Vegan Diet for Type 1 Diabetes

Someone recently wrote me asking for information on eating a vegan diet and Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when your body is not making any insulin and so you have to take insulin injections. The person writing me said that even though she could take more insulin to deal with the higher amount of carbohydrate in a vegan diet, “more and more research shows that type ones can build up an insulin resistance if too many carbohydrates are consumed.”

I have only had a question from someone with Type 1 diabetes about two previous times and do not currently know anyone with Type 1 diabetes eating a vegan diet. I do not know of any published studies on the subject, so any advice I give is fairly theoretical. I responded by saying:

“A whole foods vegan diet has been shown to be beneficial for Type 2 diabetes in three studies that have been conducted on people with Type 2. I am actually working on an article combining the results of these studies. A lot of the benefit of such a diet is due to lower caloric intake, which probably won’t help someone with Type 1. However, I could see that the higher fiber content of a whole foods vegan diet could release carbohydrates more slowly into your blood and result in lower insulin needs, even if the carbohydrates are a higher percentage of your diet.”

I also enclosed an article from a 1999 Vegetarian Dietetic Practice group newsletter that addressed Type 1 diabetes in vegetarian children.

I’m wondering if there is anyone out there who has been vegan for awhile and has Type 1 diabetes, who can help this person (and myself) know more about their experience.

Thank you!

49 Responses to “Vegan Diet for Type 1 Diabetes”

  1. essie Says:

    hi jack (love your new blog!). i’m not diabetic, but have three friends who have type 1 diabetes: one who is a decades-long vegetarian, one who follows a plant-heavy nonvegetarian diet, and one who eats the typical SAD diet. the one following the SAD diet takes the most insulin (and is also the only of the three that is overweight) but that’s merely anecdotal, of course!

    Dr. Joel Fuhrman has said that his type 1 patients have been able to dramatically reduce their insulin on his Eat to Live plan, so maybe your questioner would find his work helpful. he prefers a vegan plant-based diet, but also offers versions of the plan with 10% or less of animal products (by calorie). his website is . he offers some success stories of some of his type 1 patients here:

    thanks again for all the terrific info you put up here. i’ve passed on your B12 “novel” to several friends. 🙂

  2. Cobie deLespinasse Says:

    I am not a diabetic. But I think there may have been a discussion of type 1 diabetes and animal products in The China Study by Campbell. (I’m afraid I don’t have a copy or I would look it up.) I hope they find the information they’re looking for.

  3. Jack Norris RD Says:


    There is a brief discussion of Type 1 diabetes in Chapter 7. It cites a study (that was published in a book, otherwise I would look it up on PubMed), in which people with Type 1 were able to reduce their insulin on a low-fat, high fiber diet.

  4. Cobie deLespinasse Says:


    Now I have a copy of The China Study, which I didn’t have when I posted an earlier note. I found one more area that talks about Type 1 diabetes: Chapter 9, in the 2 sections “Type 1 Diabetes” and “The Controversy of Controversy”. It says that children may be more likely to get Type 1 diabetes if they consume dairy products. On page 191 of the paperback edition, Campbell wrote, “The American Academy of Pediatrics in 1994 ‘strongly encouraged’ that infants in families where diabetes is more common not be few cow’s milk supplements for their first two years of life.” So maybe the person with type 1 diabetes would want to suggest to family members that they not feed dairy products to infants.

  5. Kelly Says:

    I was diagnosed a brittle type one diabetic three years ago. I’ve been vegetarian for 2 yrs and vegan for 1 year. The vegetarian part helped alil but not much. Going vegan however, has helped my health and energry tremendously . My body was not able to tolerate the crap that comes in dairy. I’m always obsessively modifying my diet and exercise routines, researching herbs and supplement TREATMENTS (not cures.. i get lectured all the time :p) to improve more and more each day. So far vegan low carb diet has done wonders for me, with the aid of drinking lemon water with cayenne pepper everyday to help my digestive system/nerves/circulation. (Cayenne pepper is a wonder herb, google it!)I don’t have a solid answer for anyone as I am still struggling with this unfortunate disease myself, but would just like to throw it out there as a suggestion.. I know I wish someone would have told me years ago. Hope I helped some?

    xox Kelly

  6. Megan Says:

    I have had type one diabetes for 18 years. I have been vegan for 2 years now and I feel amazing. I never get sick anymore, I have lost weight and I will never go back to the SAD diet.

