We’ve known since the 1930s that type 2 diabetes can be prevented, arrested, and even reversed with a plant-based diet.
Plant-based diets are relatively low in calories; is it possible that diabetes just got better because people lost weight? To see if plant-based diets have benefits beyond weight loss, we need a study where people are switched to a healthy diet but forced to eat so much they don’t lose weight. We waited 44 years for such a study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1979, which you can see in my video How Not to Die from Diabetes on NutritionFacts.org.
Subjects were weighed daily. If they started losing weight, they were made to eat more. Without any weight loss, did a plant-based diet still help? Overall insulin requirements were cut about 60 percent, and half the diabetics were able to get off their insulin altogether – despite no change in weight. How many years did that take? Not years. An average of 16 days.
We’re talking about diabetics who had had diabetes for as long as 20 years and injected 20 units of insulin a day. Then, in as few as 13 days later, they were off their insulin, thanks to less than two weeks on a plant-based diet – even with zero weight loss. It’s astonishing.
As a bonus, their cholesterol dropped like a rock to under 150. As noted in a 2010 study in Current Diabetes Reports, “moderate changes in diet usually result in only moderate reductions in LDL cholesterol levels.” But how moderate do you want your diabetes?
“Everything in moderation” may be a truer statement than some people realise. Moderate changes in diet can leave diabetics with moderate blindness, moderate kidney failure, and moderate amputations. Moderation in all things is not necessarily a good thing.