controls the symptoms, not reverse the disease process. Cutting fat and upping complex carbs finally fixed that, low carb just moderated it, and is not health promoting long term.

            3. Your linked paper refers to diabetes management, reducing uncontrolled blood glucose to limit diabetic complications. However, it does nothing for the underlying insulin resistance and pancreatic β cell loss, indeed as we see below it likely worsens these. By contrast, low fat, high starch diets have been used for 80 years to address the causes of diabetes, restoring insulin sensitivity so the body can itself can respond to dietary glucose.
              1935 Effects of the high carbohydrate-low calorie diet upon carbohydrate tolerance in diabetes mellitus
              1955 Low-fat diet and therapeutic doses of insulin in diabetes mellitus
              1958 Effect of rice diet on diabetes mellitus associated with vascular disease
              Beneficial effects of a high carbohydrate, high fiber diet on hyperglycemic diabetic men
              1977 Effect of carbohydrate restriction and high carbohydrates diets on men with chemical diabetes
              1979 High-carbohydrate, high-fiber diets for insulin-treated men with diabetes mellitus
              1981 High carbohydrate high in fibre diet in diabetes
              1982 Response of non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients to an intensive program of diet and exercise
              1983 Long-term use of a high-complex-carbohydrate, high-fiber, low-fat diet and exercise in the treatment of NIDDM patients
              1994 Diet and exercise in the treatment of NIDDM: the need for early emphasis
              1999 Toward improved management of NIDDM: A randomized, controlled, pilot intervention using a lowfat, vegetarian diet
              2005 The effects of a low-fat, plant-based dietary intervention on body weight, metabolism, and insulin sensitivity
              2006 A low-fat vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes
              2006 Effect of short‐term Pritikin diet therapy on the metabolic syndrome
              2009 A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled, 74-wk clinical trial

              Why would diets that result in postprandial blood glucose spikes lead to better outcomes? Because glucose isn’t the cause of diabetes, excess fat in the wrong tissues is. The diabetes disease process begins when fats, especially long-chain saturated fats, accumulate in muscle cells and cause the insulin resistance of metabolic syndrome. I’ll restrict myself to two reviews.
              2009 Direct and macrophage-mediated actions of fatty acids causing insulin resistance in muscle cells
              2010 Muscle insulin resistance: assault by lipids, cytokines and local macrophages
              Fats, again especially long-chain saturated fats, are also implicated in the progressive loss of pancreatic β cells in type 2 diabetes.
              2014 Lipotoxic endoplasmic reticulum stress, β cell failure, and type 2 diabetes mellitus

              I’m dismayed by those pushing very high fat ketogenic diets for diabetes management, as animal studies indicate this accelerates the progression of diabetes.
              2011 Hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and ER stress in mice maintained long term on a very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet
              2014 A small amount of dietary carbohydrate can promote the HFD-induced insulin resistance to a maximal level
              2014 Long-term ketogenic diet causes glucose intolerance and reduced β-and α-cell mass but no weight loss in mice
              2014 Long-term low carbohydrate diet leads to deleterious metabolic manifestations in diabetic mice
              2016 Long-term ketogenic diet contributes to glycemic control but promotes lipid accumulation and hepatic steatosis in type 2 diabetic mice

              If the options are a low fat diet that restores the ability to eat anything (in moderation), or a low carb ketogenic diet that progressive worsens the pathology so that in time all the β cells are lost and only some awful oily concoction can be consumed, which would you choose? Bear in mind low carb diets are associated with all-cause mortality, because it might not be the diabetes that kills you.
              2013 Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause mortality – a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

              As we lack long term ketogenic diet trials in humans, we’ve only the self reporting of ketogenic self-experimenters to ponder. Judging by the ones mentioned at The Carb-Sane Asylum, they seem to check their blood glucose more often than I check my watch.

              You’ll get no arguments from me that added sugars also present diabetes risks. This is partly because high fructose feeding leads to high de novo lipogenesis in the liver. Added sugars become high circulating fats. Nutrition Facts advocates whole food plant based diets, reducing refined foods of any sort, including added sugars.

              1. Darryl: Holly moly! What an awesome post. The most I would have been able to respond to this post was that “Ketogenic diets treat the symptoms of diabetes, not the cause.” I was going to do just that and then point the person to a great post from Tom Goff that talks about the dangers of low carbohydrate diets that was written once in regards to a different topic. I like how your post directly addresses this question (which comes up a lot) with so much evidence to back it up. :-) I’m saving this one!

              2. Darryl, thanks so much for this bibliography. I’ve been wanting this for some time. I would just like to add Christopher Newgard et al and the branch chain amino acid aspect to insulin resistance.
                I lowered my insulin usage 25% without a calorie reduction by eliminating all animal products. (T1 diabetes) But yes I can get the usage to go up by consuming to much plant fat as well or on occasion too much carbohydrate.

                Low carbers argue that complex carbs or sugars will raise blood sugar and they are right. What they miss though is the question of how effectively your insulin deals with that blood sugar. And that is where the fat, the branch chain amino acids and the added AGEs from exogenous and endogenous sources come in. All three will cause reduced insulin sensitivity. Eating a ketogenic diet to control blood sugar levels does a wonderful job of adding all three factors but may give the impression of good control. And that’s without going into the question of the dangerous aspects of the ketosis per se.

                Furthermore, given the inflammatory aspect of these three factors, the possibility of eliminating T2 diabetes as the beta cells may well be impacted by this chronic inflammation and effectively become T1.

              3. Thank you for this ASTONISHING post. Probably the best thing I’ve read in 10 years of health research online.

                But here’s my question: What if you’re intolerant/sensitive to grains and legumes due to leaky gut? Then, is it better to replace whole grains and beans with, say, white potatoes and white rice (no protein), even though they’re high glycemic?

                1. Eric: Have you hear for Dr. Michael Klaper? Dr. Klaper is a well known plant based doctor who works at the True North Health Center. Dr. Klaper has a talk on the topic of leaky gut. You do have to pay for it, but I think it is worth it, and others have reported the same thing. (You can find a free talk from Dr. Klaper on the digestive system that will give you an idea of his speaking style.)
                  I bring this to your attention, because I think if you watched the talk, you might come away with a new understanding of what causes leaky gut and what steps can be taken to fix it. Here is a free excerpt from the talk: I wanted to give you a link to the full talk but much to my frustration, I can’t find it any more. Hopefully you will be able to find it if you are interested.

          2. Love your posts, Dr. Forrester. Don’t forget to mention OIL, at 4,000 cal/#. And of course as others have mentioned, most Indians consume a lot of Diary.

          3. its possible to eat a high fat whole food plant based diet, this vegan guy “vegetables police” on youtube is experimenting this(even fully raw or mostly) and he is doing pretty good for now, very interesting because it is rare to see peoples experimenting this kind of diet~

          4. We can’t live without fat! Do you mean wrong types of fats we are ingesting? All our cell membranes are made of fat. The structural part of our brain is 60% DHA. Our anti-inflammatory system is reliant on Omega 3s. Chronic inflammation is 1 of the 3 greatest ways we degenerate! I know immediately which fats we eat matter because I know essential fats do not clot in the blood stream and is good enough reason for me to eat marine fats!

          5. “rice is not a problem” as Dr. Greger says in his videos…Dr Greger hasn’t been given the ADA diet and gradually increasing the amount of exogenous insulin he takes/increasing his insulin resistance for 28 years…if I eat rice, my blood sugar skyrockets! Rice is definitely a problem!

            1. Correct. Rice is not a problem in the context of the WFPB lifestyle that Dr. G recommends as WFPB is very low in fat and does not contain meat. The ADA diet is not necessarily low in fat and can contain meat. Meat will increase insulin secretion and fat will cause insulin resistance as Dr. Don outlined.

              Dr. Ben


      2. Hi Joanne – Thanks for your perspective and information. when I went WFPB I ate a lot of rice. . .wow did my triglycerides sky rocket! Fuhrman notes that if that happens to go to a “beans-n-greens” diet which effectively reduces the carbs. That helped but didn’t quite put me back in the triglyceride territory I wanted to be in. Then I found more info on McDougall’s site and from their new medical Director who posted a webinar on weight loss. His advise was to eat a huge salad first with no-oil dressing (if possible). The next thing you eat are your green vegg – like broccoli, cauliflower (yes I know its white but its considered a green cruciferous veg), asparagus, kales, etc. After that eat your beans and then your grains. This concept of eating ensures you get plenty of fiber, it takes longer to eat therefore your stomach gets the message which takes a while, and you fill up on the high fiber, nutrient dense foods first. Bingo! Trigycerides in the healthy range now.

        1. Since changing to a wfpb diet, I have run into a couple of issues. One is that I have not found a salad dressing (oil free) that I like so I rarely eat salads . I used to eat them at least daily. The other thing is that I am not a volume eater , though I realise many people are. I dislike the feeling of fullness, and your suggestion of beans and greens is a good one. I am slim and athletic so have to find heart- healthy ways to get the calories . thank you

          1. guest: Concerning oil free salad dressings, I have some pages/tips that might lead to an idea that you will like:

            > Big List:
            > Fat Free Vegan, Buttermilk Dressing:
            > 10 Simple Recipes:
            > Magical Recipe:

            I’m pretty sure there are other pages of recipes for oil-free dressings. So, if eating salads is important to you, consider exploring some more???

          2. I had a similar problem. I only really like ranch or blue cheese salad dressing, and when I stopped eating those I stopped eating salad.Then I started experimenting with green smoothies. Now I throw the ingredients of a green salad along with an orange and a few pecans or walnuts and some filtered water into a high speed blender. It’s fast, easy, tastes good and does not make me feel over full even though I end consuming more greens in my smoothies than I ever did in my salads. A high speed blender is a must. The cheap blenders just don’t work.

            1. ty so much Renae and isoldam! I am really impressed with these ideas and very grateful for your posts. In my relentless ‘witnessing’ about wfpb eating to friends, relatives, miscellaneous health professionals ,LOL, I stress that one of the reasons I remain with this lifestyle IS the food… its really that good ! thanks again

            2. I would like to add two excellent cookbook authors who can give you great recipes for oil-free salad dressings, and wonderful salad ideas. One is Angela Liddon, at and the other is the irrepressible Isa Chandra Moskowitz at I was vegan (processed food vegan) for 15 years, reverted to vegetarianism when I moved to Vermont (great cheese!), and went wfpb a month ago. I’ve lost 10 pounds, and my blood sugar is getting very low, and I’ll be seeing my endocrinologist next month for evaluation of where I go next. I can’t say enough good things about Whole Food Plant Based veganism.

            1. hi nc54, no I haven’t seen that brand before but I will definitly keep an eye out for it ! thank you so much for suggesting it.. I’m sure other readers appreciate the links , recipes and brand suggestions too. In making the ‘switch’ over to wfpb, imo its important to get two things right… what you’re going to use in your morning coffee instead of milk.. and the salad dressing! thanks again nc54

          3. Consider adding a bit of oil to your salads (Eg. fat-free salad dressing plus some sesame seeds and walnuts) because small amounts of oil aid in capturing some of the oil-based nutrients. Pouring enough oil on that you can taste the oil would probably be overkill (overdrown?).

        2. Niacin, at 1.5 grams or more a day, can cut triglycerides in half. Watch out for the flush. It’s a burning skin tingling itching sensation that starts in the forehead. Niacin can raise HDL, improve mood, and lower LDL. Niacin improved longevity in a study.

      3. Rishi they are vegeterians, meaning they still have milk and diary that becomes sugar, plus, they could be eating oil, which is terrible for diabetes.

    2. You may find this article informative:

      “There are differences between an Indian vegetarian and a Western vegetarian because there are three errors in the Indian vegetarian diet – high in fat (excessive consumption of dairy products); fried food (even vegetables are fried) and rich in sweets ( Indian sweets are high in sugar and soaked in syrup). This is compounded by the fact that only rice or roti is considered food in India while vegetables and fruits are always taken ‘on the side’.
      Most Indian breads are prepared with vanaspati, which is a source of fats, which increases LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol.”

      See also the very interesting discussion here

      1. I have heard it said that Indian vegans are more likely to be anemic than is reported in the western press. I wonder if Indian fat intake interferes with normal Iron processing.

        1. India has very high rates of anaemia especially in menstruating women.

          Fat does interfere with iron absorption. This has been shown in rats and mice. I am not sure about humans.

          Also many Indian “vegetarians” eat a lot of dairy. Calcium is known to interfere with both heme and non-hene iron absorption. Phytates in lentils etc can also inhibit iron absorption.

          Malnutrition and poor diets are the likely explanation. Green leafy vegetables are good sources of both non-heme iron and vitamin C (which boosts iron absorption), if these are lacking in vegetarian diets, then anaemia risk is increased.

          Tea is also popular in India. It too can inhibit iron absorption.

          The explanation may be a complicated mix of low iron content in the diet, the presence of iron-inhibiting dietary components and the lack of iron absorption promoting factors like vitamin C containing vegetables and fruits. In the West of course many foods like breads and breakfast cereals are iron-fortified, but I doubt whether rural Indians consume many – if any- fortified foods.

      1. Vegetarian alone really confers no additional benefits compared to WFPB, maybe slightly to a SAD. I feel she may be new to the website.

        1. Agree with your first sentence, but sorry, didn’t think the second was necessary. The poster seemed to have a genuine question that isn’t often discussed in articles/websites, that I was also curious about.

    3. I remember reading somewhere that per-capita sugar consumption is highest in India. And, there’re vegetarians everywhere who eat a worse diet than many omnivores. (donuts, twinkies, chips, soda, fries, candy, and on and on.). Hence the PBWF diet.

    4. Rishi, it is clear that high rate of diabetes in our country is because of highly fried foods and indiscriminate use of diary and ghee.

        1. Julot, we don’t eat much refined grains. The Indian Bread is not refined at all, it is made from 100% full whole wheat flour. You may be talking about “Naan” but that is reserved only for eating outs which most Indian families do once in a fortnight.

