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Ms.Vegan

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes / Vegan ?

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Hello everyone :)

I'm new to the site, and I signed up specifically for my mother. She recently has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and she's determined to fight and reverse it. I went to her diabetic nutritionist today, and she mentioned Dr. Barnard's book on reversal of T2 diabetes. My question does anyone know anymore information or actually tried an all vegan diet? I tried to research it, but there aren't many articles. Does it lower your sugar levels significantly over time? I'm just looking for some feedback. Thanks!

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There are some vegans on this site, but I bekieve they still have diabetes. You can reverse the symptoms, but you can not cure this disease thru diet. That said, with proper diet, exercise, and or medication one can achieve normal BG levels.

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It's hard to be a vegetarian (I've been at it for 26 years). It's harder to be a vegan (logically). Vegetarianism is a protein challenge. Diabetes is a carbohydrate challenge. The only thing left is fat, good thing that's not controversial, right?

 

It can be done if diabetes is not too severe. If lifestyle changes can get the job done. Try it, test, adjust as needed.

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I cannot speak from experience, as I've never had any interest, desire, or reason to try a vegetarian or vegan way of eating. That said, in my personal experience and observations, a low-carb diet is the most effective for most type 2s in controlling their glucose levels. Without eating meat, eggs, cheese, etc., I'm not sure how a vegan diet would work out unless you cram it full of soy (which can have hormonal side effects when consumed in abundance). I know there are other protein sources, like nuts and beans, but most folks have issues with consuming those in much quantity due to the effect on glucose levels.

 

I'm interested to see if there are any vegans around here who have successfully steered clear of meds and diabetes progression while on a vegan diet.

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What age group is your Mother? Is she overweight? Your diabetic nutritionist knows you cannot reverse diabetes. You can control it, and you can rid yourself of it symptoms. However, you will always need to keep a good watch for its return.

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I am a vegetarian who opposes veganism. I tried, I truly believed, and could NOT sustain a low fat diet. After being diagnosed with elevated LDL and hypothyroidism, I rebounded, gained weight, kept trying to avoid fat, and landed with diabetes.

 

Researching after my diabetes diagnosis I came across low CARB. I have maintained my vegetarianism by adding a lot of eggs, full-fat dairy, coconut oil, and 10 TIMES the Vitamin D I had been taking for most of my life. I feel much better on this diet and rarely get sick with upper resp or digestive tract illnesses, and I have 3 kids and a husband who still do, so it is not from lack of exposure. I arrived at my present diet by testing, eating, and revising my carbs downward and my fats upward. I suggest you support your mother in doing the same.

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I also have no experience with vegetarian/vegan diet helping diabetes, but in the beginning after my diagnosis tried to incorporate a concept of "low fat, more veggies" in my eating. The thing is that my son is vegetarian, probably similar somewhat to Linda (Foxl) here; he doesn't eat meat, but eats eggs and cheese. He also ate fish till recently, I'm not sure if he still does. Anyway, he is also a cook and he tried to make delicious vegetarian food for us. At the time I tried to follow my doctor's advice of eating "whole grains" and "brown rice" and all those wonderful things. I reduced meat consumption too. Well, my cholesterol did improved, but my BGs still were not good and after every meal with "healthy carbs" they went up to at least 160 and sometimes up to 200! And I did NOT eat more than 2 tbl spoons of those "healthy" things. I was also totally miserable and depressed as never before in my life.

 

Then I found this forum and some other sites as "Blood sugar 101" and others and changed my approach to more stuff that wasn't elevating my BGs as much and that I could tolerate and actually LIKED = lower carb, higher fat diet. I eat lots of salads and veggies too (broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, etc). I'm on this diet, or rather live style for 8 months and so far it gets easier for me as time goes on. My BGs are under control. Cholesterol is still an ongoing battle, but I'm not overly concerned as I have high HDL number (86).

 

Now after reading the OP on this thread I got curious and went to research Dr. Barnard. His approach is very much in lines with the official theory of eating low fat and healthy grains. He goes one step further with veganism and claims of meat being a source of all evils health wise.

I also found his book on Amazon and read reviews. They are mostly positive and people are testifying that they're happy and were able to lower their daily BG and their A1C. While I don't believe that diabetes can be reversed (as the title of the book claims) I'm glad that there are options for those who desire to be vegetarian or rather strictly vegan. The only thing that I didn't find so far is LONG time followers of that diet.

