At the heart of Viva! Health's diabetes campaign is the D-Diet - a low-fat, wholesome, healthy vegan diet which takes a new approach to the condition. It helps the body to reduce the amount of fat stored in its cells, which causes insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics. It also improves blood sugar control, reduces blood cholesterol, contributes to weight loss without restricting portion sizes, prevents additional kidney and nerve damage and helps to lower blood pressure.
Debbie Deboo, 46, from Northern Ireland
"I had reversed my diabetes with a low fat vegan diet in as little as six months!"
A year ago I was admitted into hospital as an emergency patient having been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that day. My sugar levels were 24 and I was slipping into a coma. In fact, I nearly died twice whilst I was in hospital.
I was released a week later and given insulin injections to take once a day and Metformin pills to take four times a day. This scared me, the whole experience and being a vegan already I had heard of Dr Barnard and bought his book on reversing diabetes.
I started his diet and a month later I had my first appointment at the diabetic clinic where I was assessed and had a consultation with the specialist. I asked him whether there was any chance if I worked at it, I could come off medication in the future. He basically said no and that it had only ever happened with one of his patients in the past and that had taken years and that patient wasn't on as high a dose of medicines as me. I said 'watch this space'.
Six months later I was back at the clinic. My sugars were down to an average of 5.7 and I was taken off the injections. I saw a different consultant this time and he said he wanted to leave it a little while but come back in three months and I would probably be taken off all medicines.
In the meantime I had blood tests and I got a letter from my doctor saying he was concerned I was managing my diabetes too well and I needed to come in to discuss coming off the medicines. I don't really like visiting the doctors, it takes time so I came off all medicines to do with diabetes myself. (not to be recommended).
A month later I had my diabetic appointment. My blood showed my glucose was still 5.7 despite not taking any medicines and my consultant agreed I didn't need them and said “one more visit in six months then we're signing you off from the clinic, we never need to see you again”. I had reversed my diabetes with a low fat vegan diet in as little as six months!
Peter Scott, 55, from Lancashire
Peter had been suffering under the weight of type 2 diabetes for ten years - until he started following Viva! Health's D-Diet:
"After being diagnosed, I became a typical example of metabolic syndrome - fat around the middle, high BMI, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. I had no energy, would cough a lot despite not smoking and didn't sleep well. But then I heard about the D-Diet.
After four weeks on the diet, my blood pressure started to fall towards normal levels. All my blood readings were approaching or within normal ranges. After eight weeks on the D-Diet I've lost 1.7 stone. I feel fitter, I sleep well, I wake up more quickly even without coffee and I've stopped the coughing probably because I stopped drinking milk."
Four months on, Peter's blood tests were showing pre-diabetic results and he now officially calls himself post-diabetic.
Andrew Wedge, 43, from Salford in Greater Manchester
Andrew also shares his experience with type 2 diabetes and the D-Diet:
“It is just over three months since I stopped taking metformin and pioglitazone medication. I have been for my HbA1c check this morning and the results indicated good control of the condition. As of today I am a little over a stone lighter than before I started the diet; the weight was lost during the four weeks and has stayed off.”