Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:38 AM
I have read Dr. Barnard's book on reversing diabetes. I have also heard him speak in person about diabetes at the Kickstart Intensive that I attended in Washington, DC, in the fall. I also just returned from a holistic cruise where he was a speaker. I attended all his presentations, including the one on diabetes.
I think i understand his theory about reversing diabetes through a low-fat vegan diet. He basically says that by allowing the cells to become clear of the fat from the foods we eat, the cells are able to function normally without the gunk that prevents the insulin to open the cells and allow the glucose in.
My question: while I definitely agree that there is a tremendous value to avoiding animal products, how do we know that the reversal of diabetes is due to the plant-based nature of the diet and not simply due to the reduced caloric intake and resulting weight loss? We know that people who lose weight after bariatric surgery reverse diabetes. Also, people who have lost weight by other means such as Weight Watchers, have also reversed diabetes.
Again, I do not dispute the overall positive value of a plant-based diet. I am doing that. I do want to know, however, whether the essence of diabetes reversal is truly due to the absence of animal foods or to weight loss.