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Book Summary Video Interviews with Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D. on his book “Program for Reversing Diabetes” for HealthBootcamps.
Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Dr. Barnard has led numerous research studies investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, and chronic pain, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Barnard has authored more than 80 scientific publications and 20 books for medical and lay readers.
As president of the Physicians Committee, Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research. He has hosted four PBS television programs on nutrition and health, and is the editor in chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians, a textbook made available to all U.S. medical students. His research contributed to the acceptance of plant-based diets in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In 2015, he was named a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In 2016, he founded the Barnard Medical Center in Washington, DC, as a model for making nutrition a routine part of all medical care.
Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Dr. Barnard received his M.D. degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the same institution. He practiced at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York before returning to Washington to found the Physicians Committee.
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[00:01] REENA JADHAV: Hi everyone it’s Reena Jadhav with the health boot camp and live longer podcast here with Doctor Neal Barnard talking about chapter two of his book. Doctor Neal so how can we reverse type 2 diabetes? What is the new understanding of the cause?
[00:16] DR NEAL BARNARD: When we look at diabetes, it’s clear there is too much sugar in the blood that is what diabetes is all about. So until fairly recently people kind of naively assumed it came from eating sugar or I mean eating too much carbohydrates which digests sugar in the blood so thought that was the cause and thought the answer is toning carbohydrates and that will bring down your sugar a little bit. However, following that low carbohydrate approach for the most part people didn’t get a lot better. With using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we have had an opportunity to actually look inside the cells of the body and then we found something amazing. It turns out the whole reason why sugar is building up in the blood is because it can’t get into the muscle cells and into the liver cells where it belongs. Why not? Because there is something in those muscle cells and in those liver cells that is stopping the sugar from getting in. What is that? Its microscopic fat particles that came from foods. So to put it short and sweet you ate a chicken salad sandwich with a slice of cheese and a bunch of French fries for lunch and the fat particles went from your digestive tract into your blood, into your muscle cells and as they build up into your muscle cells sugar can’t get anywhere. So what we have done in our research facility here is change that so I will take the animal products out of your diet suddenly there isn’t any beef fat or chicken fat anymore at all, there is no cheese anymore and if I keep vegetables oils low as well, there is not a lot of any kind of fat. And the fat drains out of the cells and then the glucose can now go in, the blood sugar falls, the diabetes in some cases just flat out goes away in other cases its better but not quite gone so that’s what we call reversing diabetes.
[02:12] REENA JADHAV: Oh my God that’s actually brilliantly simple and it really is some simple coaching just to your diet and I think that’s where your cook book probably comes in handy. So carbs are no longer to blame?
[02:23] DR NEAL BARNARD: That’s right. Now it’s not to say that every carb is a healthy carb no. Carbohydrates run the whole range from really healthy foods like beans and brown rice and sweet potatoes and so forth all the way to potato chips, cake and that kind of thing but as a group, carbohydrates is not the devil at all in fact carbohydrates releases the glucose your cells need. The problem with diabetes is that glucose can’t get into the cell its building up into the blood so that’s the whole big problem. So if I want to reverse diabetes I would do 3 things. Number one I want to avoid all the animal fats that means keep the animal products out so I am going to make into a vegan but that sounds like a tall order but in later segments, we are going to talk about how to make fat not only doable but also actually fun because all the side it’s great, it’s the best way to lose weight. That’s number one-animal fat gone. Number two we are going to reduce vegetable oil also and number three I am going to pick the healthy carbohydrates because white bread, there is other kinds of bread that could be better the choices are really easy to make.
[03:29] REENA JADHAV: What’s a healthy carbohydrate?
[03:31] DR NEAL BARNARD: Ok. If I feed you white bread, your blood sugar is going to go up pretty quickly. Let’s say I change it to ripe well your blood sugar doesn’t go up quite so much. Let’s say I go to pumpernickel even less. Let’s say I give you a white baking potato, your blood sugar raises a lot, if its sweet potato it raises less. So there are certain ways of picking foods that are genuine.
[03:53] REENA JADHAV: And what about fruit that eternal conflict between is food good for you, is food bad for you?
[04:00] DR NEAL BARNARD: The jury is in. Fruit is fine. Not only is fruit fine but fruit is vitamin rich and it’s good. Fruits has those natural sugars nature was hoping you would take and so if most people sweet taste come from table sugar drowning everything, throw that out pick the fruit that’s what nature wanted you to have.
[04:26] REENA JADHAV: Oh my God it’s such great news because I love sugar. It’s one of the toughest things for me to hold off on and so I’m thrilled to hear you say now so of course I used to eat a pellet of grapes that’s not a good thing but I think even just few grapes is fantastic. Great alright so for the rest of you we are going to see you on chapter three which is all about type one diabetes and what diet can help. Let’s see you then!
Dr. Neal Barnard
Address: 5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste.400, Washington DC, 20016
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