Granted - I didn't read the book and have very vague idea of the diet Dr. Barnard promotes, but my impression is that it’s very restrictive in calories and variety, very hard to follow as you have to prepare 99% of your food and also very rich in soy, which is a questionable dietary approach. I also have a feeling that most people only stayed on this diet for a few months and not sure anybody can do it for years. It looks to me more as a “crash diet” to lose weight and maybe get your BG lower, but I think most of the benefits come not from “eating healthy food”, but rather from not eating much of any food at all.

 

I any case, it would be interesting to know if anybody have actual positive experience and were able to lead vegan life AND have their diabetes under control for at least a few years. In my opinion if these people exist at all, they are extremely rare and rather exception. Please feel free to prove me wrong. :)

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I am able to control my Diabetes by diet. I eat fairly low carb, & avoid most processed foods. I eat meat, fish, eggs cheese etc, & lots & lots of veg ( all types)

I do not believe I could get such good control with a vegan diet. I sometimes eat veggie burgers & I note hy are quite high carb, maybe your nutritionist has an agenda to push. Maybe Dr Bernstein would be a better choice for your Mother. She will also have to enjoy the food she is eating, or it won't work.

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Similar to others here after my diagnosis's I tried Read Dr Barnard's book and attempted to become a vegan. I was afraid of eating so much meat. i found it really hard since my numbers told me eating grains was not the way to go. I really wonder how if it can be done. I eat low carb now. Some days I limit meat. I try and eat organic and if possible livestock raised in an humane environment, considerably more expensive. Such as buying a heritage turkey. I have to limit since it is so expensive, but i this is my way of handling diabetes.

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In my view it is far easier to control diabetes very well by eating meat. Reason being that if you eat protein and fat you will get much lower usually normal levels. Whenever you eat carbohydrates, they will raise your blood sugar immediately. It means relying on vegan foods makes it a real challenge.

 

As for reversal, no. Good control is the aim.

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I ate an exclusively vegan (strict vegetarian) diet for 4-5 years for health not ethical reasons. I was able to control type 2 diabetes without medications on a vegan diet for 4 years. My A1C went from 8.5% down to 5.1% in a short period of time. I lost 45-50lbs and lowered my bad cholesterol significantly. I was no longer able to control diabetes natural because I stopped exercising regularly due to an unrelated medical issue and I gained the weight back because I did not reduce my caloric intake during that period.

 

It is easy getting plenty of protein on a vegan diet. It is easier for me to lose and maintain an appropriate body weight to manage diabetes on a vegan diet. The leaner I am the lower my A1C is. After I started eating meat again, primarily turkey, I gained 20lbs. Currently I eat a mostly vegan diet at home. Eating out vegan is a pain in the rear so I eat whatever I want on the road.

 

I am not familiar with Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs. I had to Google his name to find the title.

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A1C,

 

This is interesting. So what typically do you eat?

 

ETA: I looked at your other posts. You DO eat eggs and cheese! I'm sorry, but it's not a vegan diet.

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A1C,

 

This is interesting. So what typically do you eat?

 

ETA: I looked at your other posts. You DO eat eggs and cheese! I'm sorry, but it's not a vegan diet.

I didn't say I eat an exclusively vegan diet now or recently. I did from approximately 2005-2009. I don't like the phrase "fallen off the wagon" because my diet is not my religion. I can tell you what I used to eat regularly.

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I didn't say I eat an exclusively vegan diet now or recently. I did from approximately 2005-2009. I don't like the phrase "fallen off the wagon" because my diet is not my religion. I can tell you what I used to eat regularly.

 

Yes, pleas would you? You said it is "easy" to get enough protein and I would love to hear where from. I have vegan friends who are struggling with this aspect and I don't have great advice, other than whey protein powder (which I'm not sure is 100% vegan?) or nuts and avocado. I can't recommend soy since I believe that health negatives outweigh the good. Beans too are often problematic for many people.

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A1C,

 

This is interesting. So what typically do you eat?

 

ETA: I looked at your other posts. You DO eat eggs and cheese! I'm sorry, but it's not a vegan diet.

Yes, I know that eggs and cheese are animal products.

 

 

Yes, pleas would you? You said it is "easy" to get enough protein and I would love to hear where from. I have vegan friends who are struggling with this aspect and I don't have great advice, other than whey protein powder (which I'm not sure is 100% vegan?) or nuts and avocado. I can't recommend soy since I believe that health negatives outweigh the good. Beans too are often problematic for many people.
Whey protein powder is not vegan. It is a dairy product. Whey protein

 

I would recommend getting a copy of Simply Vegan by Debra Wasserman and Reed Mangels, Ph.D. The book has a vegan nutrition section that lists which vegan foods are good sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The Vegetarian Resource Group's website is a good source of information. Protein in the Vegan Diet

 

When I was a strict vegetarian, my food consumption usually consisted of the foods listed below. Obviously not all of the foods listed in the same day everyday. I would mix it up for variety.

