Is Ginger Beneficial in a Diabetic Diet?

Is Ginger Beneficial in a Diabetic Diet?
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Ground ginger and ginger tea are put to the test for blood sugar control.

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

In a case report of the “Successful management of type 2 diabetes with [a] lifestyle intervention,” a 45-year-old fellow took responsibility for health into his own hands, and sought to defeat his disease and get off the drugs by eating foods purported to be anti-diabetic. But how strong is the evidence for, let’s say, ginger?

“Diabetes is reaching pandemic levels…and requires safe, affordable, and effective therapies.” So, what about the potential of ginger in the prevention and treatment? Well, in a petri dish, increasing exposure to ginger compounds improves blood sugar uptake of muscle cells almost as much as the popular diabetes drug metformin. And in rats, ginger might work even better than metformin. But weight and blood sugar reduction observed in rodent models does not necessarily translate to humans. In this study, a combination of nutraceuticals caused mice to lose 30 percent of their body weight in one month, but in people? No benefit compared to placebo. You don’t know if something works in humans until…you put it to the test.

If you feed people refined flour—white bread with a cup of water—this is what happens to their blood sugars over the next two hours. But drink some unsweetened green tea with that white bread instead, and there’s less of a blood sugar spike. Same with cinnamon tea and…same with ginger tea, made by mixing a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger in a cup of hot water. Okay, but these were healthy, normal subjects. What about the effects of ginger in diabetics?

This was the first study of its kind: diabetics randomized to take a teaspoon of ground ginger a day for two months hidden in pill form, so they could compare it with identical-looking sugar pill placebos and…ginger supplementation decreased the levels of insulin, which is a good thing, and lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, but, without a significant effect on blood sugars. Now, heart disease is the leading killer of diabetics, so a 13 percent drop in LDL bad cholesterol would be reason enough to shell out the nickel a day it would cost to add that much ginger to your diet. But it would have been nice to see an improvement in blood sugar control. There was that drop in insulin levels, which suggests improved insulin sensitivity, and indeed there was a significant drop in insulin resistance. So, maybe they just didn’t give the ginger long enough time to work? Well, this was two months, how about three months?

Even less ginger, just 1.6 grams, less than a teaspoon a day, but for 12 weeks and…maybe ginger can reduce blood sugar levels after all, and decrease inflammation, cutting C-reactive protein levels in half.

What about going back to just eight weeks, but this time using a higher dose: three grams a day or about one and a half teaspoons? And… a significant decrease in fasting blood sugars and long-term blood sugar control in the ginger group, “thereby showing the effect of ginger in controlling diabetes.” Check it out. The placebo group continued to get worse; the ginger group got better.

Similarly, amazing randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled results for a teaspoon a day for 12 weeks, and for a teaspoon and a half. All better in the ginger group; all worse in the non-ginger group. All significantly different, just because of a little cheap, safe, simple, side-effect-free spice. Put all the studies together, and they clearly demonstrate that ginger can lower blood sugar levels and improve long-term blood sugar control and at a totally “manageable dose.” I mean, you could just dump a teaspoon of ginger powder in a cup of hot water and just drink it down. So, “overall ‘adding a little spice to our life’ may serve as a delicious and sensible way to maintain a healthy body.”

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Image credit:  freestocks.org via Pexels. Image has been modified.

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

In a case report of the “Successful management of type 2 diabetes with [a] lifestyle intervention,” a 45-year-old fellow took responsibility for health into his own hands, and sought to defeat his disease and get off the drugs by eating foods purported to be anti-diabetic. But how strong is the evidence for, let’s say, ginger?

“Diabetes is reaching pandemic levels…and requires safe, affordable, and effective therapies.” So, what about the potential of ginger in the prevention and treatment? Well, in a petri dish, increasing exposure to ginger compounds improves blood sugar uptake of muscle cells almost as much as the popular diabetes drug metformin. And in rats, ginger might work even better than metformin. But weight and blood sugar reduction observed in rodent models does not necessarily translate to humans. In this study, a combination of nutraceuticals caused mice to lose 30 percent of their body weight in one month, but in people? No benefit compared to placebo. You don’t know if something works in humans until…you put it to the test.

If you feed people refined flour—white bread with a cup of water—this is what happens to their blood sugars over the next two hours. But drink some unsweetened green tea with that white bread instead, and there’s less of a blood sugar spike. Same with cinnamon tea and…same with ginger tea, made by mixing a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger in a cup of hot water. Okay, but these were healthy, normal subjects. What about the effects of ginger in diabetics?

This was the first study of its kind: diabetics randomized to take a teaspoon of ground ginger a day for two months hidden in pill form, so they could compare it with identical-looking sugar pill placebos and…ginger supplementation decreased the levels of insulin, which is a good thing, and lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, but, without a significant effect on blood sugars. Now, heart disease is the leading killer of diabetics, so a 13 percent drop in LDL bad cholesterol would be reason enough to shell out the nickel a day it would cost to add that much ginger to your diet. But it would have been nice to see an improvement in blood sugar control. There was that drop in insulin levels, which suggests improved insulin sensitivity, and indeed there was a significant drop in insulin resistance. So, maybe they just didn’t give the ginger long enough time to work? Well, this was two months, how about three months?

Even less ginger, just 1.6 grams, less than a teaspoon a day, but for 12 weeks and…maybe ginger can reduce blood sugar levels after all, and decrease inflammation, cutting C-reactive protein levels in half.

What about going back to just eight weeks, but this time using a higher dose: three grams a day or about one and a half teaspoons? And… a significant decrease in fasting blood sugars and long-term blood sugar control in the ginger group, “thereby showing the effect of ginger in controlling diabetes.” Check it out. The placebo group continued to get worse; the ginger group got better.

Similarly, amazing randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled results for a teaspoon a day for 12 weeks, and for a teaspoon and a half. All better in the ginger group; all worse in the non-ginger group. All significantly different, just because of a little cheap, safe, simple, side-effect-free spice. Put all the studies together, and they clearly demonstrate that ginger can lower blood sugar levels and improve long-term blood sugar control and at a totally “manageable dose.” I mean, you could just dump a teaspoon of ginger powder in a cup of hot water and just drink it down. So, “overall ‘adding a little spice to our life’ may serve as a delicious and sensible way to maintain a healthy body.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit:  freestocks.org via Pexels. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

Holy moly! What else can ginger do? Here are a few of my latest videos:

If that’s what one plant can do, what if your whole diet was centered around plants? Here’s an intro video to suck you in to the dozens I have on this leading killer, diabetes: How Not to Die from Diabetes.

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

120 responses to “Is Ginger Beneficial in a Diabetic Diet?

