It has been estimated that by 2030, India will be the first on the list of having the largest number of people suffering from Diabetes in the world! But there is hope, for experts have enough cases to prove that Diabetes can actually be reversed without medication.
A sedentary lifestyle, topped with lack of exercise and increased consumption of rich foods is the leading cause of diabetes in India. And all this is largely due to rapid urbanization leading to drastic lifestyle modifications. So much so that children as young as fifteen are being affected by this disease. In fact it has been estimated that 77.2 million people suffer from prediabetes, a condition in which patients have high blood glucose, and are at a high risk of getting Diabetes.
So is a diabetic is relegated to a life-long sentence filled with medicines, insulin, thinking a hundred times before consuming food and living with a fear of developing other conditions such as strokes, blindness, kidney problems and more. Well, there’s hope, as worldwide health experts have discovered that diabetes can actually be reversed. Dr. Neal Bernard, a clinical researcher, author and health advocate who has been the principal investigator on several clinical trials investigating the effects of diet on health, has enough evidence to prove that a whole plant based diet can actually reverse Diabetes. ‘Studies show that by adopting a low-fat vegetarian diet, free of all animal products and vegetable oils, individuals can lower their cholesterol, reduce their blood pressure and blood sugar and lower their insulin insenitivity’ he says. In his book ‘Dr Neal Bernard’s Program of Reversing Diabetes’, it is clearly stated how diet actually alters what goes on in an individual’s cell. His program actually repairs how the body uses insulin.
Closer home, we have SHARAN, an NGO based in Auroville dedicated to the cause of ‘Making India Diabetes Free’. Headed by Dr. Nandita Shah, SHARAN has helped thousands of patients stop their medications and insulin too. ‘Our programs too are based upon the research of Dr.Neal Bernard’s philosophy,’ says Dr. Nandita, ‘also our disease reversal programs involve recommendations of dietary and lifestyle changes only. In fact patients can enjoy many of the foods they have been avoiding by understanding the real cause of the disease. Thus Diabetes no longer is a life sentence.’
Diabetics are generally told to change their diet by minimizing sugar and carbohydrates, but that doesn’t eliminate their disease. ‘The reason is that fats cause diabetes and not sugars and carbs,’ explains Dr. Nandita, ‘fat in the muscle cells clog insulin receptors resulting in insulin resistance, which is the cause of type 2 diabetes.’ Thus all one needs to do is reduce the fat in their diets. This means cooking with minimum or no oil and reducing all animal products including diary and foods made by them. ‘Animal products are loaded with fats and contain no fiber,’ she continues ‘and all these items can actually be replaced. Whole plant diets are not only delicious but the side-effects are pleasant – no more constipation, acidity, loss of weight, lower blood pressures and no cholesterol.’
Over the years, SHARAN has developed a brilliant system of offering support by organizing one day seminars, film screenings, cooking sessions, potlucks and having support groups all over the country. They also teach how one can make nut milk yoghurts, cheese and even ice-creams! ‘Our annual 21 day program has shown maximum results because it takes 21 days to change a habit” she explains, stating how the program enables one to develop a healthy lifestyle through exercise, food and nutrition.
‘Learning that Diabetes can be reversed has liberated me,’ adds UK based Ramesh Hirani, who reversed his disease after attending SHARAN’s 21 day program in June 2014. ‘I feel I have my life back, and the difference in my vitality and general health has improved immensely.’ Mohit Sawheny from Delhi shares “In just two weeks of following the diet, my doctor cut down my diabetic and blood pressure medications! I jumped from taking 3 rounds to 10 rounds of walk in the garden. It is like magic!’
Unfortunately there are only a few doctors in India who are advocating holistic health by advising the right diet instead of medication. This could be due to lack of knowledge or fear of their practices being affected. However the trend needs to urgently grow if we don’t wish most of us to be a part of the worldwide Diabetic statistic. It is a war that we need to win for certain.