For many years my family followed the Pritikin program (low fat, low animal protein, high fibre) and I know that many folks who went to their clinic were able to reverse their T2. But I don't believe that any program is universal. I also think that this sort of diet can be extremely difficult to follow.
As most people here know, I've been following a similar plan since 1-8-09 & I included Dr. Barnard's book as part of my reading material along with Dr. Fuhrman's "Eat to Live." I was surprised at how quickly I lost 35 lbs & have kept it off without counting carbs, calories, fat, etc. and also how my A1c went from 8.9% to 6.0% after only three months where it has stayed for the past 17 months without any medication. Additionally, my high blood pressure & high cholesterol also went from "High Risk" to "Normal" ("perfect," according to my doctor) without medication. My severe heartburn which I had suffered from for several years, completely (and unexpectedly) disappeared. I had been treating it by eating at least 10 Rolaids/day. I've forgotten what heartburn feels like. I've also forgotten what an upset stomach feels like.
It seems the benefits of such a diet go far beyond diabetes reversal and the benefits can be had (at least in my case) even without completely eliminating all animal foods from the diet.
I would find it a bit too restrictive to follow a completely (100%) vegan diet but I'm OK with ensuring that my diet predominates (90%) in plant-based foods. I'm considering a completely vegan diet in the future as an experiment to see if my average glucose & A1c can be driven even lower. I wouldn't miss meat at all (since I rarely eat any now) but I like that occasional bite of cheese or half & half in my coffee.
The improvements I've experienced are a clear indication of what is wrong with our Standard American Diet (SAD.
I read Dr. Barnard's book from cover to cover shortly after it's publication. I was desperately searching for something that might help. I've been T2 most of my adult life - over 25 years now and my A1c just keeps climbing along with everything else. I followed the plan as closely as possible for just over a year. I live in a rural community of about 40,000 who LOVE chain restaurants! Ordering vegan is almost impossible and my family likes to eat out. A trip to Australia last fall was the end of my vegan experiement.
However, I think I will return to vegan - I really felt better ... also losing the heartburn that woke me nearly every night. My friends at work are strongly discouraging this as they think I "look better" now than I did then ... saboteurs?
You'll frequently encounter naysayers & saboteurs whenever you embark on any self improvement activity. By improving your diet & lifestyle, you are inadvertently illustrating what they know they should be doing.
I do believe the more plant based a diet is, the easier it is to control our type 2 diabetes. I don't think the occasional serving of chicken, cheese or half & half with coffee would make any significant change in your A1c result as long as the predominantly plant based diet is follow the majority of the time. The true test is in the glucose readings and the A1c and it seems like both Xring and Rebitzman has proved their diets are helping to control their diabetes.
Rebitzman, I can't remember if you are on any meds or not but I think Xring has made a significant improvement for himself as he is doing his with diet alone. I am not saying any one way is "better" than the other as I am on two diabetes medications myself. I just find it admirable when someone dares and succeeds in controlling diabetes by diet and exercise alone. That is something I'm not willing or able to do quite yet. After losing some more weight, I am going to give it a try, though, with the full support of my doctor who would like to see me get off meds, too.
I don't follow a low fat vegan diet, as I like my meat. However, I have tripled the amount of veggies in my diet, and much of that now includes meals without meat. The more I enjoy the vegetables, the less I eat the meat. It may be that a few years down the road I will be considered vegan, but for now I am a vegetable craving meat eater.
Rebitzman, I can't remember if you are on any meds or not but I think Xring has made a significant improvement for himself as he is doing his with diet alone.
I'm not on meds - and he has made significant improvement.
I am not saying any one way is "better" than the other
Neither am I.
His way is a good way - for him. But it's not right for everyone. xring is entitled to his opinion (as long as it is expressed AS opinion) - here is mine: Following a strict vegetarian/vegan diet is not as important as eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. Vegan diets can (if not carefully managed) be deficient in B12, Vitamin D and several essential amino acids. One other drawback to a vegan diet is the somewhat increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke (which rather balances out the lower risk of heart disease).
Can you carefully manage around these issues? Absolutely - but a piece of fish - skinless chicken and dairy products in moderation and in conjunction with a diet of whole grains (moderation, please), fruits and vegetables is simply EASIER.
And in my opinion, we follow diets that are EASIER. We make LIFESTLYE changes when those changes are EASIER.
That's my opinion - I am not a doctor, I do not play one on TV.
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