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    1. The flavor of fresh ginger is tastes better to my pallet. I prefer it over dry ginger. It has fresh, clean and picante flavor.
      I’ve been drinking a tea made from 20 grams of crushed fresh ginger and one bag of green organic tea steeped in a 16 ounce stainless steel thermos mug for some time now just because it tastes great. I feel wonderful after drinking it. It is quite invigorating.
      I use it as an appetite suppressant, a post meal digestive and as a decongestant.

    2. The best is ginger juice made fresh. It literally gets a powdery layer in the bottom of the juice that is concentrated ginger goodness. A tiny bit is great in lemon water.

  1. I’ve learned to ask: “Compared to what?” Here, I wonder: what are the diabetic folks eating? And if it’s not a plant based whole foods diet, then if they were, would ginger have the same effect, to the same degree?

    I’ve mentioned several times that about 14 years ago, my brother was overweight and out of shape, and taking several meds, including for diabetes. He must have seen the writing on the wall, because he changed his eating habits — first to vegetarian, then to plant based only — and started exercising, and he eventually lost about 70 lbs and went off all his meds, including for diabetes. So when I look at the results in this video, I wonder: what effect would ginger have on him? I also wonder: what effects would it have on a person for whom lifestyle change did not result in a reversal of diabetes?

    Does taking a ginger supplement mean that a type 2 diabetic could otherwise continue with unhealthy eating? Or less than optimal eating habits?

    1. Dr J, I’ve also wondered the same thing. In an ideal world, it would be nice if all these studies stated the normal diets of the subjects when researching a particular food. It appears that some do and some don’t.

      My recommendation to people who ask me about diet is that I suggest they try a complete diet of WPFs first, then if that doesn’t help their issue, then look for particular foods that have been shown through research to help their particular issue. In my opinion, adding a single healthy food to a SAD diet probably wouldn’t help much. Of course, most of the people I mention this to just brush me off and continue eating their SAD diet!

      1. Dr J and Hal,

        I agree.

        I will say that there is a butting of heads between Vegan and WFPB and morally-oriented versus Health-oriented and between WFPB and Keto.

        If I were in leadership of WFPB or Vegan, I would start by saying you can’t not have Vegan be a diet or you end up with processed food and junk food vegans becoming orphans and you already erode your base. When doctors ask, “Are you a vegan?” They are asking about a diet, not a political orientation, even if the animal protection people are powerful in the Vegan movement. When you go to the food section of the book store or library, Vegan is a section, Whole Food Plant Based is gaining momentum, but it needs Vegan, even though doctors like Dr Fuhrman aren’t Vegan. Either movement would be weakened if they separated from each other. Also, Dr Berg is the same 5% animal products which Dr Fuhrman is so the choice is alienate Dr Fuhrman or send Dr Fuhrman to pull Dr Berg in and suddenly WFPB gains credibility with a wider audience. And political Vegans, these people succeeding lowers the amount of animal products eaten. And I think once someone goes Keto, if they do it Dr Berg’s way, they stop eating junk food and processed food and start eating vegetables and lower their animal products to 5% and it is so much easier to jump from there to whole Food Plant Based-vegan. It can be Wholle Food Plant Based-Keto and Whole Food Plant Based-Vegan and if you can find one 5% animal product Paleo person, you could have a seriously powerful movement to change the planet.

          1. Dr Greger, I give the vision to you.

            One movie and done television appearances with everyone and suddenly the level of hatred and division and confusion on the Internet about food decreases and it could suddenly catch on like Wild Fire. Any diet which fits that 5% animal products, no junk food, no processed food criteria could be in it.

            You drew a circle to keep me out, so I drew one to include you in.

            1. It would be organized

              Whole Food Plant Based -the name of the doctor, the name of the diet, then, the details: vegan, no oil, low sodium, emphasis on studies or whatever, but the goal would be pulling down the hatred and mobilizing to save lives.

              1. In defense of the Vegans, most of the studies we are looking at use dietary vegans, and that gave results, even if WFPB might give greater results.

                The Adventist Vegans ate transitiob food and lived a very long time. Dr Barnard did a study where they were eating transition food and Twizxlers, If I remember properly and the people lost weight and got off Diabetes meds.

                1. And an FYI for the political Vegans, the most vocal people on YouRube who are spending their energy coming against becoming Vegans are ex-Vegan dieters, who gained weight or got sick becoming Vegan, yes, the diet versus the animal rights movement, but “animal protection” has a sweet, sympathetic movement with a lot of compassionate commercials and “Vegan” has a lot of hostility aimed against it and yet if you go site to site, when people say they are “Vegan” an animal protection person immediately alienates the next generation of Dr Greger trolls telling them that they did not go Vegan and that the diet is called Whole Good Plant Based and people think they went Whole Food Plant Based and gained weight because that is already confusing for them. Mic the Vegan posted a video where person commenting after person commenting gained weight after going vegan, so I know it is common and those people switch to Keto and end up on the radio with a weight loss brand.

                  1. There is this huge, why I am no longer a vegan movement and the answer is that people use all these replacement cheeses and vegan butters and vegan mayo and vegan processed food and vegan junk food because they don’t know how to cook Whole Food Plant Based meals and are not liking fruits and vegetables enough to just eat them raw.

                    1. You could never generate a more passionatre anti-vegan population than ex-vegans and that is where movies like Eating You Alive maybe failed by attracting people to Veganism and giving them a cheese sauce, but without getting more cooking shows, they are watching Martha Bakes do vegan baked goods. When I looked for a Vegan cooking class in my State, it was things like making Vegan sauces and salad dressings and I would have loved that, but I was one day too late to sign up, but cooking Whole Food Plant Based and getting restaurants to do that versus Vegan would help and, yes, I am going to suggest that to my local restaurants.

                    2. Food Metwork needs a show called Whole where a charismatic, very likable and genuine, healthy-appearing person brings a Whole Food Plant Based guest on and learns something and cooks something. Doctors, chefs, cook book authors, Internet personalities, etc.

            1. Yes, fat would be the disagreement, but he is 5% animal product, Pegan, eat your veggies oriented.

              Most of the doctors are also NonGMO, Organic when possible and, do not like animals being abused (and I prefer not eating them, too and I like not contributing to having them kept pregnant for dairy) they want grass-fed, cage-free, not pumped full of antibiotics or hormones, not abused.

              Seems like the power to influence all of the big food industries and to be promoted in the press come from uniting together.

              But I get that the no oil or butter side is the side I believe in, I just know that people think the sides are 100% opposites and, in truth, therr are major commonalities and it isn’t being explained properly because of the war.

              If Dr Berg’s 5% animal products became the voice of Keto, and school menus could settle on that one thing, it could save a generation.

              1. Dr Berg, Dr Seyfried and Dr Fung and vegan Keto Eco-Atkins are the ones, where if you could get them to commit to 5% animal products and animals not being abused, then, it is school lunch menus with a Vegan and 5% animal product focus and that requires administration, but people like John Robbins are there linked to both Vegan and Keto doctors, so it is easy peasy to start it, and then, let people in later.