              1. Well, obviously flour is made from crushed whole grains so i ts processed, not a whole food anymore even if its better than white flour, bread is also cooked at high temperature(acrylamide) and is high in salt~

                1. Julot: The term “whole food” is not typically used the way you are using it. Whole flour counts as a whole food. However, whole flour is not intact. You will often see people talk about “intact grains”. An intact grain, such as brown rice kernels and wheat berries, are healthier than those grains ground up into flour.
                  There is also the term ‘processed’ which can come into play and which you also used. A whole food can be processed, but that does not make it any less of a whole food . However, when someone is concerned about healthy eating, it is best to eat foods that as Jeff Novick says, are “minimally processed.” While whole flour is a whole food, it is not minimally processed. The way I used the terms in this paragraph are how I typically see those terms being used.
                  Both you and TheHulk might be interested in this helpful, short talk from Brenda Davis, RD (one of the people who once did a guest blog here on NutritionFacts that talks about the Whole Grain Hierarchy. The talk teaches us that while all of the foods mentioned are whole foods, they are not equally healthy for us.
                  The point I’m making is that I think you are right that (much) bread is not as healthy as other alternatives. However, I don’t think it is helpful to confuse the term “whole food” with other meanings such as always the healthiest of foods.

    5. I see you are using the word vegetarian. That could include a lot of animal protein and animal fat as well as a ton of refined sugar. Dr. Greger does not use the word vegan or emphasize reduction of horrible carbs very often but mind you that is what he is talking about here.

    6. I adore Indian vegetarian cuisine, but I am always shocked at the amount of salt, sugar, and fat it routinely contains. Indian vegetarian is neither whole foods nor entirely plant based. It is, unfortunately, not the basis for a diet focused primarily on health.

    7. From personal experience I’m going to say a huge part of that is the fats and oils because no matter what diet I followed, including the bogus American Diabetes Ass. diet, reducing the fat below 10% worked within weeks. I’m including animal products and processed food in there too, since it is all loaded with fat and other junk. Diabetes was relatively rare in India until their economy improved and they started adopting a more western diet and using a lot more fats and processed garbage than they ever had. I can even see the effect here in the states going into an Indian market, which used to be healthy legumes, grains, spices, and vegetables, and now is mostly packaged garbage. Ditto for China and other countries whose traditional diet has been corrupted by the march of “progress” and fake food. The populations who are rural and not yet exposed to it all are still exempt from the new statistics, so the takeaway seems to be eat what nature grows and man hasn’t mucked with, especially including oil, which is just a highly caloric waste product left over after the nutrients and fiber has been processed out.

    8. From a Western perspective, fond of simple dals (spiced lentils) at home, I find it difficult to find low or even moderate fat options at Indian restaurants. The amount of ghee in entrees and prevalence of deep fried foods like kofta, bhaji, samosas etc is daunting.

      India, which has the largest population of diabetics in the world, has been undergoing a nutrition transition, where “low-fat, fiber-rich traditional foods are displaced by the ‘meat-sweet’ diet with more animal protein, refined sugars and fats, and processed foods.” This has led to an epidemic of metabolic syndrome, particularly in urban areas. Indian urban dwellers that develop metabolic syndrome (MS) have better educations and jobs, higher fat intake, and lower physical activity than those who don’t develop MS. South Indians with MS consume more fats, especially saturated fats. In contrast to US vegetarians, Indian vegetarians are more likely to eat a richer diet with more fried foods and dairy, be less physically active, and have similar rates of obesity to omnivores. Its perhaps a mostly urban phenomena, as in India-wide samples, vegetarians still have a lower risk of diabetes.

      Some papers of interest to those interested in South Asian diets and metabolic disease risks.
      2007 Epidemiology of type 2 diabetes: Indian scenario
      2008 Urban rural differences in prevalence of self-reported diabetes in India
      2010 Association of metabolic syndrome with obesity measures, metabolic profiles, and intake of dietary fatty acids in people of Asian Indian origin
      2014 Type of vegetarian diet, obesity and diabetes in adult Indian population
      2014 High prevalence of metabolic syndrome among urban subjects in India: a multisite study
      2014 The association between a vegetarian diet and CVD risk factors in India: the Indian Migration Study
      2016 The protective effect of plant-based diets in urbanizing india

      As in the West, there is a long history of South Asian trials that have found diets low in fat and high in starch and fiber beneficial in diabetes. A sampling:
      1955 Low-fat diet and therapeutic doses of insulin in diabetes mellitus
      1969 High carbohydrate diet in the treatment of diabetes mellitus
      1979 High carbohydrate diet in diabetes. Long term experience
      1981 High carbohydrate high in fibre diet in diabetes
      2004 Dietary management of diabetes mellitus in India and South East Asia
      2014 Effect of brown rice, white rice, and brown rice with legumes on blood glucose and insulin responses in overweight Asian Indians: a randomized controlled trial

      One recent low-fat vegetarian diet trial from India only reduced metabolic syndrome markers non-significantly, but reversed heart disease:
      2011 Regression of coronary atherosclerosis through healthy hifestyle in coronary artery disease patients – Mount Abu Open Heart Trial

      1. wow Darryl! thats a wonderful list I will enjoy reading through. After my heart operation I took a course in Indian cooking and revamped it to my oil-free , vegan needs. Learning about the spices and the techniques helped me develop a very flavorful and healthy wfpb style of eating. thank you for the links !

          1. I’m happy to share how I do things Richi Roy. I am still in the process of discovery here, but right away I saw Indian dishes that are extremely healthy and need only mi or adjustment. The lentil and bean dishes for example often start in a similar fashion of frying onions, then cumin and mustard seeds,garlic and ginger , dry spices and tomatoes making the basic masala sauce. I dont use oil in this process, but use lower heat and water or stock to soften the onions and go from there. Rajma, chana masala, sabut masoor have become some of my favorites. I use a similar idea in making dishes such as aloo dum and aloo gobi by making the sauce in one pot and dry roasting the potaoes /cauliflower in the oven til done then tossing them in the sauce with green peas to serve. For a vegetable/tofu tandoori cooked on the bar b que, I will use vegan yogurt with tandoori spices mixed in to marinate the tofu pieces. Pav bhaji has become a favorite of mine and I hardly notice the lack of butter on the toasted buns. Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen is a book i received recently and I love it. check it out! I hope I have helped a little … I wish everyone would give home cooked Indian cuisine a try- delicious!

            1. Hi, guest,
              I’m wondering how well the spices mix when you don’t use oil. I use a tad of olive oil to gently and quickly saute onions with spices (The oil makes the spices stick to the onions). Then I add a few drops of water, cover the pan and finish cooking the onions by steaming them. That way, the onions cook very quickly. According to onion researcher Dr. Irwin Goldman, onions should cook for only 4 to 5 minutes max.

              1. I see , thats an interesting way of doing it Harriet, ty. I was responding to Rishi Roy about how I do A WFPB NO-OIL version of indian recipes that I adopted after heart surgery (see post above) The idea is that the onions will sweat and I make a space in the middle of the pan to roast the spices.. When fragrant i put in the chopped tomatoes which deglaze the pan and bring the mix together. It works well, and taking time and not rushing makes the process almost therapeutic.

                1. That being said, I wouldnt mind trying the mustard oil that Darryl mentioned in this thread. … even to use just once in a rare while on tarka dal would be lovely. Have you tried it Harriet?

      2. Thank you Darryl. This is very helpful. I wonder if any one has access to healthy Indian cooking – so cooking the dishes with out oil and using no dairy!

        1. Those with internet access do (a few recipes use milk, some stray a bit from truly low fat)

          Veg Recipes of India
          Manjula’s Kitchen
          Simple Indian Recipes (some meat dishes)
          Vah Reh Vah (some meat dishes)

          There’s also a useful book, The Indian Vegan Kitchen, by Madhu Gadia. I prefer the recipes that call for me to break out the masala dabba(s), as many recipes by Westerners use curry powder as a spice base, which is uninspiring to me. Now curry leaves are another matter. I want a curry tree in my backyard.

        2. Rishi Roy: Have you heard of PCRM, the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine? PCRM is head by Dr. Barnard, another famous plant based doctor, one who has done important research into reversing diabetes. PCRM’s free 21 Day Kickstart program is recommended by Dr. Greger. The reason I’m telling you this is that PCRM has an Indian version of the 21 Day Kickstart program. They consulted with people from India to make sure the recipes are authentic, but the added bonus is that the recipes are also healthy! If you are interested, or want to help spread the word (please do!), here is a link to the page where people can sign up:
          For everyone: It doesn’t matter if you are from India or not. These recipes are yummy and just as easy to make as the first 21 Day Kickstart program. Anyone can go through the Indian version if you are interested.

    9. The Indian legumes that are commonly used for dals have had their seed coats removed and have been split, for faster cooking and a smoother texture. So there is some loss of fiber, but they’re still “high-fiber” foods. Some Indian food is also pretty high in dairy animal products, with ghee, yogurt and cheese.

    10. The vegetarian indian diet is often heavy in ghee, dairy, oil, coconut milk, and salt as well as coconut cream and sugar desserts… not health foods at all…

    11. vegetarian means eggs and dairy and oils and they eat a lot of them, so i dont understand here.. and fried greasy food can be vegetarian also and even refined grains are unhealthy…

    12. I love Indian people and Indian food. The desserts in Indian restaurants are far too sweet for my taste. Also, I have known Indian people to force feed their children determined to make them fat. Fat is equated with status and wealth, as I understand it, so there is probably little incentive to exercise restraint.

    13. Oil is deadly, and salt also deadly, you have to eat Greens, you can season them but you Do Not want any oil of any kind or salt. Just my 2cents.

    14. The traditional diet of vegetarians in India include lots of milk products, they cook with butterfat also. You are eating animal fat and protein.

    15. My mother is vegetarian and diabetic but the use of oil and absence of fruits in her diet with stress full marriage led to diabetes. And many Indians consume lot of diary to go with. So all the diabetic should be advised to have low fat vegan diet however most doctors stop sugar and potatoes. Without even under standing the cause. I learnt this from Dr Greger video. Thanks for this wisdom

    16. Rishi Roy, may I comment?
      I am American and switched from the Standard American Diet (unhealthy) to Whole Food Plant Based diet (healthy). When I first switched, I did not know how to cook any plants and so I had to go online and find recipes from all over the world – American’s don’t do a tasty job cooking most plants! I began cooking Indian recipies because, as you say, there have been many generations vegetarians there for centuries and so the plant based cuisine is well developed. I agree with you that there is a very large amount of “oil” in most of the recipies. The oil called for is Ghee. Ghee is an animal fat. The other thing is that there are some wonderfully delicious desserts, but many of them have animal fat or protein (milk). Also, masala chai (oh, so delightful!) is served with animal milk and varying degrees of sugar several times a day in most homes. The combination of animal fats and repeated daily sugar seems like it would be the perfect conditions to create diabetes. Dr. Gregor is advocating a Whole Food Plant Based diet for diabetes, which EXCLUDES Ghee, milk, added sugars, and WHITE rice. This means all nann, roti, chapatti etc must be made from whole grain flour. White rice is excluded, but brown rice is OK. No paneer, no jalabees, no gulab jamun, no cream gravies. My opinion is that there is a big difference between Indian “vegetarian” and “Whole Food Plant Based”. Diabetes is high in India because of too much animal fat and too much sugar all day long.

    17. @Rishi Roy, vegetarians avoid all meat, but consume large amounts of dairy and eggs. In terms of the overall nutrient content, there is little difference between dairy, eggs, and meat so the overall food intake of many vegetarians is not that much different from that of health conscious meat eaters due to a high consumption of dairy, eggs, and oil.

      And that’s the reason why many vegetarians have diabetes. It is the whole food plant based diet which is devoid of meat, eggs, dairy, oil, added sugars, and added salt that prevents, arrests, and reverses diabetes, not a vegetarian diet.

    18. The key is white rice and animal protein. For vegetarian, when you eat too much white rice, you can become diabetic too. The solution is fruits. Ursolic Acid are in the skin of many fruits like blueberry, apple, grapes, plums. Right after meal, we must eat a serving of fruit. Human are not carnivore, or herbivore. We are frugivore. Eating too much animal protein lead to cancer and heart dieses. Eating too much white rice lead to diabetic. We must eat lots of fruits daily to stay healthy. Our digestion system is optimized for fruits, not animal protein or complex carbs.

      In the western studies, their plant based diets didn’t eat lot of white rice. But Asian eat lot of white rice. So there are certain cultural factors not being shown in the above video. If they put vegetarian eating lots of white rice vs plant based diet, they will see all the vegetarian eating lots of white rice getting sick from diabetic.

    19. One of problem with the Indian diet is that it is not 100 percent plant based. It uses a lot of dairy (milk, yogurt, butter and ghee$ in many of its preparations. Also these days people it a lot of refined grains and junk. One has to be on whole-food plant-based diet to prevent and even reverse not only diabetes, but heart diseases, arthritis and even cancer.

    20. you are spot on I have spoken to Indians here in texas and they admit back in India they do add lots of things to their food that they should not

  2. Rishi Roy: For some reason, your last 3 posts got caught in the disqus automated spam filter. I rescued the posts.

    I’m pointing it out because Tom, Joanne and Lemonhead will not have seen your thanks and replies. Hopefully they will see this response and know that you did express your thanks.

  3. My husband who has been diabetic since his 30s (he is now 48), recently had to start taking insulin. Before it was just pills. I know if I can get him to go entirely plant food he would be able to go off insulin like he was before since this has been only the last 6 mos. I just can’t seem to find recipes that he really really likes (or maybe I am a terrible cook hehe), and I also cannot get him to stop drinking insane amounts of pop! His father died in his 50s (both his parents have/had diabetes) so I must absolutely figure out a way to get him off this sugar addiction and off of meats. I half wonder if I can somehow get him 100% plant foods, if I had him see it as a trade, start with all plant foods, but keep the pop (but I know that sugar is terrible for him).

    1. Reya, One of the most difficult lessons to learn in life is to realize that you can control no one but yourself. It’s very difficult to watch someone you love harm themselves. I’ve also had to do that. Getting his buy-in is crucial to making the significant change and you may or may not get that. Having said that, one thing you might try to start is use some of the meat substitutes on the market. I just had one while hosting a meat-eating friend – a “pulled pork” seitan sandwich which he just loved. Something we could both eat and he found satisfying. These seitan meats can be found in your health food store – and you just have to find which ones you like. I also used a soy chorizo to make an eggplant-potato casserole which meat eaters enjoy. Serve with some green veg and its a fairly healthy transition meal.
      I don’t have any helpful suggestions to substitute for pop except perhaps make something like fresh lemonade using stevia (not a chemical). Perhaps others on this site have some substitution tricks. Hope so. All the best to you and your husband.

      1. Oh that is such a good idea- I never even thought about trying the fake meats- maybe that will jump start it! I know he wants to, and he will try and go maybe a day, but it never lasts. He even won a fit bit at work in this new health program hosted by his work that he joined. So I know he is open to it all – it is just a matter of finding a way for him. The pop thing though I do not know if I ever will be able to nail, but I will try the stevia idea- always seen it in stores, but never tried it. Our 11 year old has been vegetarian since age 6 and is also rooting for him.

