RE: Vegan Diabetic
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 6:25 AM
Yes, I am a vegan diabetic...and eating this way for 1 1/2 years has DRAMATICALLY improved my blood sugar, diabetic complications, and allowed me drop or dramatically lower my medications. I won't repeat it all here, but read my introduction on the Introduction thread.
It seems counter-intuitive, after all that we've been told by our well-meaning doctors, that the way to control diabetes is to eat plenty of healthy carbs!
If you do not own it, I suggest getting Dr. Barnard's Book on reversing diabetes ASAP. It is an eyeopener and completely shifts your paradigm about the true nature of diabetes. My takeaway, in very simple terms, is that diabetes is not so much a disease of inability to process carbohydrates (which is the way mainstream medicine treats it); it is a disease caused by excess fat consumption that causes the body to have a decreasing ability to process carbs efficiently. High blood glucose is not the disease; it is the symptom...and if you treat the symptom and not the cause...well, you will never get better.
A low-fat vegan diet attacks diabetes at its source. If you go very low fat--no added oils, no fatty vegetable foods (olives, avocados, nuts, etc.)--you may be AMAZED by your body's ability to process carbohydrates! I know I was!
When I was diagnosed with diabetes, my hemoglobin A1c was 13.1 and my blood sugar tested at the doctor's office was over 500! So, to put it mildly, I was very sick with diabetes. First following the SAD diet and then going vegetarian 6 years ago, keeping my numbers under control was always a struggle.
Before I started the January 2010 Kickstart, I was taking glipizide, metformin, Lantus, HCTZ, amlodipine, and Lipitor...even with taking nearly 100 units of Lantus, the doctor was threatening meal-time insulin for tighter control.
When I decided to try Dr. McDougall's MWL plan (which is more strict than the Kickstart) the month after my 1st Kickstart, I found that my body could process complex carbs like potatoes and rice just fine if I ate them with no added fat. My glucose numbers dropped dramatically; I had to cut 20 units of insulin the 1st week! Next to go was the glipizide...and then more insulin...and all the blood pressure medication. All this with my doctor's monitoring--which I also suggest that you do if you decide to go "all in."
The short answer is that you can absolutely do this plan as a diabetic; you will most likely be able to eat your complex carbs so long as you eat them with no fat. Do monitor your blood sugar and do work closely with your doctor to adjust your medication.
I suggest giving the plan a try as-is for the 3 weeks of the Kickstart. If you find that your blood sugar is going up because of the carbs, you can adjust. But do yourself a favor and don't just assume that more carbs = higher blood sugar. You may find, as I did, just the opposite to be true!
Good luck...and keep asking questions!
September Kickstart Goals: Walk/bike daily, keep up with forum, 100% low-fat vegan experimenting with maximizing FLAVOR!