                1. Is there already someone who is trying to get BROAD or CHIP into the school systems?

                  I am sure there is.

                  When I was younger, they did health teachings once where the parents were invited. It was a bit of a con artist thing, I think, but if briefly did change our behaviors.

                  The concept of having the schools have everybody’s cookbooks and maybe having the person who did videos on the treatmdnt of animals get something in the schools are how you change things.

                  The sensitive kids become vegan immediately.

                  1. I am going to apologize to vegans because I know that animal rights is higher than diet for many of them and they don’t want to embrace it as a diet, but nobody has even heard of Whole Food Plant Based at all where I am and the Press says: vegan is the hottest diet and they mean both vegan and Whole Food Plant Based.

                    I was trying to do vegan and had been here for months doing vegan before someone here used WFPB as a term.

                    On YouTube people were arguing for ownership of whether Dr Greger and NF.org is more Vegan or more WFPB and it got so hostile that I can say that this movement doesn’t need Keto to destroy it, we can destroy it all by ourselves.

    2. A WFPB diet has been proven to prevent and reverse type 2 in every case. See the work by Neal Barnard or Dean Ornish. Type 2 is a dietary disease.

      1. Blair, that happened to my brother: type 2 diabetes reversed after eating plant based. (He also started exercising.) And he lost 70 lbs, and went off all his meds for several other conditions as well. Win, win, win. He says he feels great. He looks great. But still, these stories and data are not persuasive to most people — not even people who know my brother, and know what he accomplished. So what is persuasive?

        1. Dr J, People who easily dismiss the wonderful results a WFPB diet can achieve reversing many diseases seem to be more susceptible to the “Appeal to authority fallacy.” They put a lot of stock in what pronouncements authority figures are making on a particular subject.

          It’s a bias that I have observed in many among of my friends and family. Those with this bias seem to be waiting for the “experts” to tell them the proper course of action. Those without this bias are a lot more open to changing their behaviors bases upon the results that others are getting by adopting these dietary changes. It doens’t seem to be a function of intelligence, although, I believe it is more intelligent to follow evidence based approach. Some of these evidence resistant people are very intelligent while not all of the evidence accepting people are intellectually inclined.

          It’s almost like these evidence adverse people believe in “Science” with a capital “S” instead of using observational science as tool for discrimination.

          Anyway, it’s the only way I’ve been able to make sense of the disparity in behaviors. That, and they are stubbornly holding onto a behavior that they really don’t want to change, and it’s going to take the Surgeon General of the United States to make pronouncement on the subject before some people will even consider giving up on their Prime Rib dinner with a twice baked potato slathered with bacon bits, cheese and sour cream.

          It’s addicting just like cigarettes, and the first step on addressing any addiction is admitting that one has a problem, and if everybody is eating prime rib, then it’s normal.

      2. Blair

        I don’t want to be difficult but I don’t think that it has been shown to prevent and reverse diabetes in every case. Many cases, yes, but not all cases.

        See Barnard’s 2006 paper on the resuts of a trial of a low fat plant based diet for people with T2D where he reported that “Forty-three percent (21 of 49) of the vegan group and 26% (13 of 50) of the ADA group participants reduced diabetes medications.”
        http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/diacare/29/8/1777.full.pdf
        That doesn’t imply that it caused T2D to disappear in every case.

        I would be happy to be corrected, and I suppose that it depends what you mean by ‘reverse’, but I don’t think that a WFPB diet has been shown to eliminate T2D in every case. It would however be fair to say, I think, that it benefits T2D patients in every case since weight, cholesterol and other biomarkers have been shown to improve even if those patients still have T2D. Another issue that may complicate the issue is whether some of the T2D patients actually had/have type 1.5 diabetes as opposed to T2D.

        1. I have downloaded and read the research studies of Dr Ornish. I am a fan of his program and incorporate his ideas in my own attempts to be healthier. At his website you can find links to his research, and this is what he says under the Diabetes research heading….

          https://www.ornish.com/proven-program/the-research/ “Patients showed statistically significant decreases in their HgbA1c, and many were able to reduce their diabetes medication.”

          While I am enthusiastic about wfpb eating, I do not make any claims about what it can or cannot do when sharing with others who ask about it. (not even about what it has done because I found that can change too).

      3. Not in every case. My long time friend with long term diabetes has improved his diabetes II greatly with WFPB for 10 years but he still has some diabetes and still must take a little metformin. Dr. McDougall has mentioned in his discussions of patients of his who can’t quite get off all medications despite diet adherence. He refers to them as type 1.5 diabetics. Nonetheless their condition has improved. The word “proven” is a pretty tough word to prove in all cases.

    3. Dr J, between myself and other family members we get the opportunity to try one of the food ‘remedies’ suggested at NF a couple of times per year and see the results in blood tests. Amla for me does absolutely zero for cholesterol for example, as does eating 2 apples per day, and many more. Surprisingly, ginger powder does help with migrain pain, and that’s one I did not expect. Many herbs and spices do increase ‘bleeding’ we have noticed though. It reminds me of the macrobiotic videos we saw a while back that gave stunning results. What the people were eating priior to the trial is key, and since they were type 2 diabetic, it was unlikely to be wfpb. If I ate that, or worse, the DASH diet (ugh!) my blood tests would be way worse than what they are. So while these videos are interesting, I prefer reading about studies of healthy populations.

  2. Another ginger video! Where some of us will find we will repeat our comments from earlier videos.

    In two weeks Dr. G. might have another ginger video, asking “Does ginger help prevent hangnails?”

    Or has he done one on that already? :-)

    1. YR, from the “Doctor’s Notes” here’s what Ginger can do:

      Ginger for Migraines
      Natural Treatments for Morning Sickness
      Ginger for Nausea, Menstrual Cramps, & Irritable Bowel Syndrome
      Ginger for Osteoarthritis
      Ground Ginger to Reduce Muscle Pain
      Benefits of Ginger for Menstrual Cramps
      Benefits of Ginger for Obesity & Fatty Liver Disease

      But I don’t see hangnails in there anywhere ;-)

      Seriously, I think Dr G just updates a particular food topic whenever new research is published on that topic. He also has a lot of separate videos on turmeric, vinegar, etc. It’s just one style of information presentation. Some websites combine all the information on one particular food in one place, but that takes a lot of work, so more volunteers would be needed. I really don’t mind searching back to re-watch previous videos.

      And, besides, it give us more opportunities to update our comments :-)

      1. Dr. Greger published information about powdered Ginger helping to improve A1C. I followed his direction for more than 3 months. After 3 months, I had blood drawn specifically hoping (believing) my A1C # was lower/reduced. INSTEAD MY A1C # WENT HIGHER! I weigh 100 pounds and eat a 90% plant-based diet. Any suggestions on how to lower my A1C??