        1. My husband uses stevia, I prefer Swerve (erythritol based). Dr Greger thinks kombucha may be dangerous, but I drink it on occasion and like it a lot. I mostly worry about acid erosion of my teeth. Speaking of which, hibiscus tea is good – if quite acidic – stuff and there are some videos on this site about it. You could make a concentrated brew and add seltzer water for fizz.

          I’ve been reading the work of Tim Ferriss lately; some of his dietary advice runs directly counter to much of the information on this site, however, he does have a lot of interesting observations about motivation and accomplishing goals.

          1. Thank you so much for your suggestions- I really like the seltzer idea! Definitely going to try that. My husband does indeed like tea so I think that may be a good start. I will also check out Tim Ferris, thank you!

            1. He has some ‘interesting’ suggestions; I think some of them ‘work’, but are not health promoting. He pretty much admits it himself, calling some approaches a ‘Faustian bargain’, trading short term feel-good, look-good benefits with longevity and presumably, overall health.

              He does advocate eating legumes, particularly lentils, which is good. He claims citric acid (lemon juice) is better for blood sugar control than acetic (vinegar), which I think is counter to published research, but I do wonder about it. If I had extra cash I might try the continuous blood sugar monitoring myself.

              I disagree very strongly with him on two points, though – side planks do not promote an hourglass figure, and women can in fact get overdeveloped quickly. I hate my external obliques now, after just three sessions of his suggested workout routine.

          2. Ha, I just finished brewing a gallon of hibiscus kombucha, darn good stuff! I don’t say kombucha is some miracle beverage but really like it and find it helps my gut. If well fermented the sugar content is minimal, it’s fizzy, and a great alternative to an occasional soda, which is far too sweet, and a nice switch from water once a day or so. Though Dr G pans it, I can’t understand how vinegar gets a green light and touted as healthy, and kombucha not when they are so similar, just based on a few highly unusual death involving kombucha that could apply to a score of other issues. I used to have serious IBS and gut problems that fermented foods have helped tremendously, despite the fact that I did NOT even like them at first! Since I found probiotics to be mostly useless I made an effort to try making some ferments, and it made a huge difference! If I get lazy or run out of them, my belly will emphatically remind me, so I don’t think it’s just the old placebo effect, besides the fact that so many who have tried agree, and become as passionate about them as me. Sandor Katz (Sandorkraut) of “Wild Fermentation” and “The Art of Fermentation” etc. comes immediately to mind, but also scores of people I know personally.

            1. I had a similar experience Vege-tater. When I first tried fermented foods after many years, I had a craving and almost ate the whole thing. Then I calmed down and I have the desire to eat them but not the overwhelming compulsion any more. Making your own is so much cheaper and it fits in better with WFPB. John S

    2. Small steps and a challenge seem to help . Get watching someone like McDougall or Chef AJ doing whole foods on youtube together . Try some familiar foods like pizza without cheese and meat of course , you can make some really good ones . How about mashed potatoes and stuffing plus at least 3 vegetables with gravy from Mcdougall site . My point is don.t go crazy on complicated recipes they are easy to screw up .
      After watching some of the food videos , have a heart to heart talk and see if he would agree to try for 3 days a whole food plant based diet , ask like this “Do you think we could try this for 3 days or do you think it would be to tough for us”? I have found 3 days is normally enough time for most people to start feeling a little better and they will want to either continue or try in short time again. good luck

      1. Ah I did not think of youtube videos. He does like mashes potatoes and stuffing- so I can definitely do that! I do think he would try for 3 days. So far, we are at about a 1 day streak, haha. But, I think that he would be open to 3 days if I can find things he likes and that he feels full. You are definitely right, with him it is small steps. Myself, I dove in, but that is my personality. He can be very resistant. Thank you esben for your thoughts! I will go check out the Mcdougall site!

        1. Reya: You raise an incredibly important point here: “… if I can find things he likes and that he feels full.” Dr. Barnard, a well known and respected plant based doctor recommends that people consider not diving in to a plant based diet 100% of the time first. Dr. Barnard recommends a research phase where you try out various foods, mixed in with your regular diet, to see what you like. When you have found enough dishes that you truly like (it doesn’t take many), then you can try a trial period. Here is the “3 Step Way To Go Vegetarian” written out from PCRM:
          As for feeling full: I recommend starting with a lot of high starch based dishes – ie, lots of beans and intact grains and sweet potatoes. Also, make sure your husband gets enough calories. May need to make sure he eats his 1/4 cup nuts/seeds a day. And maybe include dishes with tofu (where the tofu is disguised – like in a veggie burger or ‘neat loaf’).

          One more idea for you: I have over 100 vegan cookbooks, the vast majority of which I never use. But one that I use again and again is the Vegan Casserole book. One of the things I like about it is that it makes casseroles that are old-time favorites. They are big hits when I serve them to omnivores. And I would say that the majority of the recipes are even pretty healthy. (Warning: It is helpful to have a high speed blender for these recipes.)

          1. That is been the biggest hurdle for him- feeling full and satisfied. I think I am just so worried about him I want him to make this change right now. Thank you for that link, maybe that is the key for him! And I am definitely going to order that book. We have a ninja as our high speed blender. I do not know that we will ever be able to get a blendtec or vitamix, but the ninja so far has been wonderful! That is also a good tip on the calories, maybe that has been an issue that we did not even realize.

            1. Thea is so right, eliminated meat needs to be replaced with satisfying whole starches or it’s game over. Some people are happy eating just bunny food, but most of us need our healthy carbs! I think Dr McDougall is the biggest proponent of this!

      1. He does like soup (our daughter does not- I often find myself making 3 meals each dinner). I am a soup lover- I think it is about all I eat now, but so far, I have problems finding one he will feel full and satisfied. He does like lentils so I think I will need to experiment more with those. He is a die hard bbq meat outside, steaks and potatoes guy, so it is tough! But I am definitely going to keep trying. That recipe sounds yum for me that you linked! He does not like sweet potatoes, however, I am wondering maybe I can sub in white potato for him!

        1. Sounds good! We often sub white potato for the sweet potato in that recipe and I always add in 5 ounces of chopped baby spinach at the end for both flavor and nutrition.

          Maybe to help him feel satisfied, serve lots of veggies with the meal. My husband is always stuffed after dinner because I serve “the four food groups” : 1) Salad with different veggies 2) Starchy veggie like corn on the cob or winter squash 3) Leafy green &/or cruciferous veggie (steamed) like kale, swiss chard, broccoli 4) Hearty bean dish like chili or soup. Then we go for a nice walk to relax and digest.

          As a transition, just try increasing all the veg and bean dishes you serve while reducing the portion size of the meat he likes. That way he can still have his favorites while he’s getting to know the new foods that are going to make him healthy. :)

          1. That is a great idea. And he actually LOVES spinach and it is so easy for me to make for him. I just saute it and add a little seasoning and he devours it.

    3. Reya: I think you are getting some great suggestions. Transition foods, like the fake meats, may not be the healthiest in the world, but they can be really great for transitioning people. To add to Julie’s suggestion, I’ll recommend adding some reconstituted dried mushrooms to soups (and other dishes) as those type of mushrooms have a nice “meaty” texture / good tooth bite.


      If you husband gets meals out of the house or prepares his own meals, you have less control over what goes in his mouth. Getting his eventual buy-in will be needed for a complete transition. But as others have said, a slow transition can work. And I agree with you that getting him on a whole plant food based diet that includes some soda seems like a good first step. In the hopes that the following will give you some long term hope: I have an older family member (in his 70s) who swore to me for *years* that he would never go vegan. Now he leads the way…
      If you haven’t watched the movie Forks Over Knives as a family yet, that movie can have a helpful impact. Depending on you and your husband’s outlook on life, you might also invest some time in watching videos like Earthlings or (Hey, can other people make some suggestions here?!!) that might provide the emotional impact for making change. If your husband cares about the environment, watching the documentary Cowspiracy is a great idea. You could much popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast and some good vegan pizza or veggie burgers to make it more fun.
      Good luck!

      1. Hi Thea, thank you so much for the encouragement! It is definitely challenging! Wonderful ideas I am getting from people here. I thought I knew so much but wow, it seems I have not even come close.

        I do have a chili recipe he actually likes with mushrooms. It is actually the only recipe I have found thus so far that he will eat with no complaint. The only problem is he adds about a whole package of crackers to it so really I think it is more of a cracker recipe with a side of chili. hah. And he does get his day meals on his own at work (he works at a hospital so they he gets lunch for free). I just know if I can get him feeling better he will not want to go back! I just need to get him to that point and he will see for himself how his body feels. he is in so much pain from the neuropathy, and he is always so tired and cranky. I just need to get him over the initial hump, and I know he will see (or even better “feel”, what he hasn’t felt in a long time).

        That is incredible about your older family member! I have watched Forks Over Knives, that documentary alone did it for me. He has watched parts of it, so now I think I need to make him sit down and watch it in its entirety! (Earthlings- never heard of that!) Oh and the popcorn with nutritional yeast- that is my daughter’s favorite!! Once a week we have a family movie night, I am thinking maybe this one will be on the list.

        1. Reya: re: chili. That is so common! Chili just seems to work in vegan format without problem for most people. The nice thing about chili is that it can have some variations to keep it interesting. But of course, there will have to be other dishes that he also likes.

          We do have a great community here. I’m so happy people are jumping in to offer you some ideas. Please do come back and let us know how it all goes.

          1. I most definitely will! While I do not post each day- I am definitely here each day :) I will definitely keep you all updated on how it progresses with him. I have received so many ideas and tips today that I have a much more positive outlook than I did before that I can get him healthy!

        2. Reya, if you make some vegan cornbread (use a flax egg and applesauce instead of oil) to go with the chili, your husband may forgo the crackers. I also found that green smoothies were a great transition food for me and my husband. It took my husband about a year to stop craving meat. And although you would like your husband to go WFPB any step in that direction will improve his health. Good luck!

          1. That is so true any step is a good step. I did try one vegan cornbread and he hated it said it wasn’t sweet. So I will need to find one that has a balance, just enough sweet but not overkill with lots of sugar- because he definitely does like cornbread!

            1. Reya: re: sweet. Here’s an idea: I like my cornbread to be moist and sweet! Maybe you could play around with combinations of sugar and erythritol?

              Another option: Intentionally make the cornbread savory. I know some people who like salsa/spicy cornbread. When people eat that kind of cornbread, they have an expectation that it’s not suppose to taste sweet (as opposed to normal cornbread which might just taste like bland cornbread to someone who likes the sweet-ish kind).

              Just some more ideas. :-)

        1. What about similar alternatives such as sparkling water with a dash of fruit juice, or a lemon wedge, or iced fruit herbal tea or fruit infused sparkling waters or low sugar kombuchas?

          As for diet? What are his favourites?

          1. I have never tried the sparkling water. I have seen some of those in stores but thought they had the fake sugar? Which I thought would maybe be even worse. I should check them out again as maybe they have come out with new ones. His favorites- you mean what does he normally eat? He loves of course his dr pepper, and eating wise, he loves chili, shrimp, hamburgers & fries, bacon, loves bread, any deep fried (i do not deep fry anything in the home, he gets at out restaurants). In the past when we go out to eat say to a buffet, his plate is full of deep fried foods. Growing up they did not have traditional turkey and the fixings- they had deep fried tacos, so that is his other favorite.

            1. You can definitely get plain sparkling water, called mineral water or soda water or similar depending on your location. Unsweetened, just carbonated water.

              I agree with most of the advice so far, get him involved and looking at recipes that he’d like to try- similar flavours to what he likes etc…

    4. Reya, you have gotten lots of good suggestions. One in particular that I think will be helpful is to start with switching the amounts of meat and plants on the plate with the amount of meat being more of a side dish. And as others have said, it is critical to eat enough food to feel satisfied. Whole plant foods, unless they are drenched in oil or butter, have so much fewer calories in a given volume than meat and highly refined foods. The mistake a lot of people transitioning make is to eat the same volume of food they are used to eating with the result that the number of calories drops too much. Great if you are trying to drop weight quickly, terrible if you are trying to feel satisfied. So always have extra of whatever the starchy food is available for seconds or even thirds and don’t worry about feeling like you are over eating. Nobody got fat from eating too much broccoli. And contrary to popular opinion it is very hard to get fat from potatoes, brown rice and whole wheat pasta. The problem is usually all the fatty foods served on top of those foods that cause the problem.

      Oh, and I don’t know if you have heard about water/broth sauteing or not, but it can be a way to reduce the total amount of fat in the meal, since it the fat that is causing the insulin resistance. Basically where ever you would saute something in oil use water or vegetable broth instead. Start with a very thin skim in the pan and drip a little at a time as needed to keep the vegetables from sticking. Brown bits will start to form on the pan. The dribbles of water will deglaze the pan and coat the vegetables with the nice browned flavor. I like to use vegetable broth because as the water evaporates the vegetable flavor is concentrated. Plus most have a small amount of tomato paste in them, which itself browns.

      And one recipe idea. Make your favorite beef stew recipe, but instead of beef use a combination of seitan (made from wheat gluten, but chews like meat) and about an ounce of dried procini mushrooms. Soak the mushrooms in hot water, strain the soaking water through a coffee filter (since porcinis tend to be a bit sandy), dice the mushrooms and add the soaking water and mushrooms to the stew. Here is a link to a discussion of what seitan is plus a number of really tasty looking recipes. Also tofu marinated in a little soy sauce and garlic powder before adding to the stew will also work.

      Another tasty alternative that we found is called Soy Curls. It has a single ingredient, dried steamed organic non-GMO soy beans. The soy beans are steamed, ground into a paste, cut into strips and dried. The resulting strips stay very chewy when reconstituted and act like flavor sponges. It is now our favorite. We use it stews and chilis. A friend uses them to make a mean “pulled pork”. Soy curls are a perfect alternative for anybody who needs to avoid gluten. Procinis can be very expensive in the little 1/2 ounce packages in the grocery. Amazon has them by the pound for much less per ounce. So if these are a hit, I suggest buying in bulk. And since they are dried, they keep for a long time.

      All change is hard, even the change you want to make. Making a change that you really don’t want to make is even harder. So the key for each person is to find a reason to change. I saw that you have a young daughter. Children can be the motivation that parents need to change. I know that it was was for me. I wanted to see my kids grow up and when they come my grandkids too. And I don’t want to be watching from a wheelchair on the sidelines either. The great thing about change is that effort required is usually just at the beginning. Once new routines become automatic and taste buds are used to the new foods, the work of changing is over and you just go on living life with no more effort than was required before changing.

