- Being a vegan = more vegetables and fruits!!!
- Decreases junk food, a box of potato chips might be vegan, but it isn't low fat.
- It promotes weight loss, which is a good thing since most people with Type II diabetes are overweight. Weightloss alone helps lower blood glucose.
- The program apparently works really really well.
- Excellent explanation and analogies of the disease process and complications of diabetes.
- His studies did not include an exercise component, but he does discuss how exercise is needed for optimal blood glucose control.
- No need to measure portions, encourages people to eat until they are comfortably full.
- It's an alternative to the high fat, low carb diets.
- Not only does the diet address diabetes, but also heart disease and renal failure. Both are major issues for people with diabetes.
- He sites the China Study, which has been reviewed by many people and found to be very unfounded and based on correlation. My high school psychology teacher used to say "correlation does not equal causation"
- His two studies were very small 13 test subjects in one, 49 in the second.
- He states "there is no reason for anyone to eat animal-derived foods"... let me know if I'm wrong but I think we evolved with canine teeth for a reason. People must supplement their diets when they cut out meat, and no ancient culture would ever willingly cut out meat or seafood all together.
- He attributes food cravings to a release of opiates from meat, sugar, cheese, and chocolate. And poor diet to poeple having a lack of dopamine receptors in their brain. He skips over the fact that both these issues have major social, environmental, and emotional connections too.
- He promotes the ingestion of a high amount of processed meat substitutes. According to him, I could have: Scrambled tofu, 'Facon', and a glass of rice milk for breakfast, A tofurkey and soy cheese sandwich at lunch, and a stir-fry with Boca meatless crumbles for supper. This is a lot of processed soy. While edemame and small amounts of tofu and tempe are ok, these highly processed products may be linked to....CANCER! Something he also forgets to mention; women with certain types of breast cancer need to avoid soy secondary to it's estrogen mimicking effects.
- He limits nuts because they are high in fat. He considers a serving of nuts as 3oz, but in actuality it's only 1oz. Almonds and walnuts have been shown to lower overall cholesterol while simultaneously improving HDL cholesterol levels. Nuts should be promoted, not limited.
What I found most interesting and controversial was the research on milk. Much of what he discusses in the book can be found on the PCRM website, and it's worth taking a gander at. They cited a study finding that drinking more than 1 glass of milk/day increases a woman's chance of ovarian cancer by 73%. WHOLEY MOLEY that's a lot. The studies concerning IGF-1 and it's links to prostate and breast cancer may be suspect. I question it especially after reading this literature review by the Cornell University Sprecher Institute on Comparative Cancer Research; it appears that the milk consumption and cancer risk are rather unfounded. There are a few other issues in the research he cites, such as the one finding that children under the age of 1 should not drink dairy milk since it leads to colic and iron deficiency. Duh...ideally they should be drinking their mothers breast milk; formula is a close second. No dietitian or doctor would ever recommend that children under 12 months drink regular dairy milk.
Ultimately I like the book, it does promote a healthy lifestyle and for people who are tired of counting carbs and limiting their favorite pasta dishes, going vegan might be a good alternative. I just feel that Dr. Barnard may have taken studies and twisted their results to favor this type of lifestyle. For the most part the jury is still out on what the best type of "diabetic diet" is. Low Carb, Vegetarian, Paleo, Low Fat... I encourage people to eat whole foods especially fruits and vegetables, and so far there are no studies to show otherwise.