By Arjun Walia,
- The Facts: Multiple studies have shown that a whole foods, plant-based diet can help manage, prevent, and, in some cases, even reverse diabetes.
- Reflect On: Why is dietary intervention not a priority of conventional doctors? Especially when it can be much more beneficial to the patient than medication?
Food truly is medicine, and nutrition is a great way to combat multiple diseases. What’s extremely confusing is why so many doctors still choose to prescribe medication first, without considering the power of nutrition. Many doctors are not even aware of the power of nutrition and its ability to heal diseases, and this is probably because they know next to nothing about it given that they learn nothing about it in medical school.
However, things are changing. There is an abundance of doctors who are not prescribing medication when it’s not needed, and instead prescribing a proper diet. Many of them are starting to educate themselves using the literature and science surrounding nutrition. It’s not only doctors, but patients are choosing to self educate themselves now as well.
When it comes to the medical industry, self education is important, given the fact that “The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry.” – Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (source)
Not long ago, Dr. Asseem Malhotra, a well-known doctor in Britain, had some choice words to say in front of the European Parliament about modern-day medical education and the overall knowledge doctors possess. He’s one of many who continues to emerge and speak out. You can read more about that here.
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, it’s one of the diseases that can easily be managed with a proper diet. The undue influence the pharmaceutical industry has on the medical industry and doctors’ lack of understanding of nutrition is why, I believe, more than 370 million people around the world suffer from diabetes, and approximately 100 million Americans have it or are likely to get it.
It’s firmly established in scientific literature and quite clear now that moving to a whole foods, plant-based diet can drastically reduce the symptoms of type 1 diabetes and can even help manage, or in many cases completely reverse, type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. Giving up animal products and processed foods helps as well, and there is an abundance of research that shows this.
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of evidence is the fact that there are real life success stories. Forks over Knives has a plethora of examples and real-life case studies that support the notion that eliminating animal products and following a healthy, whole-foods diet can make it easier to live with diabetes.
In 2016, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health published a study that showed plant-based diets can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by a third. This involves simply switching out animal products for plant-based alternatives. A whole-foods, plant-based diet is rich in beneficial dietary fiber, antioxidants, and micronutrients, and low in saturated fats. This is excellent for overall health outcomes, whether they’re related to diabetes or not.
Multiple studies have shown that red and processed meats (also recently linked to cancer by the WHO), as well as animal protein in general, increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. In omnivore populations, the risk of diabetes is doubled compared with vegans. Another study found that eating meat once a week or more over a 17-year period increased the risk of diabetes by a startling 74%. A follow up study was conducted and found that increasing red meat intake by more than just half a serving per day was closely associated with an almost 50% increased risk of contracting diabetes over four years.
Removing animal products and shifting to a diet consisting of whole and minimally processed plant foods can reduce the problems created by type 1 and type 1.5 autoimmune diabetes big time. Although there’s no cure for this type of diabetes, the right diet has plenty of benefits. Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, writes that following a low-fat, whole-foods plant-based lifestyle can:
- Boost insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin use by more than 40 percent after six months.
- Lead to more predictable blood glucose, making it easier to manage diabetes.
- Increase blood flow to tissues in the body and reduce the likelihood of diabetes-related nerve damage.
- Reduce the burden on the kidneys, decreasing the chances of getting kidney disease.
People have also reversed type 2 diabetes with a plant-based diet and fasting.
For more on that you can refer to the article linked below:
Here are some other related articles you might be interested in as well:
The takeaway here is to recognize that a whole foods, plant-based diet can be life changing. There are a number of studies that have emerged and continue to emerge showing this, while many more show a strong connection between various diseases and eating meat. It makes one ponder, are humans even designed/supposed to eat meat, or has this simply been the tactic of clever marketing by the big food industry? Something to think about.
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