      Good luck!

  4. Dr. Greger seems to have changed the style of his videos. The scenes of him talking directly to the camera take up about half of this one, which is disappointing. Previous ones have been chockful of screen shots showing the first page of published scientific papers. This one shows very few. Seeing the papers and being able to catch the actual citation and look it up and read it on PubMed provides greater support to the points he is making. Seeing his “talking head” most of the time tends to suggest that he is just another one of the “online doctors”, some of whom make unsubstantiated statements. Please go back to the old format, Dr. Greger. If there are not enough relatively current papers, make your point in a blog instead.

    1. Faith Frankel: Have no fears. This video, along with several other videos, are part of a series of “introductory videos”. These are meant to be very basic videos to introduce people to the material on this site and are deliberately in a different format. These introductory videos are being released interspersed with the regular videos and after the series is done, only the regular style of videos will be released. At least that’s my understanding.
      So, if you don’t like the introductory videos, just skip them. It won’t be too much longer before we are back to only showing the regularly scheduled program.

      1. That is exactly right Thea. Thank you so much for all your dedication to the site–I love readng your comments! As soon as I see your name in the list of comments I know everything’s taken care of and I can get back to work :)

  5. I’d like Halloween candy alternative recommendations, please.

    Obviously, baby carrots and cooked cold broccoli won’t entice, let alone achieve the desired change of behavior.
    Spoiled sugar junkies won’t be won over with pecans and walnuts.

    Instead, I’m thinking the local medical facilities should operate health check stations taking on the spot diabetes checks and offering cholesterol checks for the parents.

    As from not wanting to eat pig feet and miscellaneous slaughter house goop turned into glycerine
    I can’t be the first to suggest “taking the battle to the battlefront” …

    Here’s what I have so far:
    Some googling discovered “molasses kisses” and “molasses taffy” and some other interesting finds from this sort of search:

    1. Hi Adam, Julie game some good suggestions on healthier alternatives to candies for Halloween. I personally did not like the idea of giving candies to kids just because it is tradition! I used to give out little satsumas, small pumpkins, home made cookies wrapped in a decorative orange colors, persimmons, flowers and dark chocolates were my alternatives to hand out ! Of course my kids used to say mom you are so wired!!

    2. Most of the research on adverse effects of added sugars has focused on sucrose and HFCS, the fructose component of which is limited in intestinal absorption (causing dysbiosis) and almost entirely metabolized in the liver (causing elevated de novo lipogenesis, VLDL and uric acid). These effects appears to increase non-alcoholic fatty liver, metabolic endotoxemia, and insulin resistance. By contrast, pure glucose (aka dextrose), often used as the control vs. fructose in studies, has none of these effects.

      There are “chalk candies” comprised of pressed dextrose (In the US: valentine hearts, Smarties, Sweet Tarts, Tart ‘n’ Tinys), that while empty calories, are in vivo biochemically equivalent to a high-glycemic index starch. While to my knowledge no study has been done comparing these with high-fructose candies, they’re arguably “better”.

      1. Are you saying that fructose is the bigger issue with fatty liver, or glucose? So would high fructose candies be arguably worse or better? Sorry, i am a bit confused?

      2. Darryl: SO helpful! I struggle with this every year myself. One year I found some pre-packaged Halloween “candy” that was pretty much dried fruit leathers. That seemed reasonable, but I wasn’t very popular that year. Your ideas provide more traditional candy options.

      3. So, can you overdo it be eating too much fruit. I’m asking because while I add no sugar or sugary packaged foods to my diet, I do eat a lot of fruit and my last physical showed an above normal triglyceride level even though I eat low fat and am not overweight.

        1. Do you follow a low fat whole foods plant based oil free diet?

          Do you exercise regularly?

          Do you know your omega three levels?

          Do you drink alcohol?

          Do you have normal liver function?

          These would be worth addressing first before fruit. Some people have to cut all refined carbs (such as bread), and then sometimes fruit to lower TGs, but that’s not common.

        2. Here’s an anecdote from a commenter below that may be useful-

          Hi Joanne – Thanks for your perspective and information. when I went WFPB I ate a lot of rice. . .wow did my triglycerides sky rocket! Fuhrman notes that if that happens to go to a “beans-n-greens” diet which effectively reduces the carbs. That helped but didn’t quite put me back in the triglyceride territory I wanted to be in. Then I found more info on McDougall’s site and from their new medical Director who posted a webinar on weight loss. His advise was to eat a huge salad first with no-oil dressing (if possible). The next thing you eat are your green vegg – like broccoli, cauliflower (yes I know its white but its considered a green cruciferous veg), asparagus, kales, etc. After that eat your beans and then your grains. This concept of eating ensures you get plenty of fiber, it takes longer to eat therefore your stomach gets the message which takes a while, and you fill up on the high fiber, nutrient dense foods first. Bingo! Trigycerides in the healthy range now.

        3. Some risk markers in Western populations, like elevated fasting triglycerides, may not actually be causal in disease. There are populations who consume low-fat, high carbohydrate traditional diets, like the Tarahumara tribe of Mexico or Papuan highlanders, who have high-normal fasting triglycerides but negligible risk for CVD or metabolic diseae. Genetic predispositions to elevated fasting triglycerides that don’t also increase LDL have no effect on CVD risk, casting doubt on a causal role. By contrast, genetic predispositions to elevated nonfasting triglycerides, which arise from high fat meals, have been associated with heart attacks and all-cause mortality. Hence, I think the evidence points to elevated triglycerides after high fat meals being harmful, but elevated fasting triglycerides from high carb diets being innocuous.

      1. Moderator Renae: I like the idea of stickers or something. I don’t think making your own treats are a good idea. Parents are usually advised to throw out any food that is not factory-wrapped. So, it would mostly go to waste (or it should…).

        1. Oh yea the whole food safety thing… clearly I don’t celebrate halloween! I was thinking more family parties and the like, I forgot it’s usually a stranger thing!

      2. Thanks for the links. Making a couple of hundred vegan treats is a noble goal, but I know my limitations … : )

        I like the idea of crayons and toys. Non-toxic crayons never go out of style. I think we received some toys last year (one of which was a choking hazard … : ) … and it didn’t occur to me to find something similar … without the tiny plastic pieces to choke a five year old on the street in the dark as they hurriedly try to stuff something in their mouth only to realize too late it’s not food …
        Maybe there’s a non-toxic, non-slave-factory toy for ten cents? (what a world we live in)

    3. You might be surprised at how many would eat the pecans and.or walnuts. Also a piece of fruit like an apple or banana or pear would be good. Studies have shown that children eat more fruit when it is available. Problem is their parents just do not buy much of it.

      1. I agree that small “goodie bags” of nuts, berries, seeds, grains in a trail mix and work really well and even young kids reach for food when they’re hungry and sugar/fat/salt “treats” when they want to “satisfy taste buds.”
        We’re a vegan household and I’ve been mostly vegan since 2010. There’s no shortage of organic fruits, veggies and cold-pressed juice for the taking — it’s more a matter of enticing kids with something enjoyable rather than “no treats for you!” : )
        I’m even thinking of peanut butter on whole grain bread cut into finger sandwiches (and maybe dyed orange with food dye) but again, there’s only so many hours in the day. : )

    4. Instead of giving out candy, I gather all the junk we’ve collected over the past year (samples of toiletries; gifts we don’t need; loot brought home from parties) and put it outside for the kids to scavenge through. Then I stand guard in my blue morpho butterfly costume, armed with several flashlights. It’s a blast!

      1. Brilliant! Thanks!
        I’ve been looking at coconut recipes (as a cold-pressed organic juice as well as flakey balls.
        It occurs to me we could just hand out “President Trump” stickers … or … too scary?

  6. Rishi, having lived near Cochin for a half-year doing my Ph.D. research, I also learned that southern food is full of coconut oil. So this is another cause of high saturated fat intake that may lead to insulin resistance. It may be as significant a factor as the ghee.

  7. I visit the cardiac rehabilitation center (exercise, etc) in my hometown twice per week and recently I met a man struggling with heart disease, serious weight, and DIABETES. I’m not sure it’s Type 2. Anyway. I’ve attended their Nutrition Class as well — and what they teach these heart patients (including myself) IS TOTAL BS, stuff that will KILL THEM. Need details? I discussed with him in the parking lot what he eats and IT’S NOT VERY GOOD. To think that this man might be able to resolve his diabetes problem in three weeks — simply by eating things that taste very good (but are different from what he normally eats) blows my mind. I want to see if I can execute a plan to see if he can do it. I discussed diet with one of the top cardiologists related to this problem (same hospital) and he seems on board (at least he told me three times, after I told him I was vegan, to watch Forks over Knives)… so, getting him to help me with this experiment could lead to a “revolution” in the rehab clinic. A live success case would blow their minds! I expect that the only problem that would cause the person to fail would be the challenge of grocery shopping in a new way and preparing all those delicious meals. So, for it to work, all meals would need to be provided. The only way I can imagine this happening would be to hire a chef and delivery service. Maybe the only way to do this would be to raise funds via a crowdsource site, which I have no experience with. So, yeah, ask this man if he would do something that would cause him no pain and would likely be enjoyable to lose his bad case of diabetes in three weeks. Anyone able to help me execute this idea? I’m entirely serious.

    1. That would be awesome! Can he not cook and shop? What about foods such as pre-steamed rice, canned beans, low-salt sauces, frozen vegetables, fresh fruits, pre-chopped vegetables etc..

      1. No, he’s really into both.

        The barrier for anyone, I believe, isn’t the food (or cuisine style). It’s the conversion part.

        Maybe there are places one can go for a three-week dietary intervention.

        If there were several individuals who would do this, they could meet at a certain home, eat dinner together, and take their breakfast and lunches home, all prepared by the house cook.

        The meals would need to be very high quality taste-wise as well as nutritionally.

        1. Tobias Brown: re: “If there were several individuals who would do this, they could meet at a
          certain home, eat dinner together, and take their breakfast and lunches
          home, all prepared by the house cook.” One of my dreams is to be able to do just this. Run a small time program out of my home. One that is affordable. I just need to win that lottery…

          1. To launch it, maybe frame it as a community-based scientific experiment where you are collaborating with a known cardiologist in your community and the results will be published.

            Maybe have 6 participants. To qualify, they would need to show that they’ve been dedicated to their cardio rehab program in general and have a strong desire to end their blood sugar problem. The incentive is that it costs them nothing and their effort level is minimal.

          1. I’m not sure medical supervision would be required. Though a consulting cardiologist on board via the local university (research?) hospital would be useful.

            In the rehab nutritional class, they said things like dietary cholesterol does not impact heart health so there’s no upper limit (like saturated fat and trans-fats). But you can tell that reality presses in… The nutritionist did say to try to shift to vegetarian one day a week and “move toward vegan”. But she would not say go all the way. They focus on getting people to cut down. They never say that “moderation” can still kill you. They don’t say risk can be seriously reduced by going true vegetarian. This particular nutritionist event implied that it’s good to drink a little olive oil every day. I kid you not. I have all the notes from the class. I was shocked but not surprised. I kept quiet.

            1. Tobias Brown: I thought of an idea. I have heard that the Plant Pure people are offering meal deliveries. Their meals would be not only vegan, but healthy I’m pretty sure. It would be more expensive than cooking oneself, but way less expensive than a live-in program. And would not require the person to do any cooking themselves. It could be useful for a transition period for anyone motivated enough to give it a good shot.

              1. It could change at this hospital with one righteous cardiologist but I believe, truthfully yet with sadness, that they are more interested in doing jobs, ranking well, etc. The hard reality is that they’d work themselves out their hard won careers. They can’t ever see themselves as possibly fraudulent. And it does seem fraudulent to not encourage patients to try fundamental dietary change before interventions — whenever this has a chance of working.

                1. There is just so much underlying belief I feel that diet doesn’t work. Because it usually doesn’t… because they don’t know what to do, or don’t actually do it!

    2. Tobias Brown. Another idea is to have a competition. One group of people who want to follow what is taught in “nutrition” class vs another group who’d like to try WFPB. It could be as simple or complex as they want. Maybe everyone could get some basic starting labs like A1c, fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight. Over the next few months, see which team does a better job improving these values. I have a feeling the competition between teams and the comaraderie within groups can help greatly with motivation and they’ll start shopping/cooking their own healthy meals. You could be available to coach the WFPB’s and the nutritionists can coach the others. Maybe a local sponsor could offer a nice prize for the winners.

    1. Just an observation. The article linked above says:

      “Glucose is the key physiological regulator of insulin secretion; therefore, it appears logical…”

      However. Meat, fish, and eggs, stimulate blood insulin secretion. Because of that, it could be better to use “insulin index” rather than “glycemic load.”

      “The Insulin Index can be more useful than either the Glycemic Index or
      the Glycemic Load because certain foods (e.g., lean meats and proteins)
      cause an insulin response despite there being no carbohydrates present, and some foods cause a disproportionate insulin response relative to their carbohydrate load.

    2. Once there is too much beta-cell death, the diabetes is often defined as type 1 and a half. At this point full reversal may not be possible, or may take longer, however insulin and medications requirements can still be drastically reduced and complication risk minimised. Even type one diabetics can attain better control with plantbased diets.

      More info here-

  8. Dr Greger’s humor is great – moderate blindness, moderate kidney failure, moderate amputations if you only make moderate changes

    1. yes George, it truly is great. I feel blessed to have discovered this website and others that promote a wfpb diet. Thank you Dr Greger!

  9. Sorry to complain, but I’m very disappointed that the bovine thing wasn’t followed up today. I’m going to share it when it becomes a “complete” series. Yes, I’ve jumped and read the summary of the NIH pub. I don’t share NIH stuff because most folks don’t like to get deep technical. I’m trying to make meaningful contact with folks, not scare them off with terms and processes they need not understand.

    1. I did share today’s vid. No one believed the fatty liver/pancreas connection when I posted that, so I hit ’em with how to FIX the problem.

    2. Tip: Pubmed is useful when you want to limit your keyword search to titles and abstracts, but Scholar has a marvelous “cited by” search when you want to see how research progresses over time. Not to ruin the suspense, but not only do we have antibodies to BLV, the nasty little retrovirus integrates its DNA into our breast cells, where its associated with increased risk for breast cancer. This leads me to the unanswered question of whether BLV is still purely a zoonotic infection, or whether human mothers can themselves transmit it on.

