In a past edition of his Healthy Times newsletter (they're archived in the member center) Dr. Fuhrman discusses his approach to beat type II diabetes and get off insulin:
How can diabetics safely lower the high glucose levels that are slowly destroying their bodies? How can they lower their lipids and blood pressure, lose weight, and avoid taking dangerous drugs, such as insulin and sulfonylureas? They need to adopt a diet based on nutritional excellence.
Fortunately, the best diet for good health and longevity is also the best diet for diabetics. It is a diet with a high nutrient per calorie ratio, as carefully described in my book, Eat to Live. When you eat a diet consisting predominantly of nature's perfect foods---green vegetables, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, raw nuts and seeds, and limited amounts of fresh fruit, it becomes relatively easy to eat as much as you want and still lose your excess weight. In my experience, those who follow my nutritional recommendations find that their diabetes disappears astonishingly fast, even before most of their excess weight melts away.
I have achieved marked success with diabetic patients and the success at becoming "non diabetic" or almost "non-diabetic" regularly occurs on the Eat to Live program whether the patient follows a strict vegan diet or not. I describe the diet-style as a "vegetable-based" diet because the base of the pyramid is vegetables, not grains. Even though most animal products are excluded, it is not necessary to adopt a completely vegan diet to achieve the goals. I offer patients the choice of adding two servings a week of low fat fish, such as tilapia, flounder, sole, and scrod, as well as an egg white omelet, once or twice each week. A few servings of very low saturated-fat animal products each week can be interspersed with the vegan meals without diminishing the results achievable from the vegetable-based diet.
Jim Kenny walked into my office for the first time weighing 268 pounds and suffering complications from poorly controlled diabetes. Jim was taking a total of 175 units of long- and short-acting insulin each day, and he already had suffered from severe complications of type 2 diabetes, including two heart attacks and Charcot (destructive inflammation) joint damage in his right ankle. In spite of this huge dose of insulin and six other medications, Jim's glucose readings averaged between 350 and 400, even though he was following the precise dietary recommendations of a dietician who worked in the office of his endocrinologist.
A better approach
After his initial visit with me, Jim began following my nutritional program for diabetics. I initially reduced his insulin dose to 130 units per day, and continued to decrease it gradually over the next few days. After five days, his glucose readings were running between 80 and 120, and he had lost ten pounds. At this point, I put him on 45 units of Lantus insulin at bedtime and 6 units of Humalog regular insulin before each meal, for a total of 63 units per day. By the time Jim returned for his two-week visit, he had lost sixteen pounds. We were able to discontinue some of his blood pressure medications and reduce his daily insulin intake to a total of 58 units per day.
One-month follow up
After one month on the program, we were able to totally discontinue Jim's insulin intake and start him on Glucophage (one of the safer oral medications). He lost twenty-five pounds in the first five weeks, and his blood glucose readings were well controlled without insulin. His blood pressure also came down to normal, and he no longer needed any blood pressure medications. An evaluation of Jim's blood test results revealed an elevated homocysteine level. With the appropriate supplementation with a specific form of folate (methyl tetrahydrofolate) that Jim required, his homocysteine returned to normal range.
No more medication
Five months after beginning the program, Jim was off all medications for diabetes, he no longer had high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and he was more than sixty pounds lighter. His kidney insufficiency had normalized, as well. Jim's case illustrates how powerful my high-nutrient approach to eating is when it comes to reversing diabetes. It also illustrates the sad fact that the standard dietary advice given to diabetics by conventional physicians and dieticians is not merely insufficient; it is dangerous. Jim Kenny would likely be dead by now had his nephrologists not referred him to me for an effective dietary approach.