 

Tofu

Soy milk (B12 fortified) I do not like nutritional yeast.

Black beans

Kidney beans

Chick peas

Lentils

Split greens peas

Brown Rice

Quinoa

Couscous

Wheat germ

Bananas

Oranges

Peanuts

Almonds

Walnuts

Flax seeds

Sunflower seeds

Canola oil

Olive oil

Collard greens

Kale

 

There is plenty of protein in the foods I listed.

 

My dietitian told me years ago to limit my carb consumption to 45-60g of net carbs maximum per meal and 15-30g of net carbs maximum for my bedtime snack. Now I limit my net carbs to 45g per meal maximum. I recommended that I eat small frequent meals 5-6 a day. I limited myself to 2400-2500 calories a day. I tried to keep my consumption of calories from fat in the 20-25% range. That and exercise helped me with weight loss. Too much protein or too much fat in my diet keeps me blood glucose levels elevated to high. I am not a believer in the extremely low carb diets for me. Every individual needs to find out what works for them. There is not a one size fits all diet.

 

Delayed sleep phase is the medical condition that threw a monkey wrench in my exercise program years ago.

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A1C,

 

This is interesting. So what typically do you eat?

 

ETA: I looked at your other posts. You DO eat eggs and cheese! I'm sorry, but it's not a vegan diet.

Yes, I know that eggs and cheese are animal products.

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Delayed sleep phase is the medical condition that threw a monkey wrench in my exercise program years ago.

 

You are probably right about the diagnosis but it might be worth checking your cortisol levels - low cortisol levels produce similar symptoms. The test is an utter pain because it has to be done really early in the morning and they have a 10 minute window to run the test from the time the blood is drawn so it usually done in hospital (the staff hate it!)

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My wife had similar problem with sleep, it was later determined to be her cortisol curve was way off. Her highest cortisol readings according to a 24hr saliva test were in the evening when they are suppose to be in the morning. She was prescibed cortef high dose in the morning trailing off during the day, then a cortisol inhibitor at night. It worked.

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well, it appears that there are many ways to control Diabetes via diet. You will have to ask your Mother, which type of food plan would work best for her. It is important that we enjoy the food on whatever way of eating we choose, otherwise, it is not sustainable long term,

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The title of the thread interested me. To say that Type 2 Diabetes can be reversed is a complete farce. It can be controlled very well like many people do. Controlling Type 2 with good stable numbers with diet & exercise is about as close to reversing as it well ever get. There is no cure, there is not reversing it, anyone that says there is, is full of excrement. There is control & that is it. I am not at the point of controlling this with diet & exercise as I am still on medication.

 

As for the vegan part, i have no opinion on that.

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You are probably right about the diagnosis but it might be worth checking your cortisol levels - low cortisol levels produce similar symptoms. The test is an utter pain because it has to be done really early in the morning and they have a 10 minute window to run the test from the time the blood is drawn so it usually done in hospital (the staff hate it!)
The disorder is not currently a problem. I was diagnosed by a sleep specialist (M.D.) years ago. He referred me to a cognitive therapist. The psychologist suggested that I take 3mg of melatonin at bedtime. The melatonin works. That's a brief summary of my treatment. I have not needed to schedule an appointment with either one of them in years. I have a bad memory so sometimes I get the exact amount of years confused. There are a lot of specialists on my payroll figuratively speaking.

 

I will keep cortisol in mind and mention it to my primary care physician during my next appointment.

 

The title of the thread interested me. To say that Type 2 Diabetes can be reversed is a complete farce. It can be controlled very well like many people do. Controlling Type 2 with good stable numbers with diet & exercise is about as close to reversing as it well ever get. There is no cure, there is not reversing it, anyone that says there is, is full of excrement. There is control & that is it. I am not at the point of controlling this with diet & exercise as I am still on medication.

 

As for the vegan part, i have no opinion on that.

The phrase "reversing diabetes" is a marketing tool. Google Dr. Gabriel Cousens. There are several "movements" claiming to have a cure for diabetes. Raw vegans can be annoying and dogmatic at times especially the banana cult.

