We’ve Known For Decades That Low-Fat Diets Can Reverse Diabetes

DietForANewAmericaI want to share with you a few excerpts from John Robbins’ book, “Diet For A New America.”

In Lancet, Dr. Inder Singh reported a remarkable study in which 80 diabetic patients were restricted to very low-fat diets – 20 to 30 grams a day. … Within six weeks, over 60% of the patients no longer required insulin. In the weeks that followed, the figure rose to over 70%.1

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported a study in which 20 diabetic, all of whom needed insulin, were put on a high-fiber very lowfat diet. After only 16 days, 45% of these patients were able to discontinue the insulin injections.2

Other studies have produced similar results.

Lowfat diets, particularly those without any saturated fat, have demonstrated a remarkable success rate in allowing diabetics to dispense with their pills, shots and pumps.

Robbins published this book in 1987. He wrote it, and the studies he cited were conducted, prior to that. (By the way, he wrote his book at a time before the internet, before the World Wide Web. He had to go to a library to access these studies. His research was more laborious than what it would have been today. You have to have your heart in your work, to believe in what you’re doing, to make this effort.) So, we’ve known for at least 30 years, 60 years by the looks of that 1955 Lancet study, that low-fat diets could arrest the symptoms of diabetes or prevent the disease altogether.

Robbins’ “Diet For A New America” was a popular lay-person’s book (1st edition sold over a million copies), not a medical tome. It was in the social realm. Why isn’t its low-fat advice common knowledge? I’ll tell you … It’s for reasons that induce stores like Natural Grocers to ban Dr. Greger’s plant-based book. It’s because having people eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet would hurt sales of animal food: beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, and all manner of dairy food – cheese, yogurt, milk, butter, cream. That’s why. And you know how the meat and dairy industries keep a lid on the science that could really help people? They come out with their own studies, often meta-analyses which go back in time and cherry pick studies that defend their position.

Robbins says that type 2 diabetes “is especially tragic because it is so needless.” He is right.

1 Low-Fat Diet And Therapeutic Doses Of Insulin In Diabetes Mellitus, Lancet, February 1955
2 High-Carbohydrate, High-Fiber Diets For Insulin-Treated Men With Diabetes Mellitus, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 1979

3 thoughts on “We’ve Known For Decades That Low-Fat Diets Can Reverse Diabetes

  1. Melinda

    I’ve always liked Robbins’ work. Also that of Frances Moore Lappe (and more recently her daughter Anna, in the Small Planet Institute). FML’s “Diet for a Small Planet” introduced me to vegetarianism in 1971, though obviously Robbins’ book was earlier. But I was still in college when his book came out, so was unaware of it at the time. But I have it now! Thanks for pointing out some of the highlights.



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