The Reverse Diabetes Diet

Author of The Reverse Diabetes Diet Dr Neal Barnard is in New Zealand today to promote his book. We asked Dr Barnard to respond to criticism by New Zealand diabetes experts about some of the claims in his book. 

Dr Barnard passed on his thanks to the reviewers of his book and highlighted the fact that this is a vitally important topic, given that diabetes is an ever-growing epidemic.

In relation to the criticism of the title of the book, Dr Barnard stresses that he is not trying to suggest that this low-fat vegan diet will provide a ‘cure’ for diabetes. Certainly, Type 1 diabetes in particular will always require continued insulin treatment regardless of dietary change. Rather, his aim is to ‘reverse’ the trend of gradually increasing weight, slowly rising blood sugars, higher doses of medications, and worsening complications.

Concerns have been raised in terms of compliance, with suggestions that this diet may be difficult to adhere to. However, Dr Barnard claims that a vegan diet is similar to a more conventional diet with regard to ease of maintaining the dietary changes.

In terms of the nutritional adequacy of a vegan diet, particularly for people with high nutrient needs such as pregnant women and adolescents, the diet should be well planned to ensure nutrient needs are met. Dr Barnard stresses that diabetes is a serious illness and always requires medical supervision.

Advice from a New Zealand registered dietitian will help those who wish to follow a vegan diet ensure their nutrient needs are met.