  7. Jack Norris RD Says:

    From a reader:

    “In 1986 I came down with type 1 diabetes, and in 2006 I went vegan. At the
    time I went vegan, there was zero information out there about how veganism
    might be adapted for someone with type 1 diabetes. I really wasn’t sure that
    I could go vegan without ruining my health (all those carbs!).

    “I was remembering this today, and four years later there still isn’t much
    out there. Your non-answer from 2009 is the best answer out there.
    Everything else is nonsense about a raw vegan diet “curing” type 1 diabetes.
    I wanted to share my experience with you so you might have more to add if
    you’re ever asked about type 1 diabetes and veganism again.

    “Since going vegan, my A1c results have gone from 8-9% to the low 6s. I can’t
    claim that all of the difference (or maybe any of it) is due to veganism,
    because I made other lifestyle changes at the same time, the most
    significant of them being switching from an ineffective doctor using old
    diabetes care methods to a very supportive, up-to-date doctor.

    “My cholesterol has also gone down some (though it wasn’t very high to begin

    “I don’t think my change to a vegan diet was that different from many other
    people’s. I did it gradually over a few months, testing my blood sugar often
    to see how new foods affected it (the same thing I would have done with any
    new food). I gravitated towards foods with fewer added sugars (unsweetened
    plant milks, for instance). I still pay attention to how many carbs I’m
    eating at one time, balancing carb heavy grains with lots of nonstarchy
    vegetables and beans and a moderate amount of soy. Eventually I even
    reintroduced some fruit to my diet, after avoiding it for years.

    “I have since met several other vegans with type 1 diabetes who are also
    thriving. What I take away from my experience is that it is possible to
    manage type 1 diabetes well while eating a completely vegan diet.”

  8. Kristen Says:

    I am a 17 year old who, after being vegetarian for four years and vegan for nearly one, has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I am very glad to hear that there exist other type 1 diabetics who are doing well on a vegan diet- one I plan to follow for the rest of my life.

  9. Peggy Wilkins Says:

    I, too, have recently toyed with the vegan diet idea. A type 1 diabetic for 12 years (I am now 54) i am overweight, exhausted, totally out of balance in my life. I watched the OPRAH show on veganism last week and it makes sense, but how hard is it to transition? I don’t eat red meat at all and only purchase humanely raised poultry and eggs, but we tend to cook a lot of pasta dishes for economy. Did anyone else see that program and wonder how much that full cart at Whole Foods cost?! I am seeing my nutritionist at Columbia University Medical Center next Friday and plan to grill her on how to do this without putting myself into a diabetic coma!

  10. Jack Norris RD Says:


    > I am seeing my nutritionist at Columbia University Medical Center next Friday and plan to grill her on how to do this without putting myself into a diabetic coma!

    You should let your health care professionals know you are trying this in case they have suggestions about insulin changes, but they might not be terribly supportive (hopefully they will be).

    A gradual transition is probably warranted. Generally how to do it is to stick with whole foods for protein (legumes, nuts, tofu, tempeh) and carbs (beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables) and monitor blood sugar carefully until a reliable pattern emerges. Spaghetti (but not necessarily other pasta) is an exception to only whole foods in that it has a fairly low glycemic index due to how the starch is formed. Added/processed fats/oils won’t affect blood sugar negatively – might even make it more even.

  11. Jack Norris RD Says:

    And make sure you follow these recommendations if you are going to drastically cut down on animal products for more than a couple weeks.

  12. Alex Ciccone Says:

    I’m 19. Vegan for 2 years, vegetarian for third. I was just diagnosed with type 1. I have not had any problems with a higher carb intake. But exercise helps to lessen the amount of insulin I need. Whenever I work out my body becomes more efficient with insulin and I therefore need less. So that might be something to consider. If you exercise after your meals you should inject less insulin, talk to your dietitian or endocrinologist about it.

