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Raw Food for Diabetes

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(The following is a blog originally published last year from writer Andrea Lewis)

Note: While there have been several positive cases of the effect of a raw food diet on

diabetes, you should always consult with your doctor before making an drastic dietary


The most amazing aspect of a raw food diet, when it’s done right, is its ability to heal and

rejuvenate the human body. This seem to be especially true for chronic ailments. Diabetes

is a great example. For those who don’t know, diabetes is an illness characterized by

abnormally high sugar (glucose) levels. In some diabetes sufferers, switching to a wellstructured

raw food diet has worked wonders. Though the degree of success varies,

depending on whether the diabetes is type 1 or type 2, and the amount of expert

supervision a diabetic receives also seems to play a critical role.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously

known as ‘juvenile diabetes’. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. And

insulin is a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed

for daily life. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

In the documentary Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days, Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD,

psychiatrist and family therapist, was able to help two men with type 1 diabetes. Kirt Tyson

was one of those men. Kirt was first diagnosed in November of 2005 with type 2 diabetes,

but later discovered that it had been type 1. Kirt became involved in Dr. Cousens’ diabetes

study and documentary after responding to an ad on Craig’s List. There were going to be

only five test subjects in the movie, but, after seeing his audition tape, they decided to

include Kirt as the sixth member.

During an interview on NaturalNews.com, Kirt admitted that he took his last dose of insulin

the night before he left to participate in Dr. Cousens program. He did this on his own,

because he “wanted to see what was going to happen.” Fortunately, for him, the program

worked. Kirt had a complete reversal and no longer needs insulin. He is no longer diabetic.

Kirt said, “I monitor my blood sugar every day. For the past three to four months

consistently it has been about 80 to 90 and that’s considering me being 95% raw.

Occasionally if I go out with my friends to the Cheesecake Factory I do eat cheesecake. Even

still my blood sugar is within a normal range for fasting levels.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, the normal range for blood sugar is 70-130

mg/dL before a meal and less than 180 mg/dL 1-2 hours after the start of a meal. So, Kirt’s

blood sugar levels are now completely normal.

Kirt was so impressed with the results he achieved by simply changing how and what he ate,

he decided to study at a naturopathic medical school instead of the allopathic medical

school he had previously been considering.

Another type 1 diabetic who benefited from a raw vegan diet is Aimee Perrin, a chef and

founder of Aimee’s Livin’ Magic. Aimee was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 16 years of

age. In her twenties, Aimee became a vegetarian. Twenty years later she became a vegan. In

2003, she became a 100% raw vegan and remained so for seven years. During that time,

Aimee was able to reduce her insulin intake from 36 units down to 8-12 units daily. She was

not able to completely cease medicating, but she did see great improvement during her

time as a 100% raw vegan.

Having read and watched the stories of these two type 1 diabetics, I have wondered if

Aimee would have achieved greater success if she had become a raw vegan many years

sooner, or if when and how she decreased her insulin played any role at all. In Dr. Cousens

study, he asked all participants to cut their insulin dosage by one-third at the start of the

program and he weaned them off completely by the end of the first week. Did Aimee only

decrease her insulin intake when her glucose monitor indicated that she should? She has

written multiple posts concerning her experience with raw food and its affect on her

diabetes, but she has never explained when, why or how she decided to decrease her

insulin intake, nor the details of her diet, beyond “I created beautiful, delicious recipes, I

fasted, did colonics, fasted on green juice, fasted on raw soups”, so there is really no way to

accurately determine the reason(s) why she didn’t experience a full reversal, like Kirt.

Kirt had been diagnosed fairly recently and had only been taking insulin for a short time

when he began his raw food journey. Is it possible that Aimee took insulin for too many

years to ever be completely free of it? Would Aimee have achieved a full reversal had she

been under the supervision of a medical professional and raw food expert? These are

questions that are unlikely to ever be answered.

Type 2 Diabetes

In type 2 diabetes the body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At

first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time, it isn’t able to keep

up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.

Bibi Zambrano, an artist from Houston, Texas, was a type 2 diabetic. She had been taking

medication for three years before she became a raw vegan. She was vegan for a while, and

it did help her see some improvement, but not as much as she’d hoped for. She found a raw

vegan coach in her area and, after two weeks, she was able to go a whole day eating only

raw foods. After she became fully raw she stopped taking her diabetes medication. She has

admitted to struggling with sugar issues, in the beginning. “I had to do a lot of greens and

not too many fruits. … It just took me like a week, at most, two weeks and my diabetes was

completely gone.” She had blood work done and it confirmed what she felt; her blood sugar

levels were indeed “perfectly normal”. She was cured! Bibi has been a raw vegan ever since.

