VIDEO: Tackling diabetes with a bold new dietary approach: Neal Barnard at TEDxFremont

In this video, Dr. Neal Barnard talks about a simple solution to Type 2 diabetes – eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

In 2010, 25.8 million people—8.3% of the population—had diabetes; with 1.9 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older every year. In Americans aged 65 years or older, the rate is an astronomical 26.9% (10.9 million people – CDC). According to the International Diabetes Foundation, there are more than 300 million people living with diabetes worldwide, with China (92 million) as the world leader in diabetes cases, second only to India (80 million). (America is in third place.) Last year, the worldwide figure for diabetes was 382 million people; by 2035 this will rise to 592 million.

The traditional treatment for diabetes consists of insulin injections, or blood sugar medications, and the removal of all foods that can be broken down into sugars (carbohydrates). Dr. Barnard points out that although these measures can, at least temporarily, slow the illnesss, they can’t cure it. The illness will continue to progress, and patients will have to endure treatments that are either uncomfortable or unappetizing.

According to Dr. Barnard, diabetes – long considered a chronic, incurable illness – is not only reversible, but preventable. With his patients, he found that by putting them on a diet that eliminated fats and emphasized fruits and vegetables, their diabetes disappeared. His rationale for the diet was that human beings are genetically designed to be herbivores. We may be able to eat meat, but we did not evolve as carnivores. (See Dr. Barnard’s humorous “bunny test” in the video.)

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