        1. This is not surprising. On the other hand I would be very surprised if your A1C didn’t drop if you ate 100% plant based, but under these circumstances: whole food and unprocessed. That means no machinery changing the nature of the food: i.e. no blenders, no squeezers, no juicers, no grinders, no dryers between the plant and your mouth. The exception…and probably the only exception, is dried beans and whole grains which, when cooked, will contribute to lowering your A1C…as long as they are not ground up.

  3. While I agree with the comments on diet/healthy lifestyle, there are some type 2 diabetics (like me!) who have never been overweight (5’5″, 112 lb) and have a healthy lifestyle and eating. (Was vegetarian for forty years, vegan -wfpb for almost ten.). I don’t think you can characterize all type 2 diabetics as overweight and unhealthy! I have chosen not to take the meds that are offered at every dr visit (metformin and lipitor), and my A1C is currently near “pre-diabetes” levels. That said, it is still way too high for optimal health. For me, it makes sense to try the ginger. I use ginger (and turmeric) already in cooking and in green smoothies and in chai, but usually opt for fresh. I am going to experiment with a tsp of the powdered daily until my next appointment and see if it has any effect.

    1. Lisa, thanks for your comments! I went looking for more information, and found this link http://sciencenordic.com/slim-and-healthy-people-also-get-type-2-diabetes where researchers describe four groups with different characteristics. My first thought in reading this is that some groups appear (to me, in my limited reading ) under-represented in many of the studies. Anyway, I think it’s an awesome idea re trying out ginger. I have been applying this info as well https://nutritionfacts.org/video/can-vinegar-help-with-blood-sugar-control/ and https://nutritionfacts.org/video/beans-and-the-second-meal-effect/ Best of luck!

      1. Barb, thank you for posting the ScienceNordic article. I deal with a few in group 2 because they get frustrated if the medications make them swing high and low.
        There are two types of insulin, the kind produced in response to food, and what is called basal insulin. The liver makes glucose, especially in the morning hours to help energy levels. But the pancreas is supposed to modulate that with basal insulin. Those in group 2 don’t do that very well, so they run high after fasting.
        Many of them actually had problems with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) as children or young adults.
        For them, they need to test to see what foods raise their blood sugar too much. It’s not just counting carbs. Also it helps to see how long a fast they need before bed. Trial and error. Some respond well to added healthy fats in the diet to slow down digestion, and allow insulin levels to catch up.
        Also, exercise is important, building muscle helps as the muscles use glucose.

      2. Barb, thanks for the links. Yes, I also have always used organic unfiltered ACV — I usually add a TBS to chilis, lentil soups, etc. to good effect. And I eat beans/lentils at least two meals/day. Doing things mostly right, although this frigid winter has left me getting out to exercise less (here’s to more snow for cross-country skiing!). Found the article on the different groupings of type 2 diabetics interesting. I had read about “skinny fat people” before, nice to see this study information summarized. And yes, I do think we are underrepresented in studies! Am willing to be a guinea pig, which is why I am trying the ginger!

    2. I also am small and have high BS, Hgb A1C and elevated cholesterol including triglycerides. I was vegan for 1 year and my numbers increased. With process of elemination I have figured out what my body reacts to. It’s all processed foods,grains, beans, pasta, bread and of course sugar. My fasting BS went from 34 to 104. Triglycerides of 303 dropped to 153. Cholesterol 290 to 230. HDL is now normal. Still have work to figure out what I now need to do to drop LDL of 166. Suggestions welcomed!

      1. Denise,
        Your post really struck a chord with me. Although I do not have elevated BS, I do have elevated BP, cholesterol (both total and LDL). I followed the WFPB diet for the past six months and had my lab numbers re-tested. I waltzed into the doctor’s office expecting her to congratulate me on turning things around only to be advised that while I had lost 10 lbs. in the last six months, I had INCREASED my total cholesterol and LDL! and my BP continues to be so high that she feels I MUST consider statins. I was thoroughly gutted by this news and, unlike you, have not been able to figure out what went wrong and why my body refuses to respond to the WFBP diet I have been following. It is especially hard to read such happy testimonials from people on this forum who have improved their health issues so significantly following this way of eating. Surely I should have had some positive results in six months rather than the reverse!?!

        1. Hi–I have heard of people when starting the WFPB diet having worse lab numbers *while losing weight*, because the fat and fat-soluble substances that are being released into the bloodstream are contributing to temporary higher cholesterol, etc. It would be fair to wait a while, perhaps until you reach a weight plateau for a while, before comparing pre- and post-WFPB lab numbers. The body has to get rid of those fat stores somehow, and everything just has to work itself through your system. As long as you don’t replace that fat with new fat, you should see improvements!

          I probably also fell into that camp of temporary higher numbers, however I didn’t get lab work done for a while after I began.

          1. hi Danielle, I had the opposite experience years ago when I went wfpb. My LDL had been above 160, and this was totally unacceptable to my doctors. I went wfpb, lost over 20% of my body weight ( i was slim to start with) and my LDL dropped to below 100 . .. then started the slow climb back up..along with my bp. I don’t have a problem with the food or cooking it, and I don’t miss animal products at all. Like Denise, I found I can not eat any flour products, grains (i do eat oat bran for now), processed foods of course, nuts or nut butters, avocado and still my cholesterol is twice what it should be and my bp is highest it has ever been. I have seen comments on other forums similar to what I write. On my last visit to the doctor in january I suggested it was the unintended weight loss years ago when I started wfpb that dropped my cholesterol and bp. She thought that was highly likely.

          2. Danielle,
            Thanks for sharing your personal experience and your insight. I will continue to make nutritional choices based on WFPB despite the fact that my doctor said it appears that my out-of-kilter numbers may be related to genetics vs. nutrition. Will keep on and hope for the best when my lab work is repeated in six months. The only bright spot is that my HDL is good but who knows if that is enough of a protective factor.

        2. Lida and Denise, your stories reflect the fact that although a PBWF diet can reduce the risks of many lifestyle conditions and diseases, and even slow, stop, or reverse them, the risks never go to zero, nor do the successes go to 100%. A healthy lifestyle improves your odds, but is no guarantee. That is why supplements such as ginger or drugs may prove to be very useful. As one commenter noted, try PBWF based eating (with exercise, no alcohol — boo hoo hoo — or tobacco, etc) and if that isn’t sufficient, consider additional steps.