  13. brad Says:

    I’ve been a type 1 diabetic for 28 years, with an average HA1C of 6.0, despite eating and drinking pretty much what I want (except fast food). Downside is exhaustion and daily spikes in my blood sugars. So I began to alter my diet, principally in adding back in cards. My energy levels increased and I felt better throughout the day.

    I recently read Dr. Esselstyn’s book, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.” Although somewhat extreme in its views, I began the regime and have felt great. Weight is down (and expect to get back to around college fighting weight). Cholesterol is the next area. With a follow up in 3 weeks, only the results will tell what if any difference the regime made, as well as exercise.

    Based on what I’ve reviewed, a vegan diet is fine. Don’t worry about what will or won’t happy in terms of the diet, including carbs. See what works for you. Add in or subtract those things that aren’t helpful.

  14. Zion Says:

    I am type a type 1 diabetic. I have been Vegetarian for about 7 years and Vegan for some time. I became Vegan/Vegetarian to actually help me with blood sugar levels. I am an all or nothing type of person and I knew if I eliminated meat from my diet (and later all dairy) that it would strongly reduce the fast food so many Americans (like myself at the time) have been accustomed to. At first I did not notice any drastic differences because I tried to supplement my not eating meat with all of the fake chicken nuggets and hot dogs I could find. A couple years later when I truly focused on a plant based diet I saw significant changes to my health and diabetes. My A1C’s are in the mid 6’s and I am the healthiest I have ever been. I take far less insulin than I did as a carnivore and even saw a dramatic drop in my basal rate (I am a pump user) when I went to a full Vegan diet. I do have to say I do tend to be on the low side more than the high side I know that is better but it is also difficult. I am constantly having my basal rate lowered.

    I would say don’t worry about the extra carbs (not that there really are any extra but that is for another discussion) A plant based diet is the best diet I feel for all people and especially those like Diabetics Type 1 and Type 2 that have to watch what they eat. I hope this helps if you have any specific questions I would be happy to answer them

  15. MEStaton Says:

    I am a type 1 diabetic diagnosed in 2006. I recently adopted a vegan diet. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I went to a lecture on the veganism and type 2 diabetes but I was skeptical. After several years of various low level health problems from the diabetes I decided it was time to take the plunge. Also because I have a hypothyroid, PCOS and had my gallbladder removed in 2000.

    Initially when I went to the lecture on veganism and diabetes I was skeptical that there would be enough carbohydrates in my diet if I went vegan. I am also completely against fake food and with the Hypothyroid I cannot be dependant on a soy heavy diet. After doing research and looking at what you can actually eat I realised there are more than enough carbs in the form of breads, rice, pasta, grains etc. and that if I eat whole foods I can avoid overdosing on soy.

    What helped me embrace the vegan woe now is the fact that I did the DAFNE course provided by the NHS in the UK. It stands for Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating it promotes taking as much insulin as is required for the amount of carbohydrate you consume so that you can eat what you want not eat what you need for your insulin.

    At the moment I am eating a lot of pulses, vegetables, wraps, rice and pasta dishes. If you are going to be vegan with diabetes it’s best to do it with a healthy attitude toward food. You have to be willing to eat widely and not rely on fake or replacement foods or supplements.

    I find it suprisinly easy, I’ve not had any more hypos than normal or been too high.

  16. LeftoverCrack Says:

    Hi Jack,

    I’ve got diabetes type 1 since about two years and I’m vegan since one year and a bit.
    The higher consume of carbohydrates is no problem for me and doesn’t cause any insulin resistance. My need for insulin is pretty low which might be caused by workouts.
    Besides a high amount of carbohydrates there exist other factors that cause an insulin resistance like high blood fats, less workout etc.

    If you need any further “inside” informations about type 1 diabetes just contact me!

  17. Bailey Says:

    I have been Type 1 for about 9 years now and Vegan for 2 and a half. I started out being vegan after reading Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live and have never looked back. After high school I noticed I had gained weight and and had no energy. My blood sugars were much less controlled than I would have liked. After swithcing to a plant-based diet my daily Lantus dosage was cut in HALF and I took maybe 6 units of Novolog with meals throughout the day. I also added intense daily exercise which definitely contributed to my lack of need for insulin, but the way my body responded to whole, plant foods was definitely different than the crap I used to eat. I still use Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid as a guideline for my everyday eating and would reccomend a plant-based diet to anyone with Type 1 diabetes looking to improve their health.
    P.S. Don’t be afraid of fruit carbs! Your body needs good carbs to operate!

