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I picked up a copy of this book and was originally dismayed to see it was a vegan approach to diabetes.  While I've been veggie friendly for a long time, I simply couldn't see giving up meat for any reason.  After being on the typical high protein low carb diet for the last eight years, however, it has become more and more clear I need to change something.  As he says in the book, even though my blood sugar is mostly undercontrol with medicines, the numbers keep creeping upward even when I'm diligent with diet and exercise.


So, here I am, reading this book and panicking over the thought of eating oatmeal for breakfast.  And fruit?  Actually eating fruit?  I mean, after 8 years of little fruit and cutting carbs the notion of eating them again and cutting out the meat was sort of terrifying.


Instead of plunging into the diet at the holidays, I did as he suggested and started poking around at vegan recipes to find a few winners for me and my family.  (Keeping six people happy on a diet of any kind is nearly impossible.)


I'd love to see how other people have experienced this type of diet. 


My first carby breakfast in a long time involved barley flakes cooked with apple and wheat germ with flaxseed tossed in at the end.  It was absolutely scrumptious--no added sugar...just a sprinkle of cinnamon.  And, better yet?  My blood sugar two hours later was only 112--lower than my usual eggy breakfast.  I was floored.  I've since had his high protein waffles (made with white beans) and the whole family has loved them.  His oatmeal scones are delicious and easy to make.  My blood sugars have remained under 140 after every meal I've tried--even things that have included spaghetti.  Better yet, there's no calorie counting, and I've not felt hungry.


I've dropped six pounds since Thanksgiving, too.  I'm about 2/3 vegan at this point and am feeling incredible.  High fiber, extremely low fat and healthy carbs have not sent my BS skyrocketing the way I feared they would.

Tags: Barnard, Neal, Veganism

Views: 223

Replies to This Discussion

I have been vegan for 1.75 years. The concern I have w/ Dr. Neal Barnard's plan is that it appears too restrictive with fats. I attempted cutting nearly all fat out of my diet about 10 years ago and I was always hungry and my toenail actually were painfully splitting apart because I did not have enough lipids in my diet to keep them together. Maybe someday I will try it out. I have been focusing on trying to tweak current meals I love to include more grains like using multigrain tortillas instead of corn or white flour. Also I have been ordering brown rice when out in Asian restaurants and not eating much of it. I admit I own his book "Reversing Diabetes" which is not possible for my type 1 diabetes and have only perused it. Maybe he has more fats in the diet than I give him credit for so in the future I may consider it. I just don't like the idea of sauteeing my onions and garlic in water rather than a little olive oil or canola oil.

It is extremely restrictive of added fats, even plant based ones.  However, it's not completely fat free as there are fats in the soy products and some amount in grains and quite a bit in flaxseed. I'm a little skeptical about that as well, but so far, I've not gone "all the way" as it's not to the new year.  I'll be keeping a close eye on how my body reacts so that I stay healthy.

I have been on Dr. Barnard's diet for about 7-8 months earlier this year and I loved it.  My HbA1C was 6.1 and just as you said, I was never hungry.  But I have lost 20 lbs and went down to 110lbs.  My family and also my doctor did not think that was a good idea for a  69 year old.  I had absolutely no reserves left on my body.  So I am on a combination diet and I gained back 10 lbs.  I am still eating the legumes and the whole grains but incorporated low fat or non-fat milk products and fish.  My blood sugar readings are no longer in the very good ranges but I feel I have no choice but continue on this path.  I am not very happy.
I'm sorry to hear that you're sugars are affected by adding in the milk and fish.  I wonder what Dr. Barnard would say given your situation.  Perhaps adding in almond butter or walnuts rather than the milk products?  I am still overweight, so I'm afraid the notion of trying to add weight while maintaining proper blood sugars is something I've not spent much time thinking about.    I hope you can find the right balance for your body!
I followed this diet fairly closely for about a year. I was a vegan to start with, so my problem was really with too much fat. I lost about 45 pounds (265 to 220) over the course of that year, and rarely felt hungry. Although I've now added some refined fats back to my diet, I'm still following the book's recommendations for low glycemic carbs and have not gained the weight back after about eight months off the diet.

This diet emphasizes what some nutritionists refer to as a "slow carb" diet: all low glycemic index carbs. This, combined with the high fiber, is very effective (at least for me) at normalizing carb absorption, and hence bloodsugar. The main drawback to this book's approach, for me, is that it emphasizes type 2 and doesn't have much to offer in the way of advice to type 1s. As a type 1 myself, I felt I had to do a good bit of reading between the lines to apply what the book has to offer to my own needs, but there is still a ton of useful info there.

My personal favorite recipe is the whole wheat pancakes, made from wheatberries ground up in your blender. They are truly some of the tastiest, lightest pancakes I have ever made.
Hmm... unable to edit my comment, so I'll add: the "steam frying" thing, where you saute only with water, broth, or wine, works surprisingly well. It does take a bit of getting used to, but it's a good technique. I find that in most dishes, you can start out with no oil, then add a little good olive or toasted sesame oil before serving for flavor. Remember that fats occur naturally in soy foods, whole grains, seeds, and legumes, so if you're eating good amounts of those things, you can get plenty of fat in your diet.
I know that high in the glycemic index or "slow carb" is a good idea so that we do not get sugar spikes and sugar plunges afterwards. I still want to finish cooking my way through "The Vegan Tables"'s 200 recipes of which I have about 32 left but I could incorporate a little of each. One meal a day from "The Vegan Table" and the others from his suggestions. I don't think I need to lose weight but I do need to build more muscle. Thanks for your opinion wellnab.




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