          But whenever anyone tells me that they eat healthy, or are vegan, I now want to know exactly what they eat. There are a lot of junk foods that are vegetarian and even vegan — I know this personally, because I used to eat some of them as a vegetarian, and gained excess weight. Processed foods are terrible. Refined carbohydrates should also be avoided — they are found not only in cakes, cookies, etc but also in pasta and breads. As for grains, they should be whole, not refined (which is white rice, pearled barley, etc. are — refined, which in my view means stripped of lots of nutrients). I’m now also trying to avoid or minimize added oils, sugars, and salts — these all appear in high amounts in processed foods, along with refined carbohydrates.

          I wish you both good health, and all the best.

          1. You pretty much describe my ideal diet, Dr. J. I am far from perfect at it, but my diet is vastly improved from what it used to be. I continue to work at it. I consider my reformed way of eating forever a work in progress. I don’t think I’ll ever be managing it 100% right, even if that were definitively definable (and it is not). My mindset no doubt helped me stick with it in the beginning a few years back. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. One can benefit by approximating the ideal. You were right to point out that diet can’t control all aspects of health. That certainly might help explain some of the health mysteries reported here. I have one or two of those myself, by the way. My solid guess is that even a reasonably healthy plant-based diet is leaps and bounds more beneficial than the typical Western diet. I also think there can be benefits to having some otherwise off-limits foods once in a while.

          2. Dr. J…..
            Thank you for your post. It’s those “additional steps” I am hoping to avoid. But I guess I will have to re-consider them if and when the time comes. In the meanwhile I will plod along and do my best. Significant exercise is not in my forecast, although it was for years. But now my knees are bone-on-bone and will not handle what I was able to do. I exercise as best I can but I doubt it is significant enough to affect my BP and cholesterol. Alcohol and tobacco are not involved and I do avoid processed foods. I suspect there is still room for improvement and I will have to be vigilant.

            1. Lida, ouch! for your poor knees! Were you a runner? Apparently, the exercise I liked to do — swimming, bicycling, walking, hiking, gardening, etc — didn’t build bone density. (Sadly, neither did the exercise that I didn’t like to do — laundry, housework, cooking, etc). But they seem to be gentler on the joints. I have read that increasing muscle strength can reduce the pain of arthritis. Are you able to bicycle or swim or do yoga? A friend recently told me about water yoga — I’ve never heard of that, but would love to try it!

              As for diet, I like the adage that perfection is the enemy of the good. I enjoy my food — and even cooking a little bit more, now that I have more time for it — so I prefer to focus on what I can eat, rather than on what I can’t. e.g.: I bake sourdough whole grain bread (I even grind my own flour!) — the flavor and aroma are fabulous!! — but salt is needed for several reasons, so though I’ve cut it back, I still add it to my bread. It’s a trade-off. I will never be perfect. Though I’d like to be very, very good. (Ha!! If only.)

              1. Hi, Dr.J
                It is hard to accept that all those years of weight-bearing exercises I did have not prevented Osteopenia. Guess it goes back to what you said earlier, you can only control so much through your actions. It is frustrating, though, to accept that reality.

                1. Lida, I have osteoporosis. However, the good news is that it’s not a disease, it’s only a risk factor for fractures. And it accounts for only about 1/6 of the risk! The other 5/6 of the risk factors include poor eyesight, poor lighting, poor muscle tone, poor balance, trip hazards in the home (clutter, area rugs), lack of railings, etc. ALL of these factors can be addressed, and all without drugs! OK, so the bad news is: what does the medical profession push? DRUGS, to address only 1/6 of the risk factors. DRUGS which are pretty much ineffective in reducing actual fractures, and which have too many adverse effects, some of which are pretty seriously bad. I’ve never had a doctor talk about these other 5/6 of risk factors for fractures, and what I can do to reduce them. A pox on their house!!

                  Also, I think that osteoporosis is largely genetic. The advice of how to live a long healthy life — pick good parents — is good advice. Is it too late for us?

        3. Lida,

          If I were in your shoes, I would make a very specific list of everything I eat…every detail. My guess is that there is something still being consumed that may be ‘perceived’ as healthy. My own personal ‘demons’ are pasta, breads, and any grains. Eliminating them helped me. Also nothing that comes in a box, package, wrapper, bag, tin, bottle, jar, container…that isn’t perishable within seven (7) days. Absolutely no dairy of any kind goes without saying (or dairy substitutes.) I would also jump on the Esselstyn bandwagon and go ‘no nuts’, and of course ‘no oil’ also goes without saying.

          The other personal observation I have is that part of the healing/elimination process causes your body to throw all kinds of long-stored garbage back into your system…hence increase numbers. I found that getting well actually required me to be ‘getting sick’ for a while to deal with all the toxic elimination.

          For what it’s worth

              1. Fascinating! I’m always interested in what people choose to eat or not eat. Maybe you could call yourself a veg-fruitarian. Personally, I’d get awfully bored with the same old stuff day after day. (I’m pretty much a “pescatarian,” if anything.)

                But some folks maintain they have excellent health eating only one or two food items. For instance, the carnie tribe. They chow down on nothing but dead animals, preferably raw and bloody. OMG. True, some of them include (raw) eggs and (raw) dairy foods.

                Here’s an interesting article: https://nypost.com/2017/06/21/breatharian-couple-we-eat-just-not-like-you/

        4. Things appear to be very complicated and responses differ between people depending on their metabolic (overweight, not overweight. obese etc) and endocrine (diabetic pre diabetic. non diabetic) status. For example,

          ‘In the study, the researchers found that the relationship between dietary intake of n-6 fatty acids and hypertension differed according to whether subjects had diabetes; in healthy subjects, high intake of n-6 fatty acids was significantly associated with hypertension, whereas high intake of n-6 fatty acids was inversely associated with hypertension in subjects with diabetes.’
          https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190220103344.htm

          and

          ‘Dietary SFA and cholesterol are major targets for reducing plasma total and LDL cholesterol as a strategy to decrease cardiovascular disease risk. However, many studies show that excess adiposity attenuates the expected lipid and lipoprotein response to a plasma cholesterol–lowering diet. Diets low in SFA and cholesterol are less effective in improving the lipid profile in obese individuals and in patients with metabolic syndrome. In contrast, lean persons are more responsive to reductions in dietary SFA and cholesterol. Multiple mechanisms likely contribute to the altered plasma lipid responses to dietary changes in individuals with excess adiposity. The greater rate of hepatic cholesterol synthesis in obese individuals suppresses the expression of hepatic LDL receptors (LDLR), thereby reducing hepatic LDL uptake. Insulin resistance develops as a result of adipose-tissue induced inflammation, causing significant changes in enzymes necessary for normal lipid metabolism. In addition, the LDLR-mediated uptake in obesity is attenuated by alterations in neuroendocrine regulation of hormonal secretions (e.g. growth hormone, thyroid hormone, and cortisol) as well as the unique gut microbiota, the latter of which appears to affect lipid absorption. Reducing adipose tissue mass, especially from the abdominal region, is an effective strategy to improve the lipid response to dietary interventions by reducing inflammation, enhancing insulin sensitivity, and improving LDLR binding. Thus, normalizing adipose tissue mass is an important goal for maximizing the diet response to a plasma cholesterol–lowering diet.’
          https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/2/3/261/4591487

          It may be that you have to completely normalise your weight, and endocrine status, before the WFPB diet can positively affect blood lipid etc measures.

