This is a bit of a Type 1 rant, but  I have a question I’m hoping other people with Type 1 can help answer: what can we do to clarify the fact that Type 1 diabetes cannot be reversed by changing your diet? Over the past couple days, I’ve had a number of very well-meaning people suggest that I learn more about raw food and its abilities to cure my diabetes. I appreciate their concern — but it reflects a misunderstanding of what this disease actually is. Namely, I don’t have any islet cells. I cannot make insulin. You can feed me all the zucchini “lasagna” you want — I am not going to be cured till someone figures out a way to a. get me more islet cells and b. keep my body from knocking them off again.

I don’t mean to sound like a hater — really, I don’t. (God knows, this is far better than hearing from people who write me comments saying that having diabetes is my fault.)  I also think that eating more raw food, as long as it’s focused on vegetables, not fruit and sweets, definitely can help control your blood sugar — not necessarily because the foods are raw, but because there just aren’t many carb-y vegetables that we we eat uncooked. But in terms of curing my diabetes, the unfortunate truth is that cooked, raw — it doesn’t matter. My problem is in my pancreas. And while I try my best to eat healthy foods  (oftentimes raw), there’s only so much my diet can do.

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17 Comments on "A Raw Deal"

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Would like to add a few words here.  I was diagnosed with Type 1 23 years ago at age 7.  I think in those days the first few months to a year after the initial diagnosis was made was referred to as the ‘honeymoon stage/phase’ – It’s when your pancreas cells or islet cells haven’t died off completely, therefore your insulin needs will need some adjustments, and it will go up and down during that stage. After some time, they will die off completely and you will notice the insulin needs will increase. I would think that as mentioned in… Read more »
As someone mentioned those who are young may have some beta cells left.  To find out have a C-peptide test at the doc’s.  Try a raw food diet for awhile and check your blood sugars more often (6-8 x per day) –  or do as I do which is a high raw diet where 75% or more of my diet is raw.I gave up most canned  and frozen foods. Most grains – I do have oatmeal 2x per week and try making new raw meals every week.  BGs are better.  I’m Type I for 47 years now. I believe raw… Read more »

Thanks Elidad,

My son was diagnosed with type 1 a month ago and it has been a lonely crazy road researching how food can help or even heal his beta cells. Thanks for your information. So glad to find other parents doing the same!  I just attended a “plant-base” eating class from Whole Foods and learned quit a bit but I know I’m just beginning this journey. 

Hi Jim. Yes and that seems to be the challenge here; finding a way to give those islet cells a boost. They are still able to produce insulin and given the right nutrition our bodies can regenerate any given cell. It’s all in the DNA so each cell has the blue print to reproduce they just need the right building materials to do it. I have recently come across cedar berries ( from the Juniperuos Monosperma plant). They seem to be amazing food for the pancreas. They are packed with what the Beta cells need to heal and regenerate! P.S.… Read more »

One can lower their insulin intake with exercise and a balance diet. I believe those who say I don’t need insulin anymore have some insulin producing cells. Just my 2 cents.


Whoa I don’t know where all that jibberish came from in my post? I certainly didn’t type all that mso nonsense. Anyway, hopefully you can see my address at the bottom there.

Hi Meagain. What we have done is switched over to a completely plant based, raw food diet. As we did this we saw Ben’s blood levels go down significantly. As time went on we noticed that he needed less and less insulin so we adjusted his ratio accordingly. Eventually his ratio was down to such a small level that we stopped with the shots all together. I think that this is a very important factor. Let the blood glucose readings speak for themselves and don’t be too quick to lower the ratio. Our endocrinologist agreed with our decision to bring… Read more »
thanX ELIDAD for your info.. i too have son with type 1 diabetes.. he is almost 9. can you tell me are you documenting your experience anywhere to help others.. i am Reeeally really interested in finding help [SUPPORT actually] for my wanting to help my son thru diet.. but it is sooo hard going up against the typical spin.. & being seen as a bad mother if you say the way you really feel about their crap diet ideas..etc..  would love for you to please get back to us with your info.. it is soo important to share what… Read more »

Thank you Elidad for your comments. I sincerely believe that raw foods can help restore the immune system and I also believe that the DNA in the beta cells can self-repair given the right nutrition. Of course, the longer the person has been living with type I diabetes the longer this repair might take, but at least there is hope! Please keep us posted on your son’s progress.

Uncooked vegetables have sterols in them that help to modulate the immune system. ( plant sterols are destroyed when cooked)  Chaga mushroom, Reshi Mushroom and spirolina are some of the best imunomodulators. Perhaps these compounds in raw, plant based foods help “reprogram” the T cells that are out of control and treating the beta cells like spam. And then perhaps a body that is flooded with good clean nutrition has the ability to regenerate damaged cells? My son Ben was clearly diagnosed with type 1 and we are seeing him respond to a raw diet just as Sergei Buotenko did.… Read more »
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