Saturday, January 22, 2011

How to manage diabetes without going on a high protein diet

Today's question comes from Tara in Altamonte Springs, FL.  Her question is

"How can I manage my diabetes without going on a high protein diet?"

Since I don't know if she was asking about Type I or Type II diabetes, I will assume it is Type II.  Either way, plant based diets are the best diet for both.

I have good news Tara, you and others with Type II Diabetes can stop managing your diabetes with medications and start managing it with nutrient dense plant foods by adopting a Plant Based Diet!  The medications you currently take may give you normal numbers on your blood tests but that doesn't equate to health when you are manipulating the numbers with pills.

Medications put a band-aid on the problem, they don't get to the root cause!  Eating the right foods, exercising daily for 30 minutes or more in your target heart rate, getting restful sleep and practicing stress relief are habits that will address the root cause.

In Dr. John McDougall's newsletter dated December 2009 he writes,  "Drug therapy has consistently failed patients with type-2 diabetes, and their well-intended doctors, making the search for an alternative treatment imperative. Since the rich Western diet is agreed to be the cause of this epidemic, should diet not be the first place to look for the prevention and the cure?  Written reports on the benefits of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate, plant-food-based diet on type-2 diabetes date back to at least 1930. Several published studies demonstrate how type-2 diabetics can stop insulin and get off diabetic oral medications with a change in diet. One goalpost is weight loss to the point of normal body weight, at this time the blood sugars of most patients diagnosed with type-2 diabetes will normal, and then everyone will agree that no further treatment with medications is needed.

By great good fortune, this same low-fat, no-cholesterol diet successfully used for diet-therapy for diabetes has been shown to prevent and treat heart and kidney disease, and prevent many common forms of cancer. Heart disease accounts for 70% of the deaths in diabetics, diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure, and cancer is more common in diabetics."

As far as high protein diets go, the only thing healthy about them is most of them ask you to stay away from processed carbohydrates.  Which I'm sure you know as a diabetic you must be careful with refined foods. However, animal products are not exactly health foods!  Like processed foods, they are devoid of vitamins, minerals, fiber, water and phytochemicals. 

The protein in plant foods is equivalent to the protein in animal foods. You do not have to focus on eating more protein on a plant based diet or combining beans and rice to get essential amino acids.  As long as you get enough calories from eating nutrient dense foods you will get more than enough protein and essential aminos.   Protein requirements are overstated in this country- the main reason is because the USDA Food Pyramid is manipulated by Agribusiness lobbyists.  It has not been designed with optimal health in mind.

Dr. Fuhrman has had great success with diabetics on his "Eat for Health" Plan.  My advice is, first read the book.  Then, talk to your doctor about it (bring the book to your visit) so that you can work with him/her to gradually adjust your meds to the point of weaning off them entirely as you lose weight.


Taradactyl in a Modern World said...

Thank you. It is Type II and I have been managing it w/o meds thank God. Only prob has been keeping my numbers low enough while avoiding animal products. I will trytore ad his book.

Gretchen said...

If you are not on meds then you should have very quick results, probably within 2 weeks you will see a change in your numbers if you follow Eat for Health. You might also want to join Dr. Fuhrman's online membership forum. You can ask questions directly to him and get support from other members who are diabetic.