      1. The discussions on the news I hear sometimes are rather disheartening. I think it was on the Thom Hartmann show a while back that the conservative on the debate panel was annoyed at kiwi fruit being covered by WIC. Kiwis are rather inexpensive at Target, they are one of the fruits that are relatively clean as far as pesticides go, and they are very high in vitamin C. So why not include them???

          1. I tried to find the discussion in question on youtube, but unfortunately there are no transcripts available for The Big Picture so I was unsuccessful. The opinions the panelist expressed seem to be representative of a lot of what is wrong with some popular views of nutrition and social class (seems to boil down to – “good, healthful food is a luxury and poor kids should be punished for their parents’ lack of means”) so it is unfortunate I can’t find the clip.

            1. Exactly, Neal Barnard had an interview on the rich roll podcast recently discussing food stamps which seems similar. Grains and beans and frozen produce are amongst the cheapest and easiest foods to source. The government could subsidise these foods and feed more people and make them healthy…

  10. I have a friend recently diagnosed with Diabetes. His dietitian is recommending cutting down on refined carbs, which is good, but the dietitian is not in-the-know about reducing fat in the diet, so I am trying to sway my friend that way. If I can’t, he’ll keep on eating Chinese takeout beef & broccoli. As Dr. G. advises with his usual verve in this video, insulin resistance is about lipotoxicity in the muscle cells.

    1. It’s most frustrating, considering even refined carbs (such as fruit juice, sugar and white rice) still lead to diabetes reversal in the Kempner studies.. it’s the FAT (and animal products!) that matters far more

      1. Arguably, its not the low fat content of the Kempner rice diets, but the low-complete protein level, that’s most helpful. The rice diet is deficient in the amino acid lysine, which would induce fasting responses like the insulin sensitizing hormone FGF-21.

    2. Sharon: Dr. Barnard has done clinical, published studies showing that a low fat whole food plant based diet is 3 times more effective at combating T2 diabetes than the typically recommended ADA diet. Dr. Barnard wrote an easy-to-read, fast book about it. The book even has recipes at the back. Maybe if you gave a copy of this book to your friend, that would help? A library might also have a copy. If you are interested, here is the book: Good luck.

      1. Thanks, Thea! My buddy is one of like 3 people in the universe who is not in the internet (no PC/tablet/smartphone, nothing) so mailing him that book and/or Dr. Greger’s book is a good idea. He also mentioned his blood pressure is starting to be a concern. I don’t think he totally believes me when I say his conditions are fixable and actually reversible, but maybe he’ll believe the Dr.s’.

    1. “Everything in moderation, including moderation” (attributed variously to Oscar Wilde, Horace Porter, and Petronius) ;)

  11. I’m Type 2 diabetic (18 yrs duration), female, and have been on WFPB diet for 19 weeks. I started WFPB to avoid being in the “zipper club” coronary bypass surgery. Prior to this diet change, I was “clean eating”, eating very little meat, limiting carbs to 100 gm a day, and checking blood sugar 4 times a day. All meals were cooked at home. I was still eating dairy, eggs, and oils. I was on a big dose of insulin daily, insulin with every meal, and 2 pills. The point is I really worked at it and was still struggling to control this disease. Then the magic happened. I was able to drop insulin altogether and just take pills. I wondered why my previous efforts weren’t successful. Google lipid overload, lab animals, diabetes. When researchers want to make a lab animal diabetic they overload the diet with fat. Bingo, diabetes! My providers stressed limiting carbs only. No doctor, nurse, or dietician ever told me that lipids were just as big a factor. I read Dr. Esselstyn’s book and bought his cookbook and started my new life the next day. Thanks to the internet, I just think of something I want for dinner and google for a vegan version of it. These folks are geniuses. I can make Memphis style bbq ribz with homemade wheat meat and jackfruit ( I rehydrate soy curls, shred them in the food processor, add bbq sauce and we get bbq sandwiches with oven baked fries. These are just 2 of the things that we call “normal food.” Our variety is much greater than when we ate the SAD diet. I hope my story can encourage someone else to take the bull by the horns and improve his/her health. The weight loss was a bonus!

    1. happycamper: Your story is a true inspiration. I like how you wrote about making delicious food. Eating healthy is not about deprivation, but it helps for people to hear that multiple times from multiple people. Thank you for taking the time to share your story!

  12. This is off-topic but does anybody have any views on pulse pastas? I have recently noticed them on the shelves here in Australia but imagine that they have been around for much longer in the US.

    They are marketed as being high in (vegetable) protein but that is not necessarily a good thing. I might eat regular wholemeal pasta with a home-made vegetarian sauce containing legumes etc once or twice a month. so substituting pulse pasta for wholemeal wheat pasta would bump up my protein intake. This may be unimportant or not but I’d be interested to hear people’s opinions

    I’m inclined to think that wholemeal pasta plus a vegetarian bean or garden vegetable sauce would be just as good or better. However I know very little about pulse pasta so comments please.

    1. Tom Goff: I don’t have any scientific views, but I have some thoughts for you. I tried a black bean pasta a few years ago. I had ordered it on-line as there weren’t any in stores. (I do live in the US. I may have seen one in a store since then, but bean pastas are still not common in my area.) I *love* pasta, but only if it has a certain texture. I remember thinking that the bean pasta I tried was, OK, but not great. Not nearly as good as the brown rice pasta that I adore, so I went back to the brown rice pasta. Keep in mind, though that I only tried only brand and that was a relatively long time ago (long time in the commercial food field). So, the pasta may be better in general now or a different brand or different bean base may be better.
      As for the legume pasta having more protein. My response is a ho, hum, so what? I get plenty of protein lots of different ways. When I eat my pasta, I don’t care if one type has marginally more protein than another. As you say, I can eat some actual beans with my pasta, which I tend to do more and more now and then I’m getting real, unprocessed bean. That has to be better health-wise than a bean pasta anyway.
      That’s my 2 cents. I hope other jump in as I’m curious to see what other people’s experience is.

      1. I tried the chickpea based brand they sell at Target. Flavor was good, but texture was disappointing – kind of gummy. We ate it hot; I don’t know if it would have been better cold.

        As for beans and pasta – this week I made some beluga lentils and they were great – had them multiple ways, including mixed in with sphagettini and vegetables.

        1. lemonhead: I love the beluga lentils! I had them just last week in a recipe that called for the red lentils. I like the texture of the beluga better.
          Thanks for sharing your experience with the chickpea pasta. Does not sound like an experiment I want to repeat. ;-) Interesting that you saw it at Target though! That says to me that they are more common here than I realized.

      2. Thanks Thea.

        We have had the rice pasta here for a long time but the taste and texture never did much for me. I also tried the konjac pasta but it is very expensive and largely tasteless.

        Regarding protein, I think pulse pasta is supposed to have 65% more protein than standard wheat pasta. To be honest, I don’t worry about either macronutrient ratios or calorie counting since a varied WFPB diet will normally deliver a pretty good balance. However Darryl in his post above reminds me of the Levine study which suggests higher protein intake post age 65 may be necessary. Since I am now 66 (how did that happen?), perhaps I will look to increase the amount of legumes I eat

        My initial take on this is like yours – adding whole beans to (wholewheat) pasta is probably better than eating pasta made from powdered beans. I could of course also just add beans to the pulse pasta. ……

        Anyway, I might give it a try – I just saw it on the shelves in one of my local (small town) supermarkets but didn’t read the nutrients label or check the price. Hence my request for people’s opinions. If the price is competitive it might be worth considering using it on a regular basis.

    2. I’ve never seen them in person, and we in the US seemed to get everything from konjac noodles to spaghetti squash pretty early on. Pulse pastas seem geared to the gluten-free fad, which seems to be fading here (though perhaps that’s more my hope than reality speaking).

      I’ve mentioned in other comments here that the low protein group in [Levine 2014]( were probably eating a lot of empty calories to get to 8.5% E; that true protein restriction is on varied WFPB diets is unlikely – moderation to the 10%-15% range is more likely; and that Dr. Greger is pulling some values (like the 73-fold risk for diabetes) that aren’t terribly meaningful given the small sample size. I mostly aim for what [McCarty 2009](, suggests, moderation in methionine intake, as methionine restriction has all the benefits of protein restriction in animal longevity studies. In my case I also cast an eye to increasing glycine, as there’s evidence that glycine may clear excess methionine as a sort of restriction mimetic. You can’t beat pulses/legumes/beans when it comes to a food class with a high ratio of glycine to methionine (though some individual foods like almonds are better), and with all the other good things going for pulses, I consider them very “green light” foods, and won’t give myself a case of orthorexia speculating on a perfect longevity diet when I’m confident I’m getting it 90% right.

      1. Thanks Darryl. I enjoyed reading the links.

        My original reaction to the Levine article (when I first read it some years ago now) was that the association between lower protein intake and adverse effects in people aged 65+ could be explained by the relatively financially straitened circumstances and generally poorer diet of older people. Thy are less likely to be able to buy or dine out on prime steak and lobster, for example. Plus the elderly are more likely to have chronic diseases and take prescription drugs than the young. People with chronic diseases and taking common drugs often have poor appetites.

        Certainly, when I was growing up in the UK it was a common belief that many old people lived on a diet of tea and toast. That would be a low protein diet but attributing all the adverse health effects of such a (“vegan” !) diet solely to the low protein content would obviously be mistaken.

        Nevertheless, mouse studies using controlled diets demonstrate that low protein intake in old age is detrimental. We additionally know that protein synthesis from amino acids is less effective in the elderly, So, my initial scepticism about the findings evaporated. It may also be no coincidence that legume consumption is the single best dietary predictor of survival in older people.

        Thanks too for the link to the McCarty article which I’d not seen before. The comment about ample amounts of fruit, beer and wine was definitely eye-catching! I had come across a reference to the methionine restriction findings before in this 2013 University College London lecture, Dr G also did a couple of videos on this topic later in 2013.

        The glycine factor is new to me although.I have seen suggestions that the proline content of food is also an important modifying factor (but can’t find the reference. now).

        1. Thanks Thea but I still don’t see it.

          But it’s no biggie anyway, all I said is that I don’t think that pulse pasta is worth the money although it’s nutritious. If you eat pasta once in a while then just use regular organic pasta and then consume pulse on the side.

          And I don’t think that pulse pasta tastes as good as regular pasta.

    1. Indian meals, at least in the US contain large amounts of saturated fat, often in the form of clarified butter called ghee. Saturated fat is at the root of insulin resistance, which in turn is the root cause of diabetes. The rice is only a problem because all the previous consumption of high fat foods resulted in insulin resistance. So if you aren’t going to address the actual disease, insulin resistance, then you are forced to try to manage the high blood sugar that is only a symptom of the actual disease. And if you are only trying for symptom management, then yes you do have to worry about the rice. Much better is to treat and reverse the actual disease and restore normal insulin functioning through a low fat plant based diet so that you don’t have to worry about the symptoms of the disease.

      1. Excellent summary, Jim.

        It is a pity that headline mainstream advice still appears to ignore the role of saturated fat in insulin resistance

        It instead only identifies overweight and physical activity as the causes. This is hard to fathom when we have known for along time that
        “Insulin sensitivity is also affected by the quality of dietary fat, independently of its effects on body weight. Epidemiological evidence and intervention studies clearly show that in humans saturated fat significantly worsen insulin-resistance, while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids improve it through modifications in the composition of cell membranes which reflect at least in part dietary fat composition. A recent multicenter study (KANWU) has shown that shifting from a diet rich in saturated fatty acids to one rich in monounsaturated fat improves insulin sensitivity in healthy people while a moderate ω-3 fatty acids supplementation does not affect insulin sensitivity. There are also other features of the metabolic syndrome that are influenced by different types of fat, particularly blood pressure and plasma lipid levels. Most studies show that ω-3 fatty acids reduce blood pressure in hypertensive but not in normotensive subjects while shifting from saturated to monounsaturated fat intake reduces diastolic blood pressure. In relation to lipid abnormalities ω-3 fatty acids reduce plasma triglyceride levels but in parallel, increase LDL cholesterol. Substitution of unsaturated fat for saturated fat not only reduces LDL cholesterol but contributes also to reduce plasma triglycerides in insulin resistant individuals.”

        It is even more difficult to understand when the US Government’s own evidence library shows that saturated fatty acid consumption is a key risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes

  13. Apologies for another off-topic post but I have just read an intriguing article from, of all things, an investing/financial website.

    It contains some interesting comments on all those internet claims that apricot kernels can cure cancer, statin drugs are dangerous and Big Pharma conspires to hush up natural cures.

    If you have 5 minutes free, or want an excuse to linger over a cup of coffee, you could do worse than to give it a read:

    1. I don’t believe the apricot kernel hype.

      But I am walking a fine line when it comes to supplement and foods. I understand the “correlation does not prove causality” argument but I have to take certain supplements or eat certain foods based on a number of observations or otherwise our life is too short to wait for real medical proof. Sometimes my “scientific proof” come from reading on the Internet and then apply to myself and see results.

      1. You’re not alone. The key is being aware of our selection bias to seek only positive news and data on the subject or supplement we’re interested in, but ignore negative or adverse ones. We’re looking for the cure, but rarely the toxicology data. This compounds the already existing publication bias that exists in the research literature (and which inspires laudable projects like journals for negative results).

  14. Hi there, this is an unrelated post to the video in question but it seems the best way to contact is through a message below a video. My question: is there any science on whether there is a risk to children raised vegan from birth of developing egg allergies?

  15. Hi there, this is an unrelated post to the video in question but it seems the best way to contact is through a message below a video. My question: is there any science on whether there is a risk to children raised vegan from birth of developing egg allergies?

    1. Not that I am aware.

      Allergies to hen’s eggs, cows milk and peanuts appear relatively common in children (whether raised as omnivores or vegetarians).

      There is some evidence that the early introduction of egg into children’s diets may reduce allergy risk but other studies have found no effect. Note that children with an allergy to eggs are also at more risk of having an allergy to peanuts.

      There is even some evidence that having a vegan mother reduces the risk of egg allergy but this evidence is is not conclusive.

      1. Thanks Tom.

        Thanks so much for the response and linking to the articles. I am tracking another study which is currently being done in the country we live in. However, I am wondering if you could clarify a couple of assertions you make below based on those links:


        Allergies to hen’s eggs, cows milk and peanuts appear relatively common in children (whether raised as omnivores or vegetarians).