  18. julie butler Says:

    My son who is 10 was diagnosed with type 1 when he was 9 months old, he is vegetarian has little dairy as i am vegan, i find he needs a lot less insulin than most other kids of half his age, i was looking up if the needs of a vegetarian where less than a meat eater with insulin amounts and found this page, his hb is usually around 7% which im told is very good for a child of his age, i wouldnt say he had a great diet, but am wondering if it is indeed him being vegetarian contributing to him needing less insulin

  19. Jack Norris RD Says:


    I don’t know the answer to that, but it seems to be fairly common based on the anecdotal reports here.

  20. Brittney Says:

    Hi I have been type 1 diabetic ever since March 2011 and my A1C’s have been 5.3-5.6 range so I’ve doing very well. Although I am not vegan or vegetarian I typically eat: 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil every morning (helps stabilize BS and works wonders!), smoothing with spinach, greek yogurt, 1/4 avocado, and a handful of fresh fruit or Bobs Red Mill oatmeal with almond milk, chia seeds or cacao nibbs and fresh fruit. For lunch I’ll have a whole wheat wrap with tuna or organic chicken that I cook or just a salad with lots of veggies. Dinner time is usually a protein (fish or poultry) with lots of veggies. BUT, I have now been very interested in a vegan diet, however I’m not sure exactly what types of food to include being that I have type 1 diabetes. I’ve heard of the 80/10/10 diet, but that scares me because it consists of primarily carbs. I exercise on a regular basis and I usually only take 2-3 units of humolog a day and I use to be on 19 units of Lantus but now Im down 11. Overall, I just don’t want to switch to a vegan diet if I’m going to require higher doses of insulin.. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and reading everyone else’s post is really comforting and I really appreciate it!


  21. Jack Norris RD Says:


    I would recommend not trying the 80/10/10 diet, but rather just substitute legume foods for the fish and poultry. Whole legumes contain a lot of fiber to slow the release of carbohydrates. Legumes include beans, peanuts, green and split peas, tofu, tempeh, and edamame.

  22. Meagan Says:

    I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic almost two years ago. My last A1C was 5.5, which is great but I don’t feel great. Over the past two weeks I have moved to a more vegetarian w fish diet and I do believe it is helping me feel more ‘even’ throughout the day. I still try to stay away from traditional pasta because in my mind high carb is high carb and I just don’t need to be doing that. I like taking lower amounts of insulin now because I know this disease is a beast and tougher days will come. I’ve traded in for quinoa and polenta and Im satisfied with that but keep in mind it needs to be done with some portion control. Some of my favorites are ratatouille over creamy polenta and bun-less quinoa burgers with a salad.
    I’m contemplating a Vegan diet to cut out the dairy as well. I’ve made a switch to almond milk which has been great. Im just not sure I can give up my greek yogurt at lunch. 🙂

    I also enjoy reading everyone’s post. Other’s successes are a real testimonial to the changes Im starting to make. Thanks!!

  23. Donna Says:

    How great to find this site and here’s my story. Type 1 diabetes hit me out of the blue over the course of 6 weeks when I was 52. Now 59 I had a massive watershed experience about a month ago (driving along in a car passed a huge slaughter house – felt sick and faint and horrified) and adopted a vegan life style. I have never felt fitter or healthier. My bg has become so stable and insulin needs dropped. My skin is better with age spots disappearing. While I didn’t take up a vegan diet to help the Type 1 the resulting changes seem like a small miracle to me. I never was a big carb fan so I don’t eat white flour, rice, potatoes, sugar etc. I eat masses of vegetables, nuts, nut butters, very little fruit and some beans, oatcakes and black rye bread and a little tofu, along with good cold pressed oils and seeds.I am loving my food now. Like the person above I drink unsweetened Almond Milk and it’s delicious .