        5. Lida – I had a similar experience. Went WFPB and watched my cholesterol, triglycerides increase. Very disappointing.
          However, once I sat down with myself and had an honest conversation I had to admit that part of my problem could be my alcohol consumption. I think this isn’t talked enough about. The liver will manufacture triglycerides in response to too much alcohol in the system. And I was imbibing every day using it as my end-of-day reward. I’ve since stopped all of that and will re-test this Spring.
          The other possibility for my situation could also be menopause which causes increase in cholesterol as does lack of sufficient exercise.
          So I’m working on other changes in my life besides going WFPB.
          Just wanted to be honest about things. . . . :-)

      2. As you’ve seen, NutritionFacts.org has a wealth of information on dietary specifics of preventing and treating diabetes. Now that you’ve seen changes in numbers with dietary changes, it may be useful to work with a plant based dietician to fine tune your specific needs. Working 1 on 1 with someone can quickly identify foods and other lifestyle measures that are helping or preventing you from meeting your health goals.

    3. ‘People who have LADA are usually over age 30. Because they’re older when symptoms develop than is typical for someone with type 1 diabetes and because initially their pancreases still produce some insulin, people with LADA are often misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
      If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and you’re lean and physically active or you’ve recently lost weight without effort, talk with your doctor about whether your current treatment is still the best one for you.
      At first, LADA can be managed by controlling your blood sugar with diet, weight reduction if appropriate, exercise and, possibly, oral medications. But as your body gradually loses its ability to produce insulin, insulin shots will eventually be needed.’

      https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes/expert-answers/lada-diabetes/faq-20057880

    4. Hi Lisa

      Have you considered the three other important factors (aside from “what to eat”):

      1. When to eat: Have you heard of “time restricted eating”? This is based on the idea that when we eat is as almost as important as what we eat. In particular, not eating (or drinking anything other than water) for 3-4 hours before going to bed, and allowing at least 12 hours “rest” between your last mouthful of food (or drinks such as coffee, or tea – even herbal tea, fruit juices, etc – anything other than water) the previous day, and your first mouthful of food (or coffee or tea or any other drink that is not water) the next morning.
      2. Quantity and quality of sleep: 7 to 8 hours of continuous sleep – preferably during the night – your circadian rhythms are highly dependent on getting enough quality sleep to regulate hormones crucial for glucose metabolism. shift workers are much more likely to suffer from T2 diabetes than people who get regular sleep at night, especially people who get to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
      3. Movement: enough movement and exercise. Your muscles are (or should be) a larger store of glycogen than your liver. If you do enough exercise, they will use up their internal store of glycogen, and sequester glucose from the blood to replace it. Sufficient muscle mass, end regular use of those muscles (i.e. every day) is important for blood sugar metabolism.

      I hope this is helpful.

    1. Scott, I think part of it depends on what’s really in the capsules. There’s not much oversight in the supplements industry. So, unless it’s been independently tested, you never really know what’s in them.

      1. Hey WFPB Nancy: ConsumerLab.com does that very thing, independent testing. IIRC, they’ve analyzed ginger supplements. Alas, a subscription is required to access their data (I can’t remember how much it costs, but it’s not prohibitive).

      1. Thanks rondom. Wonder if all the good properties of ginger are preserved in their juicing process. Though certified organic, I do see that they source their ginger from China and that tends to open a can of worms of concern.
        It’s kind of surprising that the dried spice maintains the good stuff, but that is said to be the case for certain other dried spices, herbs and fruits too—like parsley and amla for example. In some cases, the dried versions may even be superior as far as antioxidant content. But I also have some concern about lead and other heavy metal content in these convenience forms. This apparently is quite often a “natural” phenomenon.
        The processing would seem to tend to concentrate these metals. In a perfect world, I’d just grate the fresh stuff all the time, but the world I live in is far from perfect.

  4. Question: Does the ginger study differentiate between the consumption of ginger (root) tea vs. the consumption of ginger root? I always ad a piece of fresh ginger to my green tea & to some food dishes, but does the study only apply to the actual consumption of ginger root — but NOT to the consumption of (ginger root) tea?

    1. Some of the studies mentioned use powdered ginger, some freshly grated ginger, and some powdered ginger inside a capsule. Given what we know, I’d say that if the fresh root is grated or chopped and consumed in tea or food, you’re likely getting the benefit, and probably still getting benefits with just steeping the root in water to make tea that way.

  5. I personally prefer the raw ginger when available, however I have the LITEHOUSE freeze dried ginger. It is available in local grocery stores, no refrigeration needed.the ginger is chopped in little pieces, very intense flavor, wonderful aroma. Just needs to be hydrated in hot water and I’m drinking a cup now. One tsp of raw is same in freeze dried. The jar it’s in is glass, not plastic. I have a dash of organic stevia powder as a sweetener. You can make this in a quart jar and place in refrigerator for future drink. I’m increasing my ginger tea because of this blog. Be well friends!

  6. Additional: the freeze dried ginger pieces float on top of your tea. When you are finished, just chew and swallow the pieces. Very intense. The longer the tea sits, the stronger the flavor of your tea, but you have it all. Be well!

    1. Thanks Ruth! I have never seen it.

      I made pumpkin and 4 bean and cacao and cinnamon and ginger and cayenne and every spice and Vegetable I could think of stew or soup tonight and I tried the tube of ginger, which my friend said might be a dangerous way to eat ginger. She said that the tubes have bad stuff to make them squeeze, so I am looking at other quick and easy ginger sources.

  7. Ginger may be related to broccoli with its chromium content (which depends on soil ). This is good but broccoli has more. Chromium could also work the other way around and raise fasting glucose levels if hypoglycemic (angry, moody, etc.).

    1. Stick to legumes and the like. They are cheaper and much better for you than collagen containing supplements or foods.