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There is no cure, there is not reversing it, anyone that says there is, is full of excrement. There is control & that is it.

I think it depends on your definition of "cure."

 

I don't use the word to describe myself, but others have, including one of my PCPs who dubbed me "no longer diabetic." I am not controlled via diet and exercise (unless somehow my regular consumption of fast food, sugary beverages, frozen custard, candy, etc., has become a means of control!), nor have I been on any meds (never on insulin) for diabetes in over 2 years.

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@Ms.Vegan

I did eat like a vegan for over a year.

 

I decided to go vegan MdDougall style in May 2008. I did this when several years ago I became aware that my higher FBG and the frequent spikes to 180/200 were not normal. According to my lab tests my FBG between 2001 to 2008 ranged from 110 – 109 with several 119 and 114 inbetween. There was no overt progression and no complications.

 

I only had one A1c done in those years and it was in Feb 2008 (5.9) right before I started McDougall vegan. I wanted a baseline for what was to come from my change in eating. (Check my profile. I was never overweight and not a junkfood or fast food eater – just home cooked whole food meals – but VERY heavy on fruits like apples, grapes, oranges, etc. and grains (incl. rice, millet, quinoa, spelt, etc). Naturally a vegan diet with these foods had much appeal for me.

 

So on May 2008 I started the basic McDougall vegan diet. His is ‘starch based’ YES!!! You can eat ALL the starch based foods like yams, potatoes, beans you want with lots of other veggies and some fruit but go lightly on grains if bloodsugar is a problem) No added ‘free’ oils, total fat to be kept to 10% or below. The theory (proven fact according to Dr. McDougall and many others like Dr. Barnard) is that added fat will CLOG your arteries and make you more insulin resistant.

 

BTW the McDougall plan does not include soy “frankenfoods” (imitation sausage etc.) just wholesome foods in their original state.

 

If you’re interested here’s the overview with specific articles from the McDougall site: Hot Topics: Diabetes

 

There are many people on the MdDougall board who were able to get off their med both for blood sugar and blood pressure. The website has a segment called “Star McDougllars” showing videos and testamonials of people who have turned their life around successfully – in their own words. Some things always work for some but not all.

 

I have kept a spreadsheet of everything I ate since that time with the BG readings starting vegan in May 2008.

 

Continued high FBG and almost daily spikes to 180 or more till August when I noticed I stopped spiking after sweet potatoes, which I loved, (still eating lots of fruit, beans etc). FBG all of a sudden 99 – 107 – 100 – 104 eating things like 1/4 c oatmeal, 1/2c rice, papaya, 1 sl apple then 2 wasa w/peanutbutter, banana, 6 cherry tomatoes for breakfast.

I still had occasional spikes to around 170.

 

My A1c Aug 2008=5.6 Feb 2009=5.7…Jul 2009 5.8. (in the end I started to cheat with richer foods to gain weight)

 

To make a long story shorter I went from weighing 93 lbs to 85 (4ft11) – I looked emaciated and it was probably this weight loss that contributed to my lower numbers. I was always hungry even though I ate all the time (so it seemed). Eating was becoming an obsession with me. So I stopped vegan and checked out low carb.

 

I’m presently trying to find a middle ground because I think vegan or VLC are both extremes that don’t suit me. I love aspects of both.

My FBG are again around 110 with some occasional ‘unexplained’ periods of under 100 for a couple of weeks. My A1C is around 5.9. I'm up to 91 lbs.

 

My conclusion after several years of travelling around the net is that you can get results with high carb/low fat OR low carb/high fat. IT TENDS TO BECOME A PROBLEM WHEN YOU MIX THE TWO TOGETHER (high carb with high fat)

 

And of course, exercise is very important – just a 1 or 2mile fast walk after dinner will do wonders.

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I think it depends on your definition of "cure."

 

I don't use the word to describe myself, but others have, including one of my PCPs who dubbed me "no longer diabetic." I am not controlled via diet and exercise (unless somehow my regular consumption of fast food, sugary beverages, frozen custard, candy, etc., has become a means of control!), nor have I been on any meds (never on insulin) for diabetes in over 2 years.

jillybean, I think what no5isalive meant is that there is not a diet that can cure diabetes. You had surgery to “cure” diabetes. If a person diagnosed with diabetes were able to get their hemoglobin A1c down to between 4% and 6% through diet and/or exercise without medications the disease is under control not cured. Hypothetically, if that same person stopped exercising and ate junk food all of the time, mostly likely their A1C levels would eventually elevate to above 7.0%

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