From a vegan diabetic group:
Yes, I have changed my diet closer to the original way I was eating when I was much healthier. Originally, I ate about 95% raw and I was about 20 pounds lighter and had no high blood pressure or diabetes. Since I found so many wonderful vegan recipes and products and have a sweet tooth, I eventually added many processed products to my diet. Since December, when I was diagnosed with diabetes, I cut my carbs to between 100 and 150g per day. Instead of eating three bananas a day, I only eat one half. Instead of a cup or more of blueberries, I eat 1/4 cup. Basically, my fruit servings are 3 in a day; prior to this, it was unlimited. I eat two meals raw: morning smoothie and one additional meal, a big salad. I now eat no breads and the only crackers I’ve eaten are Mary’s and I count 13 which is a serving. Since December, I’ve lost 10 pounds, my blood sugar in the morning (I only measure it once a day right now) fasting dropped to the 80s. I will go next week and find out my A1C. I think that vegan, whole foods, and mostly raw, is the way to go, at least for me. It worked before, so I’m moving back in that direction with the only change being that I’ve added more vegetables and cut the fruit to three servings. [She failed to recap that she also eats “no bread” and very few crackers.]
MD: A vegan diet is the best choice for turning type 2 diabetes around or preventing it if you have metabolic syndrome or prediabetes. Nothing worked for me until I went vegan. I was on high doses of insulin and now I’ve lost 50 lbs and I am off diabetic meds including insulin.
Me: My guess is that before you went vegan you were eating most anything you wanted, including white bread, white rice, white potatoes, pasta, sodas, and foods with trans fats. A good vegan diet will eliminate all those toxic foods that cause inflammation and insulin resistance. Kudos on your success!
MD: Not everything on that list but a lot. What helped me most was giving up processed food. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, and beans are my basic essentials.
Me: What is your A1C now? And what is your daily blood glucose average?
MD: A1C is 5.8-6.2% and usually my blood sugar is 85-95 with a rare high of 125 if I’m sick.
Me: Great! You have managed to reverse to only pre-diabetic state. Good for you!
MD: Thanks. My goal is to stay below 6.0 but it’s a challenge. If you have any suggestions, I’m open for them.
Me: It sounds like you are meeting your goals! And that’s the most important thing. It’s amazing to me how anyone who doesn’t eat eggs and cheese can even get down to 6.0%. I applaud you!
MD: I worked with a vegan registered dietician. He helped a great deal. Might be time to call him again.
Me: Most vegan diabetics that I know of eat a high-carb low-fat diet (like John McDougall and “Forks Over Knives”). I’m on a quest to locate their “success stories” about how they are controlling their diabetes and what their A1C and blood glucose numbers on a high-carb low-fat vegan diet. Are you one of those “success stories”? Do you have any idea how much carbs, fat, protein, and calories you eat? Or do you not bother at all to keep track of that kind of stuff? Another question for you, L. What part does exercise have in your diabetes management?
LW: None. No, I do not keep track of my carbs. American Diabetes Association site said that I did not have to track carbs at all so I don’t. I have also lost 41 pounds. I did track my calories for about a week just because I was curious; I was eating about 1500 a day and my fat was usually about 5-7.
Me: 5-7 what? Grams? Percent of calories?
LW: I just pulled up MyFitnessPal diary. The last time I tracked I had 1109 calories, 2 grams of fat, 245 grams of carbs, 52g of protein.. I had quite the variety in food that day. I had pumpernickel toast and banana, for breakfast.
Me: Wow, you really did mean 5-7 grams of fat! That is an extremely small amount of fat. Don’t you ever eat avocados or olives? If I ate 245 grams of carbs, even in whole foods, my blood sugar would spike up into the 300-400s!
LW: I follow the Starch Solution by John McDougall and I don’t eat nuts, seeds, or avocados. I will add them back in limited quantities when Ii have lost all the weight that I need to lose. About ten years ago I ate this same way, following Dr. McDougall. Ten years ago I did it because my dear friend had her cancer come back for the fourth time and her oncologist recommended she eat this way to get a few more quality years out of her life. I started eating the same way to support her. I was so healthy and felt so good. However, when she died three years later, I stopped. Then when I was diagnosed with diabetes the end of 2016, I decided to go back and follow Dr. McDougall’s plan.