      ‘When we consume collagen, usually in the form of food, the long chain proteins are broken down during digestion to their original amino acids. Only then can they be absorbed. Once absorbed, these amino acids are available as building blocks to support collagen synthesis throughout the body. So from a dietary perspective, your body doesn’t care (and can’t tell) if you ate a collagen supplement, cheese, quinoa, beef, or chick peas — they’re all sources of protein, and indistinguishable by the time they hit the bloodstream. The body doesn’t treat amino acids derived from collagen any differently than any other protein source. For this reason, the idea that collagen supplementation can be an effective treatment for joint pain, osteoarthritis, or any other condition, is highly implausible, if not impossible in principle.’
      https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/collagen-an-implausible-supplement-for-joint-pain/

      From an anti-ageing point of view, this study may be relevant:

      ‘To identify protective dietary predictors amongst long-lived elderly people (N= 785), the “Food Habits in Later Life “(FHILL) study was undertaken among five cohorts in Japan, Sweden, Greece and Australia. Between 1988 and 1991, baseline data on food intakes were collected. There were 785 participants aged 70 and over that were followed up to seven years. Based on an alternative Cox Proportional Hazard model adjusted to age at enrollment (in 5-year intervals), gender and smoking, the legume food group showed 7-8% reduction in mortality hazard ratio for every 20g increase in daily intake with or without controlling for ethnicity (RR 0.92; 95% CI 0.85-0.99 and RR 0.93; 95% CI 0.87-0.99, respectively). Other food groups were not found to be consistently significant in predicting survival amongst the FHILL cohorts.’
      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8479516_Legumes_The_most_important_dietary_predictor_of_survival_in_older_people_of_different_ethnicities

  8. Off topic. Somewhere Dr G has a response to someone regarding the best cholesterol reducing foods. Amla was one , possibly walnuts but can’t remember the others. Does anyone know where to find this? I’ve looked but no success. It’s not a video or a blog.

    1. I think I saw it on YouTube.

      Sometimes it is easier to search there.

      Plant Based London is one place which gave his insights, I am pretty sure, but I thought there was an answer on this site, but it was like an answer to a question or something.

    2. Yes, the question was asked on this site and he answered.

      I can’t copy and paste with my phone most of the time. IT pastes something from months age and won’t copy the links, so you are on your own, but it Googled is my hint.

      1. Deb, this is so off topic, but I just noticed the name change. Does that imply anything about your dog? I actually got sad and worried when I didn’t see the number of weeks added to your name.

  9. Hey doctor,

    Why didn’t you do any video’s on the effects of commenly used plants like Ginseng and ginko Biloba and such during the years?

    I know you don’t do video’s on some far fetched diffcult to find plants but these are the plants many people are supplementing right? Maybe a good idea to share the research?

    1. Lonie, I am enjoying drinking that True Blueberry tea ! It’s excellent, as is the lemon ginger tea I now drink after meals since Dr J suggested it recently.

          1. Hi Lida,

            I’m not sure what kind of computer you have, but I know that on a mac, you can use Command + F on any page and a search bar will pop up that will allow you to search the entire page. I don’t know if there’s a way to do that on a tablet or mobile, but I would think that a PC would have a similar function. Hope that helps!

        1. hi Lida, I had errands to run and didn’t see your question til now! There are a few ways to make the lemon ginger. One is to buy a box … there are several brands out there.. celestial seasons, yogi, probably the big stores have their own brands too . Sometimes if I am in the middle of cooking I will just toss a couple of thin slices of whole fresh ginger into a cup with a lemon slice or thin wedge. (you can add turmeric too, or a touch of honey, ) If I don’t have fresh ginger I will use a bit of the powder.. doesn’t take much. Try a quarter teaspoon per mug of hot water .. you can always add more!

          1. Thanks Barb!
            I wasn’t sure if it involved just a teabag or the methods you outlined. When I checked out how to make ginger tea it always suggested boiling the ginger slices for 15 minutes! I was hoping there was a quicker way. But even the teabags required 15 minutes to steep. I missed how Dr. J suggested making it.

      1. OH! I had forgotten that I had a box of the lemon ginger tea… it was covered up by a box of another kind and for me if it is out of sight, it is often out of mind. Besides, I literally have about 9 or 10 different teas to try to drink regularly. (Don’t know if tea has a way of fighting back when you finally drink it after being ignored for a long period, but why chance it? ‘-)

        As for the True Blueberry, I have kinda ignored it recently, even though I have another 5 boxes on hand. Reason is I have been enjoying a bowl of wild blueberries with either almond milk or recently, hemp milk, daily. But on any day I miss that treat, I’ll cold brew up a cup or glass of the True Blue as a fill in.

        Thanks again for the lemon ginger reminder.

          1. Yes, a Celestial Seasons offering. It’s kinda strong so I just either add water to it or take the bag out of the cup early and let it finish in a glass of water… milk it for all it’s worth. ‘-) OBTW, that milk comment was just a figure of speech. ‘-)

            1. Lonie,
              I think YR’s humor is rubbing off on you! Thanks for replying about the tea. I understand it requires steeping for 15 minutes to get the full effect of the ginger and then it is advised that you squeeze out the teabag! I think I may try it with ginger powder.

              1. I understand it requires steeping for 15 minutes to get the full effect of the ginger …
                ————————————————————————————————————-
                Hmmm… I’ve switched over to just pouring out some distilled/hydrogenated (using a magnesium metal rod)/magnetized room temperature water in a cup or glass and letting the tea bag “steep” in that.

                Takes a little longer than hot water but definitely will get almost all the “goodie” out of the bag. Reason I know this is because I’ll often move the bag from my cup of dark tea and let it finish in a glass of the same water. Usually it will only be lightly colored.

                No problem… I put a couple of droppers of coffee, a couple of droppers of cilantro/chlorella, and a few drops of oregano water and a few squirts of bergamot water in as well, and drink the weakened tea as though it were the tea darkening the weak water instead of the add-ins.

    2. Ginger snaps are/were one of my favorite cookies. *sigh* I’m always tempted to buy a box, but then I read all the ingredients and decide to pass on by. But just for something other than my trusty three squares of dark chocolate night after night, I might succumb and get me some.

      Which reminds of this oldie (lifted from Readers’ Digest, June 2018): “Joe is a new man on a construction crew. The first day on the job, he opens his lunch box and mumbles, “Oh no, peanut better!” The next day, “Peanut butter again!” “This goes on for days, until another worker says, “Why don’t you ask your wife to make a different lunch?” Joe replies, “I’m not married. I make my own lunch.”

      (I luuuuuve peanut butter and have some every day, so the daily peanut butter sandwich wouldn’t bother me at all!)

      1. Heh! YR I love a good joke and that was a good one.

        I used to make a peanut butter snack of unadulterated peanut butter (where the oil rises to the top so you can pour it off) in a bowl and add back a little MCT oil and a small amount of dark molasses or pure maple syrup. Stirred together and left in the fridge to stop by and take a spoonful to satisfy a food craving.

        I did read somewhere just today (maybe here on NF.o?) that tree nuts are better for heart health than ground nuts (peanuts… they are grown in the ground… and they aren’t really a nut.’-)

        But even though I no longer stir up my refrigerator snack, I still add peanut powder to a multi-faceted Raw Cacao Powder mix I keep in a jar to make a cup of cocoa-ish drink on occasion.