  24. Peggy Wilkins Says:

    It’s Peggy from Feb 2011, above, chiming in again. Well, I did it-totally Vegan since Memorial Day. My husband also, which makes it easier. I didn’t run it by my endocrinologist, I jumped in. I have lost 14 lbs, my husband 10, and lowered my Lantus intake by 20% and my Novalog by at least half. I can breathe again, my chronic nasal stiffness is virtually gone. So I sleep better. Constipation gone.

    I have a battery of blood tests to take before my next endo visit, so it will be interesting to see how my experiment has worked. We initially said it would be temporary, just to see what would happen, but I don’t think either of us will ever go back now.

  25. Athena Says:

    I’ve been vegan since I was 14 years old. Three years ago at age 24 I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I have not given up my vegan diet, but I have had to lower my intake of fruits and carbs. The latter of which was a bit of an issue because I’m also an avid runner and enjoy marathons. It is an ongoing learning process, but I feel it is entirely possible. I may be at benefit, having grown up with a chef dad and a “health nut” mom. But thankfully with a little research anyone can discover the wonders of almond /coconut flour and quinoa!

  26. Peggy Wilkins Says:

    Still going strong with the Vegan diet. 35lbs lost in 8 months. My blood tests came back with great numbers: my A1C has never been lower @ 6.7, cholesterol down, no vitamin deficiencies, all good. I wish I had done this 5 years ago.

  27. Ray Says:

    I am a type 1 diabetic for forty years. I recently decided I was going to start eating a vegan diet. I did no research prior to strarting. On day one I noticed my blood glucose levels were lower. It struck me as odd especially since my carb intake increased. As the days passed I had to lower my basals and increase my carb to insulin ratio. I failed to mention that I am on an insulin pump. I am approaching four weeks and have to readjust my basals a few times. My blood glucose levels are perfect. I am curious to see what my next lab results will show. Just wanted to share this and wondered if there are others who have experienced similar results.

  28. Paul Says:

    Ray, you should check out the China Study (Campbell) which you can purchase from Amazon and Dr Neil Barnard has some stuff on You Tube which covers this. The hypothesis is that insulin sensitivity is impaired by excess animal fats. I have been diabetic for 36 years and have recently started to follow a vegan diet an am noticing that i need much less insulin.

  29. Peggy Wilkins Says:

    Ray, see my posts also. I read somewhere that research is being done on ANIMAL FAT as a contributor to elevated blood sugar, not just carbs. Interesting, huh? So as a Vegan, you DO eat more carbs, yet you loose weight and take much less insulin. I wonder what the effects are on Type 2 diabetics.

  30. Jack Norris RD Says:


    You can read about the clinical trials on a vegan diet and type 2 diabetes here:

  31. brittany Says:

    I am type 1 diabetic and have been raw/vegan for over a month. My BG levels are the steadiest they’re ever been, and I’ve been taking very little insulin. Also my energy levels are through the roof, which makes it a lot easier to get motivated to exercise. The first couple days of the raw diet you can really feel the “detox” effects, but it’s worth it, ive never felt better in my life! Raw might not be right for everyone, but if you’re diabetic I think it’s worth a try! (I guess discuss it with ur endocrinologist first.)

  32. Ray Says:

    I am a type 1 diabetic since the age of 6 (41 years). I previously posted the problems I was having before going vegan ie: weigh gain, insulin resistance etc. Here is my update. I’ve been eating totally vegan now for about 11 weeks. I have a lost a total of about 25 pounds. At the six week mark I had blood drawn and went to see the endocrinologist. After six weeks of going vegan my A1C went from 8 to 7. My total cholesterol went from 190 to 135 and my LDL went from 135 to 80. My triglycerides are perfect and kidney and liver function is normal. I will follow up after my next doctor visit and let you know what my levels are like. My endocrinologist is going to run a battery of tests so I should get a real good idea how the vegan diet is affecting my levels. I have tons of energy and am continuing to loose body fat. I am taking a lot less insulin and my blood glucose is steady and normal.

  33. Jack Norris RD Says:


    That’s great news – congratulations!