Me: I could not find where you said what your A1C and daily average blood glucose numbers are now. Did I miss it?
LW: As of February, my A1C was 5.2% and my daily blood glucose is 80-100
From a raw vegan diabetes group:
WS: When I was diagnosed with Type 2 I went raw vegan overnight. I started out in January with numbers in the mid-300s with an A1C at 9.6. I got my A1C down in 3 months to normal levels. In May I went down to daily numbers being a little all over but mostly 100-110 fasting. After 6 months of being 100% raw I added back brown rice in. I noticed my daily numbers went even lower into the 80s. So I added back chickpeas, very small amounts of whole wheat pasta (because I still want to be gluten free), lentils, roasted root veggies like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and butternut squash. All of these items have been treating me well and my numbers through the day have stayed nice and normal. My A1C went to 5.6 in August. My fasting had been more consistent at 90s-100s and my A1C went to 5.4. But even though my A1C is 5.4 and that is normal I am trying to get down into the optimal range. My next 3-month test is November and I see more 80s and 90s than 100s. You have to heal your body before eating other ingredients. Now I am about 80% raw. In my research I found that some people who are on a low-carb diet will have higher glucose numbers and that’s ok.
From another vegan diabetic group:
NH: I have come down from 7.1 last year to 6.5 (these are UK measurements, not sure if the same in the US). I try to stay low fat and low carb, although if I’m honest I am probably more “medium” carb. My primary change has been just eating healthier (although I am no way perfect) and exercising regularly. I try to exercise at least three times a week: zumba is great for cardio, then I do two Legs, Bums & Tums classes for toning. I also cycle a bit and have recently started running (or shuffling, in my case smile emoticon ). Occasionally I will just go into the gym and use the exercise machines for a combination of cardio and weights. Swimming is also good.
SF: For T1 or T2? I’m T1 and 6.2 (UK) high carb vegan on pump. Physical job. I carb count, and take the insulin I need to cover it. Have to be very accurate with weighing food, then adjusting for the GI, but I think totally worth it. It is much easier with an insulin pump, but still possible with needles.
WS: I have reversed my type 2 in 3 months. I went fully raw in Feb 15 with a A1C 9.6. May 15th I went down to 5.6. Which is normal. I have been vegan a few yrs now before going raw [vegan]. I cut everything g out to heal my body. I then added nuts and seeds and some more fruit back in. I now this past week have added brown basmati rice. And a few more bananas. And my numbers are even lower. I eat about 20% fat buy avocado and seeds and some nuts. Oh, and I do not take any medications. I did this with strict diet. Carbs are key. Good carbs. Everything we eat has carbs and sugar in it, even veggies. It’s all about balance in each meal throughout the day. And eating the right carbs, like bananas and kale, not pizza and pasta. Balancing out your sugars to is key, too. Making sure you’re not going over. I used My Fitness Pal app and added every single thing in to see where I was. It helped so much in balancing all my food all day together normal numbers.
BB: I reversed it in the past on a high fat moderate carb diet. Got down to a 6.1 or 6.2. For about 1 year. Life got very busy and I fell out of that plan but am going back to it in my pregnancy.
LE: T1 diagnosed a couple of months ago. I’m a high-carb girl. I inject exactly 1 unit rapid insulin per 1exchange & 9 units of basal at night, I walk my dogs for an hour about 4-5 times a week. Pretty sure im not making any insulin naturally any more and I’ve found high cardio really drops my levels. I probably eat about 8 pieces of fruit a day and rely heavily otherwise on low GI. I’m feeling a million times better than I did 6 months ago!
These are “success stories” that have been carefully screened to promote their respective programs. Read with that in mind.
How I Reversed My Diabetes and Stopped All Medications With a Plant-Based Diet
Reverse Diabetes [NEWSTART®]
St. Helena Center for Health – TakeTEN
Success Stories: Tackling Diabetes with Simple Diet Changes [Neal Barnard]
Testimonial–Beverley’s Story (Diabetes)
Beverley, a diabetic, tells her story of recovery through the C.H.I.P program. (11:42 min)