      2. @ YR I’m always tempted to buy a box, but then I read all the ingredients and decide to pass on by.
        ———————————————————————————————————————————
        There are some things I just will not read the ingredients list for that very reason. ‘-)

  10. I truly enjoy Dr. Greger so much. He is always so “spot on” and makes this information available “for free”. His take on public health issues is amazing, particularly his views on a whole-food, plant-based diet. Thanks Dr. Greger and please continue the work you are doing…it is so appreciated!

  11. (lifted from Readers’ Digest, June 2018):
    ——————————————————-
    This went right over me. Are you saying they still print the Reader’s Digest???? I haven’t seen one of those for at least 20 years.

    1. Lonie, where I live tenants often leave their magazines and books out in the lobby. We can read them and then return them, whenever. Right now, I have that particular issue. Nothing I’d want to clutter up my place with, so I’ll return it soon.

      I haven’t seen one in a long time either. Some of their articles are pretty corny, but oh well.

      1. Some of their articles are pretty corny, but oh well.
        ———————————————————————
        Yeah, like that joke you posted… but it still caught me off guard and caused me to laugh (out loud even ‘-)

  12. Dr Greger said in his video to use 1 or 1-1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger in a cup of hot water & drink that. Question is: does that mean drink the tea AND the ginger powder that sank to the bottom of the cup, or is it enough to just drink the tea then at the end just dump the powdered ginger that collected at the bottom?

    1. Hello Sadie,

      The hot water will extract some of the compounds in the ginger; however, for full benefits it is best to consume the whole food, which includes the powder at the bottom of the cup.

      I hope this helps,

      Matt, Health Support

  13. Can anyone help with my question, please.
    I am new to nutrition facts. I am half way through reading “How not to die”
    I am a type 2 diabetic on 12 units a day insulin.
    Gradually I am changing my diet to a more plant base one. My daughter and her family are vegans. She works in a vegan cafe. Every time I eat vegan food I get a big blood spike (just the same as my old diet) I put this down to sugar (the white stuff). Vegans seem to add a lot of sugar to their meals, presumably to make it taste better. Am I right?
    Appreciate any insight into this. Thanks Tab

    1. Hello Tab,

      The spikes in your blood sugar may be due to added sugar in your food, or possibly due to combining those foods with oils. Neither oil nor sugar are whole foods, which is what is promoted by Nutritionfacts. I’m glad you’re changing your diet towards a more plant-based one and ultimately hope you can get off your diabetes medications. I understand that your daughter works in a vegan cafe; however, for optimal results, it’s best to avoid baked goods and focus on eating plants as intended. Once you discover how to combine spices to create very flavorful dishes, you will no longer feel the need to add things like sugar or salt. Once you begin reading the 2nd half of “How Not To Die”, you will learn about the Daily Dozen. These are the healthiest foods you should try to include in your diet on a daily basis. If you are ticking all or most of those boxes daily, you are doing incredibly well and I encourage you to download the free app called “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen” for Android and iPhone to track your progress.

      If you have any further questions, never hesitate to post them here.

      Matt, Health Support

      1. Hello Matt
        Appreciate your reply.
        I have a lot to learn and I will keep at it. Dr Greger’s book “how not to die” gives all the encouragement I need. After being a diabetic for more than 12 years I really need to do something about it.
        Thank you for your encouragement.
        Tab

      2. Dr. Greger published information about powdered Ginger helping to improve A1C. I followed his direction for more than 3 months. After 3 months, I had blood drawn specifically hoping (believing) my A1C # was lower/reduced. INSTEAD MY A1C # WENT HIGHER! I weigh 100 pounds and eat a 90% plant-based diet. Any suggestions on how to lower my A1C??

          1. Hi Christine,
            Regarding diet. I don’t eat meat, chicken, eggs, or dairy. I eat mostly whole foods (primarily raw fruits and vegetables). I include whole grains (only Ezekial sprouted bread without sugar). I exercise regularly, almost daily. Exercise to include Yoga, Zumba, Stretch, Tai Chi, some weight training classes. Any thoughts now on lowering my A1C?

  14. Hi, I have a question regarding Avocado pits. I have heard that consuming the avocado pit has nutritional benefits by grating, drying and grinding into a powder. Then consuming in a smoothy. What are you’re thoughts

    1. Hi there, while I don’t remember the particulars, I know that in the past Dr. Greger has advised people *not* to consume avocado pits. Hope that helps!

      1. Hi Kate, Thanks for responding to my email, however, l would like more detail. I have been consuming avocado pit for 6 mos now and then a friend said l shouldn’t. I reached out to Dr Greger because l trust his advice. I can’t find anything on the net and therefore would appreciate more detail.
        Thank-you very much, Trudy

  15. Hello,

    Thank you for the helpful information, as always. I happen to prefer the taste of ginger in cold beverages, so I just tried a teaspoon of ginger powder added to a quart of plain seltzer from a soda stream, along with a half-teaspoon of Meyer lemon juice. The flavor was wonderful, but unfortunately the powder provided nucleation points for the CO2 and all the fizz went away. Has anyone experimented with ginger seltzers? I assume ginger juice would solve my problem, but I thought the idea of eating whole ginger would be preferable. Steeping ginger would also be a possibility, but again, I want to be sure to get the benefits.

    1. That sounds delightful! I’d suggest trying minced ginger and letting it steep, or using a piece of peeled ginger root. You could consider heating it, like tea, then letting it cool to get more of the ginger into the water. I think you’re in good shape regardless of the method!

  16. Raymond, I make an evening ginger-turmeric toddy which is wonderfully flavorful. Here goes: smash some fresh ginger root and fresh (from frozen, micro to thaw) turmeric root along with 2-3 whole cloves in a mortar and pestle. Smash until it’s smooth. Scrape into small glass, add water, heat in micro for a minute or so and let steep. Pour liquid through a tea strainer into a mug, add some cinnamon and a small grind of black pepper (always prepare turmeric with pepper to get the benefit). Add whatever sweetener floats your boat. This is a really wonderful spicy warm drink. You can also let it grow cold and pour over ice for a summer time drink. Try it, I think you might like it.
    Best – !

  17. Dr. G, any benefit of fenugreek seeds in Diabetes? My Indian parents and many others soak fenugreek seeds overnight and consume the next morning for diabetes control.
    Thanks

  18. ‘Looks like your parents may be on to something, although more research may be needed to clarify exactly how and how well fenegreek works.Here’s what I found: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27496582
    Effect of fenugreek on hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidemia in diabetes and prediabetes: A meta-analysis.
    “The results suggest fenugreek has the hypoglycaemic and TC-lowering efficacy; however, the effects on TG, LDL-c and HDL-c need further confirmations.”
    Looks like it definitely has promise…
    Hope that’s helpful.

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