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Could a low-fat plant-based diet help diabetes control?

If there’s one topic that gets people with diabetes excited, it’s diet. Those who believe in low carb really believe in low carb. Those who believe in a ‘moderate carb with fruit’ diet really believe in it. We have had a number of heated discussions on Diabetic South Africans about which diet is best for diabetics… The answer? It’s a personal decision. But here’s another diet to consider: the low-fat, plant-based whole food diet.

What is a low-fat plant-based whole food diet?

mastering diabetes

We wanted to share information about the low-fat, plant-based whole food diet, and how it might help diabetes control. So we spoke to Cyrus Khambatta from Mastering Diabetes – watch the interview below. Cyrus and his partner Robby have written a New York Times bestselling book about their innovative approach to living with diabetes, and reversing insulin resistance.

The book cites more than 800 scientific studies. They both have Type 1 diabetes and have seen amazing results from cutting out all animal products and nearly all fat from their diets, and replacing them with whole fruits and vegetables, and intact whole grains (like quinoa and brown rice). The result? A diet much higher in carb but much lower in fat.

Watch the video interview

In this interview, we ask Cyrus:

  • How it’s possible to get enough protein from eating largely fruit and vegetables, and no animal protein (not even dairy or eggs, often acceptable as part of a vegetarian diet).
  • The difference between a low-fat, plant-based diet and a vegan diet.
  • How eating so many carbs (sometimes up to 150g of fruit and vegetables per meal) doesn’t spike blood sugar.
  • Why the diet has to be so extreme, and why there can’t be a happy middle ground.
  • How this could work in a family context with young children.
  • To explain how insulin resistance is at the root of all diabetes.
  • To discuss why intermittent fasting is such an essential part of their programme.

Win a copy of Mastering Diabetes

Curious? You can find out more at their website – – or comment below to enter our giveaway. We have a copy of Mastering Diabetes to give away to one lucky Sweet Life reader. Simply comment on this post and tell us what you think, and we’ll randomly choose a winner on 1 October 2020.

Update: the randomly selected winner is Tracy Sanders. Congratulations!

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  1. Nicolette Hill Nicolette Hill

    The book called “Mastering DIabetes” offers an interesting perspective. THis would be a great add to my collection and would afford me the opportunity to pass this information to my diabetic clients.

  2. Jeanelle Smuts Jeanelle Smuts

    This book offers you amazing tools for your toolbox to manage your diabetes. Whether you have type 1, type 2 or type 1.5, it offers insane knowledge about how to make carbohydrates an ideal part of your life, while reducing insulin resistance. I’m 31 years old now, diagnosed with type 1 at age 7. From that age, I’ve been advised between low-carb, low-GI, keto, banting, literally anything you can think of. Nothing lowered my hbA1c. Once I followed the Mastering Diabetes method, I started seeing physical results. I’ve often said, once I get to heaven I will be able to enjoy as many mangoes as I want to. I’ve got my piece of heaven, right here with me on earth now! I would love to have this book!

  3. Ferial Ferial

    I’ve been diagnosed with type 2, while I was pregnant about 4 years ago. My little boy is 3 and a bit now. All I’m looking for is for help. I so badly want to reverse it, but don’t know where to start. I’ve heard about intermittent fasting and plant based diets, I would really love the book just to guide me. The Dr’s I’ve spoken to says it can’t be reversed, but if there are studies out there saying it can be done, then why can’t I stop the cycle. Please if there is anyone who can guide me…

  4. Audrey Maree Audrey Maree

    I am a 60 yr old gestational diagnosed.suffer badly with neoropthy sorry spelling.would love to win the book. Cost effective and i love my veggies too.

  5. Krishnee Krishnee

    Being introduced to this is awesome…hubby is diabetic and I am pre diabetic and seeing food and eating habits from this perspective can surely help us both

  6. Zulpha Ackerdien Zulpha Ackerdien

    I would love to have a copy. Fluctuations in my readings are driving me crazy at the moment. What I do today doesn’t seem to work tomorrow. Please help

  7. Maree Maree

    Would love a copy! I have been plant based for some time, it brought my hba1c down to near non-diabetic levels,

  8. Maree Maree

    I would love a copy of this book! I have been plant based for a some time, it helped me lower my hba1c!

  9. Tshego Tshego

    I have been a T1D. for over 10 years and have always struggled with finding the right diet and I would often end up feeling sluggish. I recently started eating a vegetarian diet and it has worked wonders for my BG levels.
    I believe that the book will offer a new perspective for eating better and tools to not only managing BG levels but also weight management and digesting food better. I would love to win this book so I can help my father manage his Type 2 diabetes better as his levels have been up and down and I believe that this book will guide him to eating better and reversing insulin resistance.

  10. Tshegofatso Phahlane Tshegofatso Phahlane

    I have been a T1D for over 10 years but I could not find a diet that would work for me and I would often feel sluggish. I recently changed my diet to a vegetarian one and it has worked wonders on my BG levels. I believe that this book offers a new perspective And tools to help people not only manage their BG levels but also their weight and to help their bodies digest food better. This book will help many people To be knowledgeable about their medical conditions.
    I would love to win this book As a gift for my father as I believe that it will help him manage his T2D Better using the tools provided in this book as his BG has been up and down and He has not been well lately.

  11. Asha Moodley Asha Moodley

    I am a diabetic type 2 for 25 years.i
    Think eating a well balanced meal is important, instead of bread eat vegetables, fruit is also important.

  12. Alf Liddle Alf Liddle

    Thank you. All help is great. Biggest problem with diabees is those who do not want to accept it. Yes you can control your diabetes irrespective of the type with various therapeutic modalities. However the diabetes is NOT reversible. I have been a diabetic for 52years!!! Initially type 1 but now probably mixed although I am still using insulin. The book seems to be interesting and I have tried to have at least 2 days weekly of only vegan after I saw the movie, the Game Changers. Makes a lot of sense

  13. Tracy Sanders Tracy Sanders

    Desperate for a copy of this book!!! I have been patiently waiting for it to hit SAs shelves. I have been following Robbie and Cyrus for years and have gradually reduced my meat and dairy consumption with great results on my blood sugars!

  14. Wendy Bloy Wendy Bloy

    My daughter is vegetarian but moving to a vegan lifestyle and has been encouraging me to as well. Would love the book to gain insight into how this will help my health.

What do you think?

Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.