by Danica Collins, author of The Plant-Based Village

More than 422 million adults (aged 20–79 years) were living with diabetes in 2015, according to the World Health Organization.  That’s almost 4 times the 108 million diagnosed with diabetes in 1980.  This brings forth one of the largest disease burdens of the 21st century:  1 out of 3 Medicare dollars—and 1 in 10 healthcare dollars—are spent on people with diabetes.

And it’s only getting worse.  The International Diabetes Federation estimates that the global number of patients with diabetes is expected to increase to 642 million by 2040.  Until recently, the TRUTH about what causes diabetes has been unknown to conventional medicine—and therefore, the reversal diabetes has also eluded the general public.

Conventional medical wisdom has always maintained that diabetes is caused by consumption of sugar and carbohydrates.  Now, it’s been discovered that nothing could be further from the truth.

Dr. Neal Barnard, diabetes expert and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, declares as follows:  “Diabetes is not—and never was—caused by a high-carbohydrate diet, and it’s not caused by eating sugar.”  He asserts that the cause of diabetes is a meat-based diet that builds up the amount of fat into the blood.

Dr. Barnard further states that consumption of animal-based foods—including beef, pork, turkey, chicken, dairy, and eggs—causes tiny particles of fat to build up in the muscle cells of the human body, and this causes insulin resistance.  This insulin resistance prevents the sugar that naturally comes from the food we eat from getting into the cells where it belongs.  Instead, the sugar builds up in the blood—and this is what causes diabetes.

Consumption of animal-based foods—including beef, pork, turkey, chicken, dairy, and eggs—has been linked to type 2 diabetes.  Evidence can be found in a study co-authored by Dr. Barnard, Susan Levin, and Caroline Trapp titled Meat Consumption as a Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes (published in Nutrients, a journal of human nutrition in February 2014), where it was found that meat consumption is consistently associated with diabetes risk.

This suggests that when individuals with diabetes modify their dietary habits to include plant-based foods, and reduce or eliminate animal-based foods, diabetes can be reversed.  When people who already have diabetes adopt a low-fat plant-based diet, their condition often improves dramatically.  They experience significant improvements in their blood sugar, as well as their cholesterol and their weight.  Further research shows that a plant-based (or vegan) diet is more effective than a traditional current diabetes diet—and is much safer than a low-carb diet.

Another study titled Unprocessed Red and Processed Meats and Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Type 2 Diabetes provides evidence that eating processed meat in particular—such as bacon, hot dogs, salami, cold cuts, and deli meat—has an even larger impact.  Consider this:

Just one serving of processed meat per day increases the risk of developing diabetes by 51%!

The study, titled Adherence to a Vegetarian Diet and Diabetes Risk (published in June 2017), quantitatively assessed the association between a vegetarian diet and the risk of developing diabetes.  Its conclusions suggest that a vegetarian diet has a protective effect against diabetes risk.

Indeed, a plant-based diet appears to be the answer to the diabetes epidemic, and offers hope to those who wish to prevent or reverse the devastating effects of diabetes in their lives.  If you conduct further research on your own, you will also discover that plant-based foods may be mankind’s best bet in fighting all chronic disease, including cancer and heart disease, supporting long-term health, and contributing to human longevity.

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Danica Collins is the author of 7 health and wellness books, including The Plant-Based Village: How to Transform Your Health, Your Life and Your Planet through a Plant-Based Diet, the definitive guide to easily transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle for health, environmental, ethical and humanitarian reasons.  Now available on Amazon at