  34. Sara Says:

    I have had type 1 diabetes for 4 years, and have been going on and off a vegan diet for the last year for 1 or 2 months at a time. Every time I make the switch to veganism, my insulin intake drops massively (lantus went from 18u to 7u, humalog dropped from roughly 30 units a day to about 5 or 6 units a day), and my blood sugars automatically drop and stabilize. Interestingly, I have fewer lows (and highs), probably because I’m taking lower doses of insulin, so perhaps I’m less likely to over-dose.

    I finally decided that enough was enough, and with all the benefits (such as dropping from an a1c of 7.1 to 6.2 in one month, weight loss, better energy, etc), I recently made veganism a permanent change and haven’t looked back. Sure, I miss the taste of meat and dairy from time to time, but even those cravings have faded over the past few weeks.

    I was reading the above comments (so nice to hear about other people with similar experiences!!) and saw that some people mentioned speaking to their doctors prior to making the change. My advice would be to give it a try even if they don’t fully support it. My own doctor has told me many times that veganism is too radical and has actually “accused” me of trying ‘fad diets’ that can lead to eating disorders. When I came back a month later with my a1c a full point lower, she actually acknowledged that since veganism seemed to be working for me, I should feel free to continue it….. Not all doctors may be supportive of veganism, but I truly believe that it is simply because they may not know very much about plant-based diets.

  35. Brittney Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I’m also type 1 diabetic and have been so for 2 years (diagnosed in march 2011). I was taking 17 units of lantus and 5-10 units of humalog per meal (it use to be much less but as time passed my body began needing more and more insulin to keep my blood sugars in a good range). I was quickly becoming sick and tired of the endless needle injections, the weight gain that was impossible for me to loose, and just the fact of having a ball and chain with me everywhere I went (my insulin and glucose meter). So, I was determined to treat my diabetes as naturally and holistically as possible. Through much research, trial and error I was finally led to discover Dr. Robert Young’s pH Miracle program. His philosophy states that their is one cause for sickness and disease and that is the overacidifcation of the body. So, how can we treat and possibly heal type 1 diabetes? By alkalizing the body. So that is exactly what I am doing. I work with a coach who is a trained microscopist and she examined my blood with a live and dry blood analysis. I have been on the cleanse now for a little over a month when Dr. Robert Young invited me to his ranch in San Diego, CA to do a testimonial for being completely off all my insulin. I am only eating liquid greens (veggie juices, shakes of avocados, cucumber, zuchinni, hemp powder, cinnamon), homemade almond milk, liquid chlorophyll, salts, 4-6 liters of highly alkaline water and I will be doing so for 4 months. After that I will slowly incorporate sprouted grains, grapefruit, and various carbs like that into an 80/20 lifestyle. I am monitoring my progress the entire way and we shall all see what the outcomes are. I can tell you that this may sound like a difficult “diet” to follow and who knows what the benefits/outcomes will be, but living my life with the insulin injections where I could eat whatever I wanted is in no way missed. I am so much happier now simply by flourishing my body with these amazing foods. It is reprogramming my body and MIND and pallet and after the 4 months I cannot wait to begin living my life feasting on mostly raw foods as well as soups, salads, lightly steamed vegetables, hummus, almond butter, homemade almond milk, veggie wraps, green smoothies, and green juices. Hope this inspires others who also have type 1. Please follow me on Facebook at Brittney Alkalarian and “LIKE” my page Divine Alkaline. I just created these pages a few days ago and I need the support of other type 1’s to join my page so we can all learn and share from each other! I will continue to post my progress on there as well. Also, my type 1 diabetes testimonial videos with Dr. Robert Young are on there or simply search on Youtube- Brittney Herrera type 1 diabetes reversal

  36. Jack Norris RD Says:


    Congratulations on getting off your insulin. Have you lost weight on the diet?

  37. Brittney Says:

    O yes. I’ve lost 17lbs. and that is just an additional benefit. I originally began this alkaline journey specifically to see if I could stop taking the insulin and then loosing the weight has just been an added plus : )
    If you have any other questions I’d be happy to answer them.

  38. Jack Norris RD Says:


    Thanks. I would suggest that the weight loss can explain getting off your insulin, not the alkalinity/acidity of your diet.