Carlos Custodio, a fifty-eight year old clothing designer, is another former type 2 diabetic. In

August of 2007, Carlos heard Dr. Oz interviewing Dr. Neal Barnard on the radio while driving

to work one Friday morning. Dr. Barnard was promoting his book, Dr. Neal Barnard’s

Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes

Without Drugs. Even though he had no idea what a vegan diet was, what Dr. Barnard

described made sense to him. So, Carlos devoted his entire weekend to researching vegan

diet. He wasn’t happy about having to give up all animal products, but he made a

commitment to try eating vegan for four months.

The vegan diet started working almost immediately. “My sugars started to drop, my energy

levels were through the roof, my weight was down, I felt great, and I started to eliminate my

medications one pill at a time,” he said.

He changed his diet in August and by November he was living without medications. He went

to see his doctor in January of 2008, and had blood tests run the week before his

appointment, as usual. His A1C – a test that measures a person’s average blood glucose

level over the past 2 to 3 months – had gone from 6.5 with medication to 4.9 without. “…

and my cholesterol was down from over 220 to 146. This was the first time that I could not

wait to see the doctor.” The diet had been a complete success for Carlos.

In researching this topic, I have discovered that Type 2 diabetics are more likely than type 1

diabetics to achieve full reversal, after adopting a vegan or raw vegan diet. Nevertheless,

everyone I researched improved their blood sugar levels as a result. Several have blogged

about their experience with veganism and/or raw veganism, others have posted their

stories on diabetes support group message boards, to give hope to other diabetics. Some

have been accused of lying! There are many diabetics who simply don’t believe that a nonpharmaceutical

/ non-allopathic cure is possible.


Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar is too low (below 70 mg/dL).

I believe it deserves a mention, because it can be caused by diabetes medications, but can 

also occur in people who are not diabetic. Naturally occurring (reactive and fasting)

hypoglycemia is considered rare, but, even so, it is not considered an actual disease, merely

the symptom of an underlying health problem.

One of my favorite YouTubers, Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, a pioneer in the local, organic food

co-operative movement and founder of the largest raw, organic produce co-operative in the

U.S., is a great example of someone who suffered from naturally occurring hypoglycemia.

She had been growing increasingly ill as a result of her hypoglycemia. She was on

medications and had been routinely hospitalized as a result of the condition. One day, while

shopping for groceries, she met a man named John Rose – the creator of Juice Feasting, who

told her about being a “raw foodie” and gave her his card. After Kristina was hospitalized

again (that very night), she took him up on his offer, and he has mentored her through her

entire raw food journey. This July, Kristina celebrated her eight year anniversary as a 100%

raw vegan.

According to her bio on FullyRaw.com, “She was able to rid herself of Hyperglycemia at the

age of 18 eating nothing but a low fat raw vegan diet consisting solely of fresh fruits and

vegetables with few nuts and seeds.” Kristina is no longer taking medications of any kind,

and credits raw veganism with her amazing recovery and superb health.

The above stories represent only a small sampling of the people I have discovered who have

changed their diet and saved their lives in the process. I wanted to show a fair and honest

cross section of people. Those who had a complete reversal of their conditions, as well as

someone who only saw an improvement. The truth is, nothing will work for every body.

Veganism didn’t work for Bibi Zambrano, yet it did for Carlos Custodio. Raw veganism did

work for Bibi, as it did for Kirt Tyson and Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, but it did not cure Aimee


You may have also noted that those who stopped taking their medications saw faster,

better results than those who did not. Don’t be fooled. This could merely be further

evidence that every body is different, has different bio chemistry and, therefore, will react

differently. Some people will always respond faster and better than others to whatever

stimuli they are subjected to. This is as true for diet and nutrition as it is for drugs and other

allopathic interventions.

It must also be remembered that while Kirt did stop taking insulin without permission, he

was under the medical supervision of both Dr. Helen Ross and Dr. Gabriel Cousens (who

warned against abruptly ceasing insulin intake, as it may cause insulin shock), during his 30-

day stay at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, and he worked with a nutritionist and raw

food expert to boot. Bibi was receiving instruction from a raw vegan coach and, with their

assistance, was able to achieve the right nutritional balance in a very short span of time,

before anything bad could happen. In addition, she was monitoring her blood sugar levels

and saw her doctor for lab tests, to confirm that her diet was indeed working.

Despite the claims of the AMA (American Medical Association), and the rest of the Western

medical establishment, there is already a cure for diabetes. However, that cure does not

come in the convenient form of a pill. It takes focus and commitment to one’s own health

and well-being to achieve and maintain the cure for diabetes, but, for those who are willing,

it may be well worth the effort.


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