        – common in what sense? The articles you linked to overall indicated approximately 0.7 – 2.5% likelihood of developing allergies. Is 2.5% common? And with reference to the jacionline study referenced above, I can’t find a statement to the effect of “whether raised as omnivores or vegetarians”.


        There is even some evidence that having a “vegan” mother reduces the risk of egg allergy but this evidence is is not conclusive.
        – I cannot find a reference in this study to your statement.
        Look forward to your response.

        1. These are good questions. Thanks.

          1. “relatively common” in the sense that
          a) egg, cows milk and peanut allergies appear to be the most common of the reported food allergies eg
          “The foods included in this report were those with the highest number of published reports: cow’s milk, hen’s egg, peanut, fish, shellfish, and any food.”

          b) food allergy is thought to be more common in children than adults (at least here in Australia), eg
          “Food allergy occurs in around 1 in 20 children and in about 2 in 100 adults. The most common triggers are egg, cow’s milk, peanut, tree nuts, seafood, sesame, soy, fish and wheat. The majority of food allergies in children are not severe, and may be ‘outgrown’ with time.”

          As to “whether raised as omnivores or vegans”, none of the data or studies I have seen make any distinction between children raised as omnivores or as “vegans”. I am not aware of any evidence that shows a difference between these two sets of children in this regard. Of course absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, so this point is still debatable I suppose.

          2.”There is even some evidence that having a “vegan” mother reduces the risk of egg allergy but this evidence is is not conclusive.” Yes, this could be considered a stretch – or at least an extrapolation. I base this claim on the following statement:
          “Allergy to hen’s egg usually presents in the second half of the first year of life, with a median age of presentation of 10 months [30]. This reflects the typical age of the first dietary exposure to egg. It has been shown that most reactions occur upon first known exposure to egg, particularly in sensitized children with atopic dermatitis [31, 32]. The development of sensitization in these patients may be due to exposure in utero [33] or via exposure to egg proteins through maternal breast milk [34, 35]. Mouse models suggest that sensitization may also occur via epicutaneous exposure (prior to gut mucosa exposure) and may play a role in the development of atopic dermatitis and asthma [36, 37].”

          In other words, I am basing the claim on the probability that “vegan” mothers would be the least likely to expose their children to hen’s egg proteins either in utero or via breast milk. Nor is it likely that they would do so epicutaneously. You must judge whether you consider this assertion is a reasonable one.

  16. Love it!
    This may sound inappropriate but, “I love you man!”
    Thanks for all you do and keep doing!
    Working at Dr McDougalls Immersion this week and I am proud to say your name and website are discussed with nearly every pt and you are an official information resource (and entertainment) for us and our pts!
    Don’t ever stop!

  17. My question is this: how can a person like me, with Type 2, who has been on insulin for 8 years, and whose pancreas is no longer producing any insulin be expected to “get over diabetes” by diet alone? This is totally contrary to what my endocrinologists tell me, and seems to me seriously misleading.

    1. Doug Pomeroy: re: “…whose pancreas is no longer producing any insulin…” It’s my understanding that that is the definition of Type 1, not type 2. People with Type 1 diabetes have reported being able to reduce their insulin meds by eating a healthy diet, but as you say, they would not be able to completely get off their medications or reverse their disease, because the pancreas has completely stopped working.
      The type 1 situation is in contrast to the typical type 2 diabetes where the pancreas is still working, but the body’s cells are so full of fat, the insulin produced by the pancreas can’t do it’s job. It’s that type of diabetes that is potentially reversible by diet.
      Make sense?

  18. I understand the difference between Type 1 and Type 2, but I have been told that my pancreas is no longer producing any insulin, and that “in effect” I now have Type 1. I will have to investigate this. My endocrinologists have never done a test to find out the answer (I assume there is such a test).

  19. I’m just curious. Was it raw plant based diet or cooked ? For example cooked with olive oil or salad with olive oil and wine. There are a ton of plant based foods that are man-made plant-based & they are not low calorie nor healthy (but olive oil is healthier than butter).

  20. Vegetarians are not whole plant food eaters in general. They eat cheese, drink milk, put cream in their foods and sometimes they even eat fish and chicken. Vegans who eat potato chips and ketchup, are in for a round of other problems. But vegetarians are ingesting animal protein in cheese, cream and cow milk. So, they are in for trouble. It has been found that a diet which includes animal protein of any kind, will tend to form a layer around muscle cells, making it impossible for such cells to suck sugar from blood, thus, generating diabetes type 2 (read the book “Proteinaholic…”, long title…)

    A whole food plant eater will be healthier than the regular urban vegan (potato chips with ketchup) or the urban vegetarian. I have heard that people in India (they calle themselves vegetarian, because they do not eat meat) simply love cheese and creams and they eat LOTS of it.

    Something happens in the human body when animal protein becomes the main “always-present” food component. Something that has to do with the 15 causes of death. I have seen dogs getting better and living several extra years (considering what the vets diagnosed) after their food was changed from animal protein based to plant food in general. Nature simply shows what has worked, but is far from perfect. Animal protein is a killing element, but unlike cyanide, it kills you slowly, whereas cyanide does it immediately; so, it is a long term poison, but a poison at that.

  21. Hi there, I posted this 2 days ago and got a response from a very knowledgeable and generous commenter, but I’m really keen to get some feedback or input from Dr.Greger or an NF moderator: is there any conclusive science on whether there is a risk to children raised vegan from birth of developing egg allergies? And should this be a concern to new parents who are vegan and raising vegan infants?

    1. Hi Peet,
      I’m not aware of any science related to development of egg allergies in children raised vegan. Whenever I get a question about raising children as vegans I always refer people to the best authority I know of and that is Brenda Davis RD. In her book “Becoming Vegan” she has a whole chapter on nutritional needs of vegan children from in utero through adolescence. Dr Gregor recommends this resource often. Here’s a link to the book if you are interested.
      I know you were looking more for scientific research but unfortunately I don’t know of any to point you to. Hope this info is helpful.

  22. I am glad that i found this website,NutritionFacts.I like reading all the comments here and especially on diabetes.
    There is a lot to learn as of different comments about what to eat as of food.

    1. Paul Wood: Welcome to! Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, I wanted to point out that NutritionFacts has “Health Topic” pages, which you can access via a link at the top of the page. One of the topic pages is on diabetes: That page will give you an overview of the information on this site relating to diabetes and includes links to the specific videos to learn more. Have fun. :-)

  23. I’ve tried consulting with several doctors, diabetes is one of the causes of death in Indonesia. My mother was diabetic but I know from several sources that organic coconut sugar is safe for diabetics. like my mother now Alhamdulilah healthy.

    1. Tahini is very high in fat because it is like any other nut or seed butter. That said it is probably a good source of some fat in your diet depending upon how much you use and the state of your health

  24. Help! I have been on a plant based diet for 3 weeks and my blood sugar seem to be going up! I have been avoiding oils as well. I am very discouraged.

    1. Rabeth: That would be frustrating.
      Here’s my 2 cents. The devil is always in the details. Have you read Dr. Barnard’s book for reversing diabetes? Are you eating a diet that closely mirrors the diet/recipes/examples in the book? That diet is clinically proven to be 3 times more effective at reversing diabetes than the ADA diet. But the trick is to actually be on that diet. To learn more:
      Good luck to you.

    2. Hi, Rabeth Meikle. I am Christine, a NF volunteer. Without knowing more about your diet, it is difficult to comment on your situation. As Joanne mentions below, it is a good idea to eat plenty of legumes, such as beans and lentils. Can you tell me a bit more about what you are eating?

      1. I have been eating beans day but just once. I have oatmeal with berries for breakfast which I eat about 1pm after a fairly long fast, usually since 7 pm the previous night. Habit I have had for years, just not hungry earlier. Then dinner of beans and a salad between 5 and 7 pm. In addition I have an apple and a citrus fruit at some point. I cant seem to come anywhere near the number of servings in the daily 12. Too much volume. I am 72 and my husband is 77.

        1. You’re right, that is a lot of food. Try reducing portion sizes, so that you can get all of the 12 foods in smaller amounts. Also, try adding some nuts and/or seeds to your oatmeal in the morning, if you are not already doing that. I hope that helps!

          1. I do add nuts and seeds) Ground flax) to my oatmeal. I will try smaller portions. In general We both feel better, especially my husband with spinal arthritis since we added sesame seeds. But my blood sugar has not improved. Thank you for your support.

                1. If you have a store near you that sells bulk herbs, you may be able to buy it there. There are also sources online. I have found Mountain Rose Herbs to be a reputable source. I hope that helps!

    3. Hello Rabeth, I saw your post asking the same Q from a few days earlier than this one and giving more details about your diet and situation. It is not possible to assess and diagnose your specific situation in this context, so you might find it helpful to consult with a plant-based dietitian or doctor in your area if you are able to. There are several websites to help you locate these specialists. Here is one:

      But I can tell you this, many things will affect your blood sugar. So, first of all, please do not get discouraged so fast.

      You may still experience higher glycemic responses to certain plant foods even when you ditch the meat and dairy and oil, especially in the beginning. And different people have different responses and some may respond more quickly or more slowly. You are only 3 weeks into it and your body is going through big adjustments. Basically your cells are adapting to the new (healthier) environment you are putting them in. You didn’t mention what you ate before, but your status before could also affect how quickly you see adaptations–and how quickly that reflects in your biomarkers such as your blood glucose numbers.

      You did not mention if you are on insulin or another diabetes drug (or other non-diabetes-related meds), or if you had adjusted your dose or gone off of it. But all of these factors might play a role as well.

      That is great that you are following a whole food plant-based diet, but there are obviously various permutations of foods that you might be eating. And it might be that you need to cut down a little bit (not entirely) on some foods that might affect your blood glucose (such as rice and/or bread and/or pasta and/or other grains) initially. Keep in mind that if you are on a diabetes med, especially insulin, you need to monitor your blood glucose and adjust your dose accordingly so that a strong med dose does not send you into a hypoglycemic episode. Make sure you are not only checking your BG at shot or med times, but doing ‘curves’ throughout the day, especially if you see your numbers dropping. – nutrition professor and volunteer moderator, ‪ Martica Heaner, PhD‬‬‬‬

      1. My numbers are finally coming down. I am on metformin and Prandin for my diabetes and a lot of other meds as well. Hoping to get rid of many of them.esp Lipitor. My lipid profile is excellent, don’t know why I am on it. So true about watching for lows – I was shopping for 2 hours a couple of days ago and had to stop at a restaurant for a quick vegan sandwich! Obviously I need to increase my exercise, I respond quickly to it. It is hard as I have asthma and COPD but I will do more. No luck on finding a plant based doctor, NP or nutrition specialist around here. Thank you for your support. I have not been able to figure out what foods may have been the culprits, I have been going easy on rice and bread. Now I seem to heading in the right direction. Christmas will be a challenge!

  25. Multiple ways for an auto-immune illness such as diabetes to acquire. One can eat to much fuel eventually using up the beta cells. The last time I read up on the subject Beta Cells were believed to be post miotic meaning they do not replicate. Once they are used do many times just like other cells they stop working correctly and or die. One can have their Beta Cells damaged by drinking milk. As stated in the Pediatric Journal of Medicine, when one’s body makes enzymes to break down the cow’s milk sugars, these same enzymes attack the pancreas including the Beta Cells. Eating a high acidic diet also causes the body to not use the body’s fat storage as fuel part of the problem being called Metabolic Syndrome. There are so many man made toxins in out food, air and water supply I am surprised so many more people aren’t dying from cancer before diabetes. If one’s body is operating reasonably well and your Alpha Cells are keeping your blood sugar levels at correct levels, I would try not eating one day a week to limit chances of diabetes…

  26. My blood sugar has raised since adopting a HCLF diet a few days ago. It’s now higher than it was on a “standard american diet”. Any advice? Explanations?

    1. Hi Maya, I’m one of the site moderators. The amount of glucose in your blood is due to the amount of carbohydrate you take in and the type you take in as well as how well you metabolize it. As long as your pancreas is making insulin you should be making enough to handle the glucose load. If you are insulin resistant – a sign of type two diabetes at some point – your glucose level will go higher until you make enough insulin to manage the glucose. Losing weight will often make your cells more insulin sensitive so you’ll not get such high readings. The other option is to make sure the carbohydrates you are eating are on the complex side. Whole grains vs. refined. Green vegetables more than fruit. The more fiber your carbs have the slower they are metabolized and enter the bloodstream. Lot’s of people limit their fruit intake to just in the morning with some high fiber bread or cereal and some nut butter or avocado for some fat to slow down the digestion of the fruit which is much higher in glucose.

      The other aspect of this is you have just made this change so your body is adjusting. Add some more fiber, continue to check and see how it goes.

  27. Did anyone notice the article cited on those over 65 Not doing as well on moderate protein vis a vis cancer but having better outcomes with high protein? Can Dr. Greger or staff comment? Has this been repeated? Should our protocol for 70+ patients be different?

  28. Hello, my boyfriend’s mother has diabetes. She went on a plant based diet for a year and says her number got worse not better. I find that very confusing and was wondering why. I think she was eating more of a vegitarian diet than a vegan one, but I dont see her very often so I say for sure. I have read how not to die but i loved it so much I lend it out all the time so I dknt have it to reference right now. I think more than anything she needs help meal planning cause her current plant based nutritionist told her to eat peas and nuts for lunch and she doesn’t think that is sustainable. any advice would be great, thanks!

  29. It could be that she wasn’t eating good food even if she was eating vegetarian. Simple carbs and starches such as white bread, white rice, and white potatoes can raise blood sugar, and consuming fruit juice instead of whole fruit will spike your blood sugar the same way soda does. It is important to eat a whole foods and not processed foods even if they are vegetarian. Being diabetic, it is also important to always count carbs and make sure your insulin to carb ratio is appropriate otherwise no matter what you eat your numbers will be off. I hope you find this information useful and I hope her situation improves!

  30. I developed Type 2 diabetes (soda, junk food induced) with every symptom including red blotches up both legs and big toe nail turning black.I saw Dr. Greger’s video here and immediately went on a totally plant-based diet with no sugar, diary and of course meat. Exactly 13 days later my blood glucose rating went to 95 (normal zone) and my legs are back to normal, no blurry vision every symptom gone . I learned mt lesson … healthy eating only now.

  31. Hello, I have been researching every diet to find a way to remove myself from diabetic medication and essentially reverse my type 2 diabetes. I have read How Not To Die, watched just about all videos that have to do with diabetes. I am now in my 4th week of whole foods plant based diet. At home I have eliminated oils completely and we cook everything from raw and fresh and mostly organic. I am eating load of beans as mentioned in the videos and veggies and whole grains. I am quite enjoying this diet and I could forever give up dairy and meats if this is successful in reversing my type 2 diabetes.