  39. Brittney Says:

    I definitely beg to differ. There are many factors that play roles in the pH Miracle program that I am following and if I don’t follow strictly to the protocol then my blood sugar is still affected, despite the 17lbs. I’ve lost. I can see your point with the weight if I was type 2 diabetic, but type 1 is an entirely different ballgame. The key components in this program is COWS (chlorophyll, oils, water, and salts). I suggest reading the pH Miracle book so you see where I am coming from with the belief that the alkaline approach is what is contributing to my lack of insulin.

  40. Jack Norris RD Says:


    Dr. Young should publish a clinical trial to show that he can cure type 1 diabetes with his diet. For anyone with diabetes, I’d recommend being aware of this, at the very least, before attempting any “miracle” diet:

  41. Peggy Wilkins Says:

    Good advice, Jack. Sounds like an ad in disguise to me.
    To Sara, above, it IS hard to say bye-bye to cheese, dairy, etc! I hadn’t eaten red meat for 35 years before giving up all animal products, so I guess I was half way there. It is more of a mind set, a mantra, “that’s not for me.” I have trained myself to look “over” all the stuff I can’t eat and focus on the ones I can. I still get anxious when there is a social situation and I don’t know what is being served. We have a family reunion in a few weeks and I discretely had someone tell the hosts beforehand my situation, and I will eat a small meal before I go. My endocrinologist has told me in the past that I know more about my disease than most doctors and interns in that hospital center and to trust my gut. That was very empowering. Good luck!

  42. Melissa Says:

    Hi, I’m a type 1 diabetic of 23 years and I’ve eaten mostly vegan for the past 4 years and I became entirely vegan over a year ago. Since I started eating vegan (even before I went 100%), my a1c has always been in the 5.3 – 5.9 range. Since going entirely vegan, it’s always been 5.5, even during times when I thought I was running a little higher. I don’t actually totally understand what is up with that — there’s a part of me that thinks that a1c’s are not really measuring an average blood sugar, but just how much hemoglobin is build up on your cells, which may or may not give an average number and may or may not be meaningful. But I digress.

    Type 1 diabetes is always a struggle, no matter what you eat. No diet is gonna make your body make insulin again and you’re going to have to self-administer it one way of the other. But I do find I use less of it, have lower a1cs and better sugars, get fewer colds, have a lot of energy, and as best as I can I’m not acting like a jerk to my fellow earthlings by not eating them, which makes me feel good in an emotional way that I feel convinced leads to more positive health outcomes, though that may be some hippie-dippy feelgood stuff. And I also test my sugar a lot and respond to what it is and do that all the time — take care of my blood sugar.

    From my experience, and what I see reported from other type 1 vegans, we use less insulin, have lower a1cs, and lose weight. Those sound like positive things to me. Personally, I do not restrict carbs, really. I might unconsciously do it somewhat just from being diabetic forever and knowing I’ll use a lot of insulin for it. But I like to eat fruit and I don’t limit it, I just give myself insulin for it. I try to eat lower fat because I find fat has unpredictable effects on my sugar, especially if I do something foolish like eat some nuts before bed. But others may need something like that to keep their sugars up and not drop low. I don’t know, everyone is different and it’s trial and error, the ratios of the 3 types of calories (carbs, protein, fat) that works for you. But no matter what ratio you like, it can be done while eating vegan, and done very effectively.

  43. Charles Says:

    I am a Type I diabetic and a vegan. I follow Dr. Fuhrman’s advice (have for the last 3 years) and I have been able to keep my insulin needs low. I also don’t feel deprived, get enough protein and calcium, and I’m also able to do plenty of exercise. Before changing to the new eating style, I had problems controlling my blood glucose, had episodes of hypoglycemia, and was hungry all the time. Now I’m in the pink of health vis a vis all the markers of disease, except for my pancreas not producing insulin. YMMV, but for me Dr. Fuhrman’s approach was a lifesaver. My diabetes team (doctor, nurse practitioner, nutritionist) were skeptical at first but are now both impressed and very pleased.

