Can Diet Alone Cure Diabetes?

eodFuhrman Joel Fuhrman says yes. The End of Diabetes is based on a ‘nutriarian’ diet, a nutritious vegan. Dr. Fuhrman discusses and presents the case for better nutrition and decreased medications as a means to ‘cure’ diabetes.

Yes, your life does depend on what and how much you eat, but I felt the nutriarian diet set patients up to fail. You need to focus on your eating habits in the short term in order to gain control of your eating habits. For the long term, a balance is needed. I felt Furman’s heavy-handed scare technique of either you do this or you don’t want to get better theme disconcerting.

Exclusively Beans and Greens. Start With “Non Threatening Amounts.”

A nutriarian diet is all beans and greens all the time. Dr. Fuhrman advocates no animal products. He begrudgingly approves fish and animal products in very small amounts.  It’s a strict organic meal plan with three meals a day and no snacks. The suggestion is to eat smaller than normal portions is challenging. If you can’t do three meals, you might be suffering from toxic hunger aka food withdrawal.  I can’t imagine how one would not be starving on this meal plan. Plus, when you restrict everything, the binge that follows is intense and all consuming.

There’s only so many ways you can eat beans and greens before you start craving other foods.

Thin Equals Healthy

Loosing weight is important to diabetics that are obese. However, it is unclear what exactly is Dr. Furman’s definition of thin. Being thin isn’t healthy either yet throughout the book the reader is told to get thin. On Furhman nutrarian diet, one is certainly going to get thin because all you are eating is greens and beans. A healthy weight is one that is appropriate for the individual person. To tell someone ‘get thin’ well that can be open to interpretation. Kate Moss thin or Adele thin? Which is it?

Eggs Will Break Your Heart

If you Eat to Live you don’t eat eggs.Whenever one thing is singled out as a major health hazard, I question it. Declining health isn’t based on one thing; it’s a culmination of conditions. For example the book states that excess insulin and eggs cause plaque  buildup in the arteries.  So if a diabetic is obese, has too much insulin in their bodies,  and  eating the standard ADA diet (high carb, low protein), having an egg isn’t going to be the sole reason they’ve had a heart attack or stroke. Those kinds of blanket fear statements make me take this suggestion with a grain of salt.

“The tendency to throw drugs at every medical condition is the problem with medicine today.“ Furhman writes.  When someone is diagnosed with pre-diabetes, they are given metformin. There may or may not be given any nutritional information, a glucometer to check their blood sugars.Just metformin. Furman argues that insulin increases the risk of heart attack and stroke in diabetics. The standard treatment is medication first then nutrition. Fuhrman states. ‘The problem is most physicians’ don’t really understand the proper nutritional recommendations to make. “

It’s A Much Larger Issue

Food is a deeply personal and private issue for many. I think in order to make a nutrition plan successful, There needs to be an understanding of the patient and their relationship to food. What does food mean, What are their eating habits, and why do they eat they way they do. These questions are integral to changing those habits. It isn’t as simple as if the person eats better, s/he will feel better and their diabetes is more controlled. It’s more than that. We are becoming more aware of our relationship to health and food. I foresee many more conversations about the quality and nutritional value of food and the kinds of food we consume being coming more prevalent. It’s already out there, but there is resistance to changing any of our eating habits. The End of Diabetes misses the opportunity.

Overall I enjoyed reading The End of Diabetes. While I may not agree with all of the recommendations presented in the book, I do think this book is on the right track: better nutrition, less medication more exercise equals better health.

End Of Diabetes is available on Amazon.com (affiliate link)

 

 

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