    Here is my challenge – I am an immediate gratification person. I am getting discouraged because I am not seeing as much response as I want to see in this short period.

    Let me list where I am and perhaps there will be some advice given:

    1000mg Metformin daily
    80mg Diovan daily
    10mg Ramipril daily
    Other than the above, I take B12 Cyanocobalamin 250mcg, and 45mg of Omega-3 from Microalgae, Vitamin D, and a Multivitamin

    My last A1C was 7.2 and this was before starting the WFPB diet.

    Here is what I am noticing now and I need potential reassurance of what I am proposing.

    In week 2 of WFPB diet, I was seeing my blood glucose at 9 something after one hour of eating and then below 7 after 2 hours
    I was starting to see my morning blood reading under 8 and often in the low 7 range
    I was seeing 3 to 4 hours after meals that I was easily in the mid 5 range in blood glucose

    Now I go and eat out at a restaurant – vegetarian Indian Dosa – or and Italian pasta with red sauce – but I know all of these have added oil. After eating out dinner at one of these restaurants, my morning blood reading is high 9 or over 10 or even 11.

    My question to anyone that is reading this post, is do you think my high blood reading is because I ate added oil?

    I want so badly to reverse my diabetes and I go for a few days and all is well and I can see modest improvement in blood glucose, and then BAM, I get hit with a high blood reading. Is this because I am not adding oil at home and following strictly and then I eat out and don’t have control of the ingredients?

    Is my body and system that sensitive to added oil?

    I am trying so hard to understand this whole thing and I can and will commit to any diet and never eat out again….if I have to.

    Please your words of wisdom are so welcomed!

    Thank you.

  32. Hi, this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, PhD, PScD and Naturopath in Atlanta GA and Nutritionfacts moderator. Here are some thoughts. The WPBD is proven to work and will work if used correctly. I would suspect that the culprit for your rise in blood sugar is the processed flour in the pizza dough and also used as thickener in the Indian dishes. Raw, fresh and mostly organic cooking is awesome and you may want use more whole grains; one other thought: you have eliminated oils, ok that is processed food, but are you taking in enough healthy fats? From avocado, olives, nuts and seeds? How about a daily intake of flax seed, freshly ground, one to two table spoons, as a plant based resource of omega fatty acids, which are essential to the body. 45 mg Omega 3 may not be enough. The two tablespoons of flax seed will provide about 1.5 grams of ALA/DHA (ALA is precursor to EPA)
    As with everything in life, have patience, you are doing great and I have every confidence in the plant based diet.
    I hope this helps, best regards, Daniela

    1. Dr. Daniela,

      Thank you for your reply.

      I just want to make sure that I am doing everything right. I am reading and studying and trying…

      I do believe that I am getting enough healthy fats. Each day I am taking Omega-3 450mg EPA/DHA from Microalgae, about 2tbsp of ground organic flax, about 1/2 cup of mixed nuts, and most days I am eating avacado.

      I am just approaching 4 weeks and thought that I would see more improvement in my morning blood sugar.

      How long should I anticipate being on this diet before I see more solid results? I read some people at 14-20 days see complete reversal of their diabetes and I don’t know what to benchmark against when I am still struggling at 4 weeks. I am doing everything by the book in my mind.

      Thank you.

      1. Hi Kengra and apologies for not replying sooner. This is Dr. Sozanski, Moderator for Nutritionfacts.
        I think you are doing an awesome job. I respect and commend you for being one of the very few who would decide to take control of their health.
        I also know it could be frustrating to not see results fast enough. What I always suggest when things seem to move slower than expected is to go back to the basics. Below is a screenshot from one of Dr. Greger’s videos , so let’s review the recommendations one more time and see if there is compliance with your own diet:

        A few more thoughts: Step 7 is very important as flour, sugar and oils are after all processed foods, though vegan, so again, big attention on eating out.
        You may also consider adding targeted plant food, shown to decrease resistance to insulin and increase pancreatic function, such as: alma or the Indian gooseberry, it is a powder, found widely on internet at about $10/lb. Half to one table spoon a day in combination with ground flax seed, oat bran and unsweetened almond/soy milk would be very beneficial. Also, coffee, flax seeds, green tea, purple potatoes in the right proportion, broccoli sprouts, peanuts, beans and vinegar. Apple cider vinegar was shown to have excellent health properties. Also, you may want to take care of your bioflora and replenish it with good multiple strands bacteria, while eating the right diet to feed them.
        And have patience, it may take more than two weeks to see results, but you are doing great things for yourself already.

        1. Dr. Sozanski

          Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your assistance as I navigate the diet landscape.

          I have some questions about what falls under the “processed” list as this can be a bit confusing.

          Here is what I KNOW falls under the processed list:

          * commercially produced pasta * Most all commercially produced breads * Any boxed or canned foods with chemicals and sugars

          What about the following products?

          * Commercially produced breads that are either 100% whole grain rye or spelt?
          * Zeroodle products that are made from black bean, mung bean, or soy and water? * What if I make spelt bread at home from Bob’s Red Mill 100% whole grain flour?
          * Is there any bread product that I can buy or make at home that qualifies?

          I know that I should avoid refined sugar at all cost. Can I eat the following in small quantities or should these also be avoided?

          * Date sugar?
          * Maple Syrup – 100% real and pure?
          * Sweetleaf Stevia powder extract?

          The rest is fairly clear and I understand completely – it is just the word processed that causes concern and questions.

          Thank you so much!

          1. Kendra: fair questions and I am glad that you are preoccupied by these issues, as you should be.
            Let’s think about what are we trying to achieve here: lower blood sugar levels after meals, shorter spikes, better A1C, and I do not know if that is your case, but possibly some weight loss. In addition, the goal also is to protect your organism from damage from the high sugar spikes, such as damage to the blood vessels or kidneys.
            This is why, whenever in doubt about a certain food, think: will it help my goal or not? With that in mind, let’s go over your questions.
            Processed food are truly foods that have been altered from their natural state: for instance ground flour, even 100% whole grain, is processed because it was ground. Is that fact important to your goal? Yes, because, once the grain is broken in thousands of pieces by grinding, your digestive enzymes get to reach it thousands of times faster, therefore the flour carbohydrate is broken down into sugars and released in the blood much faster, so you can experience the sugar spike.
            Is it better than the white flour? Yes it is, because it still contains the bran i.e. the fiber, that was found to delay enzymatic action and the sugar spike would be blunter. Is it better than eating cracked wheat or whole wheat kernel, which would be the true “whole food”? No, it is not. The whole food will always prevail.
            About the 100% whole grain breads and even the Zeroodle products (they don’t seem to contain additives, I saw just black bean and water as ingredients in pasta, not bad), got to ask yourself what does that do to your blood sugar when you eat them? You see a spike, you have your answer. Same with making bread at home, though preferable to buying.
            Dr. Greger talks about diabetes and how plant foods were shown to blunt and shorten duration of sugar spikes, please go and check that out his videos: One example would be to add abundant helpings of vegetables, I prefer them raw, (avoid starchy ones) to a slice of 100% whole wheat bread, lets say. The fiber in the vegetables should be protective. Again, you can test the results.
            Now about sugars: honey, maple syrup, date sugar: they all contain fructose and glucose. May be different than the sucrose found in white sugar, but they are still sugars and the body treats them just the same. I recommend that you avoid them.
            Now Stevia is a sweetener that contains no sugars, and may not influence your blood sugar levels, but you can test it to make sure you react properly to it. However it does have its catch. Please watch and judge for your self.
            In conclusion, when in doubt about a food, ask yourself: consuming it will bring you closer to your goals?
            I hope this helps, Daniela PS: on my fb page newhealthahead, you will see an example of a nice plate of raw vegetables of many kinds and colors: I eat that every day with pureed beans and garlic, humus and olives or nuts tapenade. They are delicious. All the best to you. Daniela

            1. Thank you! This is making more sense to me now – especially re processed foods. I am more content now to just follow the recommendations and wait for the results to show… I feel that it will take time for my body to heal from years of eating the wrong things… ALSO, I now feel that I was the unfortunate victim of the Ketone Diet thinking that high fat and low carb was going to cure my diabetes and now I understand why it was only a bandaid and not a diet that could ever reverse or eliminate the disease. Thank you!

  33. I am a T2 diabetic and have been WFPB for 5 months now. We are following very closely – all plant based, no processed foods, no oils. Although my sugars are better, and I have been able reduce and eliminate most of my meds, my morning sugars are still higher than I want them to be. My morning sugar reading is usually between 7.7 and 9.2 and this reading will continue until after lunch sometimes before it starts to come down. Mid afternoon to evening my sugars come down to the 5’s and 6’s but morning is always high. Some call this the Dawn Phenomenon and this has always been an issue for me. How can I overcome this high morning reading?

  34. Ken,
    You might want to evaluate your sleeping methods and absolutely check for apnea. You can use a simple sleep app to get a starting baseline.

    I have seen the dawn phenom in my patients, but find that there is usually a reason. You might want to very carefully look at your last meal. It may take some tweaking such as adding some additional oils or changing the protein to sugar to fat ratios. Yes a bit of an experiment but worth the efforts. Also bedtime activities…when and for how long…and don’t forget to check the temperature and air quality of the bedroom. This is a starting point not all encompassing.

    Nice work on the diet changes and glad to see the positive changes. Good luck and find the cause it’s there…..

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger

  35. My wife doesn’t want to die, but she feels helpless. A type 2 diabetic for more than two decades, now facing insulin injections, she’s depressed and angry. We can’t afford the new ER drugs, like Bydureon, that seem to work. Her pancreas is most likely damaged, possibly her kidneys and liver. Now her fasting, overnight blood sugar is often 250 or more. She’s tested at times over 400 and once recently over 500. We know her body is releasing stored sugar, even though she is eating almost no carbohydrates, no refined or processed sugar, no fruit, and no junk. She hates meat and a protein-heavy diet is leaving her lethargic. At age 55 she may die long before I do. And I’ve survived two heart attacks and died from the second one back in 2001. We don’t know what to do. And she’s about to give up. We need help, real solutions. Thanks.

  36. I’m very sorry to hear about your wife’s (and your) poor health. Not sure you realize this, but you said you survived and died from your second heart attack.

    She needs to be under the care of a physician as I’m sure you’re aware she could get very sick if her blood glucose level drops too low in the course of trying attain optimal health. Finding a doctor that is familiar with WFPB treatment of T2D is critical. Along those lines, I suggest you watch this video. I think you’ll be inspired:

    Dr. Ben

    1. Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I didn’t convey our problems clearly. In 2001 I flatlined and died as the result of a second heart attack. I have some ongoing issues, but in general my health as compared with many my age, 66, is very good and improving.

      My wife’s health has improved since she went in a CPAP a few months ago, Rest allows her body to rejuvenate. Also, her thyroid is improving; she has more energy. She walks as much as seven miles some days.

      Her problem is two-fold. First, her pancreas, kidneys, and liver, have all been damaged by a drug that does not work for 80% of patients, yet are still widely prescribed. She was on that for years and is off now. Second, her body is consequently releasing sugar, despite her not eating carbohydrates, much less sugar in any form.

      We cannot afford Bydureon and other newer injection alternatives to insulin. We know insulin injections will make matters worse over time; that is not the answer. She’s seeing a new doctor, a D.O., who seems to understand T2D better and changed her meds. But I believe the answers lie in a WFPB diet.

      However, when I tried to shift to that late this past summer the changes may have been too fast and too drastic. I experienced digestive problems. Does Dr. Greger’s book How Not to Die and his new cookbook offer information and plans to implement a healthy HFPB lifestyle? My wife and I have reduced but not eliminated dairy and animal protein. Again, I appreciate pep talks, but we need solutions and strategies. Thanks for listening.

      1. You need a lot of information. It would be best to: be ready to adjust medications under instruction from her doc, stop eating animal products completely, read Dr. G’s book, watch the video I linked from start to finish, then ask specific questions about problems you’re having. Many of us on this site can guide you to fix your “digestive problems”, whatever they may be. What you’ll need to do is list the foods you’ve been eating and what type of problems you’re experiencing. Then we can coach you. Rest assured that most everyone has gone through this too when making the change.

        Dr. Ben


      2. J Adams, Along with the excellent advice on this website, I also recommend reading Dr. Neal Barnard’s book. Dr. Barnard is the founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine or PCRM and a widely recognized researcher in diabetes. His book will help with the slightly tricky path of using a whole food plant based diet to reverse diabetes. A WFPB diet is definitely the way to cure diabetes to the greatest extent possible by actually targeting the real disease, insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is caused by long chain saturated fats that interfere with insulin signaling inside the muscle and liver cells. Getting rid of the saturated fat lets the body clear the saturated fat out of the cells and will restore insulin sensitivity so insulin starts working correctly again. But if you aren’t eating fat (and can’t replace that with protein since too much protein has its own problems), then the only available source of calories is carbohydrates. The tricky bit is that a diabetic starts out insulin resistant and so the higher carbohydrate intake can spike blood sugar. Dr. Barnard’s book helps with low-fat/no-fat plant foods that also have the lowest glycemic index to spread the absorption of the carbohydrates out over the longest possible time as a way of controlling blood sugar levels during the time the body is cleaning the fat out of the cells.

        You mentioned that you are still consuming dairy and animal protein. I highly recommend that you at least consider eliminating them entirely during the healing period so your wife’s body doesn’t have to cope with the impacts of those foods while trying to heal itself. Think of it as something like physical therapy while healing from an injury. It involves some things that are different (physical therapy visits and a set of uncomfortable exercises), but that doesn’t last forever. Eventually you are healed, though sometimes you might have to keep up some of the exercises forever if you don’t see the condition come back. So it might be possible that after a few months that her system might have healed sufficiently that it can then deal with small amounts of these foods without sliding back into diabetes again.

        But it is also possible that the years of stress on her pancreas not to mention the drug you said caused some damage might have done sufficient damage that it can’t produce enough insulin on its own to overcome even small amounts of insulin resistance caused by small amounts of meat, eggs or dairy and that for her only a 100% WFPB diet will allow her to control her blood sugar without medication. And it might sadly be the case that while still able to produce some insulin her pancreas is so damaged that it might not be to produce enough on its own and will need some outside help. Still that is nearly infinitely better than high insulin resistance with large amounts of external insulin injected to overcome it. Once normal insulin sensitivity is restored control over blood sugar will be much better. Even type 1 diabetics who make zero insulin have much better A1C levels and lower complication rates. If she can still make some insulin, then that insulin will be able to do a lot more to blunt the blood sugar peaks and will definitely reduce the amount of injected insulin she would require.