  44. Arthur Says:

    I am a lucky non-malady, non-morbidity meso-ectomorph. Four % body fat until age forty and still lean for my age. Reading the above did not surprise me; I have been vegetarian and now vegan much of my 72 years and still I am very active and without any health problems.

    When you are eating primarily water and cellulose it is pretty hard to gain weight. When you are eating primarily fresh fruits, vegetables and various types of whole, unprocessed carbohydrates you are certainly recieving all of your micronutients. In the case of the above diabetes sufferers I think your diabetes has had at least one salutory effect, it has made you aware of the effect a healthy lifestyle.

    I originally looked up this subject to inform myself on veganism and diabetes for a young college athlete that I used to train. He is type 1. Your wonderful comments and testimonials confirmed my suspicions, which I will share with others. Reading your comments have given me a real insight into the problems diabetics face on a daily basis.

  45. Sue Says:

    I have been type 1 for 15 years. I quite eating a lot of meat and stuck with turkey products, dairy, and eggs several years ago (of course for the needed protein…ha). I recently went completely WFPB and I can say I am in disbelief. I’ve yet to find my magic dose of long acting insulin and I am lowering daily. The rise and fall when eating is slow and gradual. My short-acting insulin is almost not needed. I am eating tons of carbs and the spikes are nonexistent. Why has not one doctor, endocrinologist, dietitian, or diabetes educator ever mentioned this before?! I am excited to see my next lab results for the difference in cholesterol levels. I use a Dexcom and I can already see improvements with glucose. My 30 day average WAS in the 170s and currently it is at 121. I haven’t even been able to incorporate exercise into the lifestyle change yet due to the lows…hoping to get that regulated to get back to exercising soon. Like I said, I am in disbelief. The difference is insane.

  46. Michelle Says:

    I am day 4 fully vegan, after on and off for a few weeks (mostly vegan with a few slips of eggs etc), and low-ish carb. Type 1 since 1977 and hit 40 years wiith type 1 in June 2017. My mom had type 1 from age 4 to 44 when she passed in the 80s so strong family history re this autoimmune disease.

    A1cs are 9.3 as of last test in Sept. I have cholesterol through the roof. I decided on a vegan diet and transitioning to low carb and daily exercise several hours a day (walking, movement) I am finding gliucose remains labile as always but the swings are more manageable. In a week I gained 5 lbs which I attribute to glucose absorption by cells vs it ending up in urine.

    I feel awful with weight gain despite low carb effort and exercise. I walked 6 miles (even with naturopathic pain I push myself) and hoped for more manageable results. I have also been exhausted but am giving this a full try over the month given positive reports above, likelihood that my body is detoxing etc. I generally stay away from processed soy. I have huge fibroids I am trying to avoid surgery on so limit soy products (though I have read Japanese women do not struggle with Fibroids like western women and wonder if soy is so bad as a phytoestrogen). I struggle with cooking and food prep and eat greens straight, whole foods. I had legumes and I was sick for a day with spiked glucose and terrible gastric effects. So I am struggling with protein sources. High carb foods, even veggies, spike my glucose in a few minutes and require ample insulin to cover so I am avoiding that.

    I hope to be on the right track eventually, I am day four with no meat or dairy and no processed grains. I hope this is a detox effect and I will feel better soon.

  47. Chase Says:

    Hi, my name is Chase and I have had Type 1 Diabetes since I was 15 years old. I am 21 now and I started eating a vegan diet in March 2017. To tell you one thing, I am more energized and I am stronger than I have ever been. Email me if you would like to talk more.

  48. Sherriann Says:

    Hi, My 6 year old daughter is a type 1 diabetic. I am interested in some kid friendly plant based meals to begin converting. She is somewhat of a picky eater but also open if that makes any sense. I also have another daughter who is 5 and she is even more of a picky eater then the other.

  49. bhakti Says:

    I have T1 50 years. Vegan for 5 years and have not felt this good…ever.

    I have minimal complications and recent heart disease diagnosis. This is expected with all T1s of 50 years. ( especially those of us who lived through the years of no blood testing and animal insulins)

    I am committed to living life to the fullest and never foresee eating animal products again.

    We are so discipline as T1s ..this diet is easy, delicious and worth every bit of feeling good!!

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