Here is a video sent to me by RawDaddy. It's a 9 minute documentary about six Americans with insulin-dependent diabetes (Type II, i.e. diet-acquired diabetes) who underwent a 30-day boot camp in Patagonia on a raw foods diet. I assume the isolated location was to prevent cheating!
The insulin-dependent diabetics ate no meat, dairy or sugar. Two people quit, saying it was too hard even though all their meals were prepared for them! At the end, the four remaining people triumphed over diabetes, sporting normal blood sugar readings without insulin. The videographers will check back with the participants to see how they are doing post-study.
It's not necessary to eat a raw foods diet to triumph over insulin-dependent diabetes in 30 days. Ron Rosedale MD achieves the same results with a very low carb diet that is not raw and does include meat and some dairy. Like the raw diet, it includes no sugar. It can include supplements to help control blood sugar. Read The Rosedale Diet for more info.
The Rosedale Diet also normalizes high blood pressure and fixes other heart disease risk factors. I put a few of my forty-something nutrition clients on the diet. Their MDs were about to write them prescriptions for Glucophage due to high blood sugar. Lo and behold, the clients achieved normal blood sugar values within weeks and normalized their heart disease risk factors. Was the diet hard? Yes. Did it take a lot of work? Yes. Did they lose weight? A little, but nothing dramatic. I told them weight loss was secondary to getting these chronic diseases under control naturally.
Is there other support for diet-induced Type II Diabetes? You betcha. In 2007, Gary Taubes published a book supporting the fact that Type II Diabetes is caused by diet: Good Calories, Bad Calories. In it, he explains that when MDs finally figured out the food-glucose-insulin connection, we already knew too much protein was hard on the kidneys, and we thought all fat was bad, so the general consensus was that we can't tell diabetics not to eat carbs! Just eat and medicate. (p. 184) This is the kind of reductionist macro-nutrient thinking that results in bad decisions like this. And, it explains why it is so easy to reverse diabetes with a healthy diet.
Walter Willett, MD of Harvard Medical School published Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy in 2001. It explains that the unfortunate side effects of the Food Pyramid are obesity, diabetes, and heart disease -- the rates of which rose precipitously after 1980,when the USDA began heavily promoting their pyramid recommending 6 - 11 servings of refined carbs per day. In reality, Americans took this as license to eat more than half their calories as refined white flour.
Guess what the glycemic index of sugar is? 68. White flour? 70. Not a typo. Refined white flour, when eaten alone in the form of bread or pretzels or pasta is worse for your blood sugar than pure sugar.
The long-term complications of diabetes and insulin-dependence are serious - heart disease, lost limbs, neuralgias, blindness, comas, death. The way I see it, telling a diabetic he can eat sugar, refined carbs, or even whole grains with enough insulin to offset the glucose generated from these foods is like saying to take their poison and antidote together. Why not avoid the poison? Some will say it's too hard, and unfortunately it is too hard for most people and this is a great place for ADA diabetes educators to step in. But, shouldn't all diabetes patients at least be informed of the natural alternatives? I say yes.