        So I encourage you to really give 100% WFPB as recommended by Dr. Barnard and think of it as you would any other treatment or therapy as something that has to be a little more rigorous than normal as it moves you and her back towards wealth.

        1. Jim,

          Thanks so much for the advice and encouragement. We realize that every person is different. There’s no magic, no one solution that works the same for everyone. But, WFPB is the goal. Eliminating dairy and meat will be a huge success, but that will take time. I did it way too fast. The dramatic change in diet caused major digestive issue. But, weaning myself off is working. And Rosemary eats less of both than I do. We both have more energy and recover faster from exercise. Today we hiked five miles. But, he blood sugar was still over 200 afterward and after lunch. Such healing may not happen as fast as we’d like, but change is occurring. Thanks again.

  37. HELP! I have been following a Whole food plant based lifestyle for four weeks now. I follow the recomendations religiously. No oils of any kind and no sugar. I have been a diabetic for 25 years. I also have high blood pressure and I am bipolar. My diabetes numbers have not come down like other people have described. Slight decreases only. My blood pressure has come down nicely. I take only half the lisiniprol I used to and I have lost 13 lbs. I have also been able to decrease my Effexor by 75 mg. This is very satisfying to me but I still have not made good progress on my diabetes. Why?

    1. You need water fasting 40 days with medical supervision. Once all the fat are burn and digested, your body will begin to function normal.

      ian su

      1. Hola,

        Acabo de firmar la petición de “Petition for Don Kleine to immediately resign as Douglas County Attorney” y me encantaría que me ayudaras sumando tu firma.

        Nuestro objetivo es llegar a 15,000 firmas y necesitamos más apoyo. Para obtener más información y firmar la petición puedes abrir el siguiente link:


  38. I am diabetic if I don’t control what I eat. I am not on medication. I walk minimum 30 min every day. I went on a low carb diet 7 years ago and my meat intake is 2X per week, 6-8 oz per wk. Fish 2X per week. The beef is organic, free range beef from the farm up the street. The chicken is organic. My eggs are from the farm in my area as well, and they are free range. I was told this type of meat is like a totally different animal than factory raised cattle and chickens. The bulk of my diet is vegetables. Lots of leafy greens. Basically I eat very little wheat, potatoes, sugar. I try not to let my blood sugar go above 7.8mmol when I eat a meal. It always seems to go back to around 5.6 or a bit lower 2 hrs after I eat. I do eat lots of olive oil and organic butter because I was told that your body will use carbs for fuel and if you don’t eat enough carbs it will use the fat. Now I need a certain amount of good healthy fats in my diet for my body to use as fuel. I don’t eat much beans because they make my blood sugar rise too high. I am a little confused now that you say not to eat fat.

    1. Susan,

      please don’t – don’t eat animal products if you’re diabetics and especially not a low carb diet! To learn more, take look at more info:

      Especially these:

      You can eat nuts and seeds as a source of fat.

      Health Support Adam P.

    2. Transitioning to whole carbs – corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa, oats, barley etc. and vegetables with fruits also helps the body overcome insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when cells are full of fat. By eating a whole foods (including whole carbohydrates) diet that is low in fat and being physically active it helps clear the cells of excess fat so glucose can get out of the blood and into the cells to be used for needed energy. During the transition phase, blood sugars may temporarily rise because the cells are full of fat and glucose cannot get into the cells.
      Take two weeks (time varies by individual) or longer to transition to a whole food diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, whole-starchy vegetables) and see blood sugars improve.

  39. Hi Dr. Greger!

    Just wanted to thank you. I found your article here about five months ago. It was the very research I had been looking for over a couple of years. Since watching my saturated fat intake, I’ve lost 40lbs. But for me it wasn’t about losing weight, it was about trying to feel better and not sluggish and in a cloud all the time. I feel like a functioning human again. Actually the weight loss was a complete shock. Went from a 42″ in the waist to 36″ and shrinking. So, thank you

  40. Yea I am so confused, I’m a cyclist and I’m 30 years old . I’m 5’5 weight 135 and my A1c is 5.1 but my fasting sugar is 111. I’ve been eating plant based for 3 years . I eat rice beans corn squash and other things. Can someone please tell me why my fasting sugar is above normal. I’m only 10 points from the prediabetic range what hell is going on

    1. hello, Jesse

      Maybe the problem is that you are not eating enough non-starchy vegetables, good fats and protein sources. This means that you are overeating beans and rice. I can’t tell you exactly what’s wrong or how much you should eat because I don’t know much about your eating patterns and quantities. I suggest you to visit a nutritionist to change your diet.

      Yared, Health Support Volunteer.

  41. Is it possible to “turn on” and “turn off” diabetes with diet? If the patients return to their previous diet, how many days before they need to be back on insulin?

    1. My understanding is that it is possible to turn insulin resistance, the root cause of diabetes on and off. Whether diabetes can or not is dependent on other factors, with the primary being how much insulin their pancreas is able to produce. The high dietary fat levels that cause insulin resistance is also toxic to the insulin producing beta cells. In fact it is the loss of insulin production capacity with the death of those cells combined with a high insulin resistance that cause a loss of the ability to regulate blood sugar.

      So if a person can still produce enough insulin to correctly regulate blood sugar when insulin resistance is normal, then I think diabetes can also be reversed. But even if this is the case, diabetes only surfaces after substantial damage to the pancreas has already happened. As a result an “ex-diabetic” is at much greater risk of a return of diabetes should their diet relapse to the one that caused their insulin resistance in the first place. And that return can be very rapid since insulin resistance can change up and down in just weeks. So a bad day or isn’t probably a problem, but a bad month or two probably would be.

      This also highlights how important that high insulin resistance be caught and reversed before the pancreas is so damaged that even with normal insulin resistance there isn’t endogenous insulin produced to fully regulate blood sugar and exogenous insulin will be required long term.

      But even if the diabetes can’t be fully reversed, eliminating the insulin resistance and keeping it low is still vitally important. This will greatly reduce the amount of insulin that needs to be injected, and it make the insulin that can still be produced much more effective. This should greatly improve blood sugar control and so greatly reduce the super high blood sugar spikes that cause a lot of the damage to eyes, nerves, and blood vessels that is the source of all the horrible complications associated with diabetes.

      In fact the two guys running the Mastering diabetes website have type I diabetes and so make none of their own insulin. They eat a diet of whole plant foods very low in total fat that keeps their insulin resistance as low as possible. Both are able to keep their A1c level at or below the level at which type II diabetes is diagnosed.

  42. I have read How Not to Die and listened to most of the videos on diabetes management through a plant-based diet. It would be interesting to know if a plant-based diet alone can regulate blood glucose levels in individuals with various types of MODY, specifically those with MODY type 1 and type 3. I am currently working with my endocrinologist and despite following the diet recommended by Dr. Gregor, my fasting and 2-hour blood sugar readings are consistently higher than target. My endocrinologist advised that I will likely need to take a sulfonylurea to help regular my glucose levels, since certain types of MODY do not respond to dietary changes and exercise as much as type 2 diabetes would respond. Are there any studies that show that a plant-based diet alone can be used to control A1C and blood glucose levels in individuals with MODY 1 and/or MODY 3? I’d like to avoid medication, but it seems like that may be the only option for someone with my genetic background.

    1. Hi I’m a RN health support volunteer. Thanks for your great question. MODY is rare so I’m not sure if it has ever been studied to see the effects of a plant based diet on it. We know a healthy plant based diet can greatly improve blood sugar control in type 1 and 2 diabetes but not necessarily eliminate the need for medications. It certainly does not eliminate the need for insulin in a type 1 diabetic. Even with type 2 diabetes, if blood sugars are not adequately controlled with diet alone, medication is still indicated. You are obviously dealing with a genetic factor.
      I think a whole food plant based diet is an excellent option for you to improve blood sugar control and prevent heart disease and other health issues. That would be a great wasted opportunity if all you did is take medication and not make dietary changes. If you are doing everything you can with diet and blood sugars are not within goal, I would follow your doctor’s recommendations with medication. You don’t want to risk the consequences of high blood sugars over time.
      You may like some of Dr. Greger’s other videos on diabetes:
      Another resource you might like is Dr. Barnard with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. He has done a lot of research on plant based diets and diabetes.
      All the best.

  43. I loved the approach you used to defeat this life sucking disease out of your life. I wish if there would be some concrete regimen for all to follow which can guarantee 100% results. Being into nutrition myself, I understand there are variables limited to every patient but still your video gives a lot of hope.

  44. Hi. Would you make a video about the dawn phenomenon? A lot of folks talking about the benefits of the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting for dawn phenomenon. But I am very skeptical about that.

  45. I have seen the problem of diabetes in our family. My father had it and one of my uncle passed away due to this . My uncle health condition was worsed , he didn’t maintain a good healthy diet. We did control our father diabetes with restricted foods. Yes food play a important part in controlling diabetes. And we got that prove in our family.

    1. Hello Sandy,

      While Type 1 cannot be reversed, a plant-based diet can certainly help. Insulin resistance is a factor in all types of diabetes, so by minimizing insulin resistance we can hopefully decrease insulin needs, even in people with type 1 diabetes. A fantastic program is called, where the founders have type 1 diabetes and coach their clients on improving their diabetes management or reversing type 2 diabetes. I would highly suggest checking out their program.

      I hope this helps,
      Dr. Matt, Health Support

  46. Hi I am a type 1 diabetic and I have struggled in the past trying to go strictly WFPB. I did not struggle because this lifestyle did not work. It actually worked so well that I had a hard time figuring out how much insulin to take because I was getting several lows through out the day. I ran across a program called Mastering Diabetes which offers guidance with that but it is way out of my set budget. I am wondering if anyone could tell me I can find any info on this site? I live in a rural area and am limited on finding diabetic Dr. who agree with this lifestyle. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  47. You did not mention the actual website or specific program you wanted to consult for management of your diabetes and although I tried to find a program when I googled type 1 diabetes and whole food plant based diet I found several resources. The good news many of them such as this one give encouraging information and support
    The Incredible Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet for People with Type 1 Diabetes It may not provide the specific meal planning you are searching for, but Forks OverKnives does provide meal plans so you could explore just how much specific management advice you’d receive–and at a reasonable price. You could also check on working with a knowledgeable dietitian who understands the value of WFPB nutrition for diabetics Best of health as you proactively look at how you can manage that diabetes in the healthiest way possible.

  48. I found this website after researching a question I had about my own diabetes. Taking Metformin, Glipizide, and Alogliptin I normally come in at 150 to 200 a day for blood sugar. Unfortunately for me, after 62 years of eating a SAD diet, open heart surgery with 5 bypasses last month. Not wanting to ever go through this again, I started researching plant-based diets. So after 12 days of a plant-based, I noticed over a week ago that my blood sugars were mostly under 100, and a couple of times up to 110. Sometimes it got as low as 59. I had to stop taking one of the diabetic meds, Glipizide because I noticed that was the most dramatic of the three. So for me, in only really took a few days of not eating meat for my sugars to drop. After 10 years of being called a diabetic, it makes me wonder if I have diabetes at all. I’m just bewildered how simply not eating meat can have such a dramatic effect on my sugar levels. Amazing.

  49. So I have been on the plant based diet for 3 weeks now. My main concern at this point is that I am pre-diabetic. My morning blood sugars had been around 100 – 104. Since I have been on the plant based diet however they have shot up to 110 – 115. I’m wondering if there is an adjustment period or something I’m doing wrong. I’m hitting most of the daily dozen each day. Should I limit my fruit?

  50. Is the super-healthy plant-based diet used in the study for reversing diabetes spelled out anywhere so that it can be followed?

  51. Hi Cady, thanks for your question. Having meals that have Protein, fat, and fiber in them is helpful. Protein, fat, and fiber help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates. This will help reduce spikes in blood sugar after meals. Also exercise when one regularly exercise, the cells in our body become more sensitive to insulin. This will help keep blood sugar levels within normal ranges. I also refer you to this video for further information. I hope this is helpful to you.

    1. Thanks for your reply. I am assuming by protein you mean beans. Which I have been eating along with nuts and avocados and whole grains, so not sure what I could do differently. I also have started to walk every day. So I am getting more exercise and eating a plant based diet and my fasting blood sugar has gone up in the mornings. Just wondering if it takes awhile or if there is a period of adapting that might affect blood sugar. I ate some nuts before bed and that seemed to bring it down a bit. Hmmmm?

  52. Hi,

    My 61-year old dad was recently diagnosed with T2D and was instructed to follow a conventional diet, but based on the mountain of research available, I feel a plant based diet would really help him; however, while he respects my thoughts (I’m WFPB), he won’t change from the conventional diet unless he’s convinced – I don’t want to mess it up and miss the opportunity to help his diabetes because I couldn’t explain it well enough.
    There’s just so much content out there – is there a video or article that you’d recommend above the rest to help a diabetic understand in layman’s terms that trying plant based eating may be the best choice for their health to ease/reverse their diabetes?

    Thank you for your help!

  53. This video is a good one, and if you type “diabetes” into the search bar for this website, other great videos by Dr. G will come up. Just sit and watch these videos with your dad. It’s all very compelling. The other good one is on YouTube: “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 days”

  54. Hello,

    I have two important question regarding this high carb, low fat diet for someone who is a type 2 diabetic.

    1. In general, if someone follows this eating lifestyle to the letter, how long will it take to see a major improvement to their blood sugar insulin sensitivity?

    2. After eating this way for a period of time, what happens when some carbs or sugar in fruit is eaten? Will the blood sugar still spike up, but come down quickly or will their not be a spike in the blood sugar. The reason I ask is because If I eat a piece of fruit today, my blood sugar may reach 250 or higher. It will eventually come down, but it takes several hours.

    I understand that everyone is different and I am asking specific questions about my situation, but I am just trying to get an idea of how this will effect my blood sugars. Thank you.

  55. Hi Philip, These Minerals are important in blood sugar control Chromium and Magnesium. Chromium-rich foods include whole-grain products, high-bran cereals, coffee, nuts, green beans, broccoli and Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, whole grains, dark chocolate, bananas, avocados and beans. I used to encourage taking fiber with fruits such as oat with berries or having some protein with fruits will balance the glycemic load index of the food. I hope these are useful tips for you.

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