Sunday, September 23, 2007

Could a vegan diet help diabetics?

If you have visited the website of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine , you will know that Dr. Neal Barnard has studied the benefits of a vegan diet as it relates to diabetes. My brother-in-law was recently diagnosed with the disease at the beginning of the year. The diagnosis was only made after he became very ill and had to be hospitalized to get the condition under control. It has been several months since then. A couple of weekends back, I saw him at a family barbecue, which included the usual burgers, but also several colourful salads. I watched him as he injected himself with a dose of insulin before eating his meal and later asked him about this. He told me he takes approximately 4 injections a day around meals. Having known him to be a meat-eater for my history with the family (over 33 years) I did not talk to him about looking into changing his diet.
Other diabetics I know who take insulin injections, also seem to be of the mindset that it isn't what you eat that matters as long as you take your insulin. How difficult would it be, if I was in the shoes of a diabetic, to give up eating animal products if it would make a difference in how I felt and more importantly if it offered the option of getting off injections? I can only speculate that, yes I think I would give it a try if the evidence was credible.
Recently in the new publication Canadian Health & Lifestyle, a small piece on page 25 hints about the ongoing work (Eating raw may help diabetes). A study is following a group of diabetic people who for 30 days are eating a 100% vegan, organic, live and raw food diet. The objective is to reverse diabetes. Apparently, for those who completed the program (described as a roller coaster), the results were impressive. A feature film is slated for release in spring of 2008, but you can check out the website complete with trailer here. The preview seems pretty authentic - it is not easy for many people to give up meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, etc. even if the trade-off is good health. Some of the participants dropped out because they believed it was just too tough to hang in (us humans have a way of doing just this.....believing our thoughts to be true!).
If you know of anyone who has diabetes, you might want to suggest they look into this approach.

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Amie Dianne said...

Thanks for your comment! I left a reply on my blog. :-) I'm so glad more people are learning about the Raw for 30 Days documentary. Dr. Gabriel Cousens' books are interesting reads. The effects of eating raw food are nothing short of miraculous. My naturopath helped me heal chronic acne & eczema through his 21 day detox program of eating raw food and colon cleansing. The skin troubles are triggered by my sensitivities to wheat & dairy, but after years of eating that stuff, I needed to do more than just cut them out of my diet to heal. Oh, and as for the wheat thing, I can still try your chocolate cake recipe... I just have to substitute spelt flour. I seem do to do ok on other gluten grains, like rye, spelt, kamut, and barley.

Compassionate Consumption said...

Amie - good to hear from you.
Re the chocolate cake, I also tried to alter the recipe by using spelt (if I remember correctly I did a 50-50 combo). Anyhow, just a heads up, the result was much heavier than the original. If you know a dessert chef, you might want to ask them how to properly adjust the recipe when you are changing the flour to spelt - it might be in the ratio of moist ingredients or maybe the baking soda/powder. Good luck with it. (It was still delicious but just really dense!! Not necessarily a bad thing when you are talking chocolate cake!!)