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PCRM Dietitians Offer to Help Paula Deen Fight Diabetes with Vegan Diet

Jan. 17, 2012

Paula Deen
The Lady & Sons
102 W. Congress St.
Savannah, GA 31401

Dear Ms. Deen,

As a registered dietitian focusing on chronic disease prevention, I want to let you know that I’m sorry to hear that you have to deal with the challenges of diabetes, but I want to offer my help—and to invite you to participate in our 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, an online program that has assisted more than 150,000 people in trying a diet that fights diabetes.

Our Kickstart program, which is completely noncommercial, is based on clinical studies finding that diets free of animal products have the power to treat and sometimes even reverse type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that a low-fat vegan diet controls blood glucose more effectively than a standard diabetes diet and may be more effective than diabetes drugs.

Study participants with type 2 diabetes who switched to a vegan diet saw pounds melt away. Their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol dropped, and many were even able to reduce—or even eliminate—their diabetes medications.

Needless to say, many people initially balk at the idea of setting aside meat and cheese. But as a native Alabamian who grew up on Southern cooking, I can assure you that Southern classics such as mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese translate very well into hearty, delicious vegan dishes. Many people who switch to a plant-based diet report a newfound love for food—they feel it encourages them to experiment more and be more creative in the kitchen.

This way of eating is so healthful and so low in fat that you don’t need to worry about counting calories! And unlike diabetes drugs, vegan diets have only positive side effects. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians and vegans are less prone to heart disease, cancer, and obesity than meat-eaters.

Diabetes drugs, on the other hand, come with a long list of potential risks. A new study found that statins actually increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 48 percent in postmenopausal women.

We hope you’ll consider turning down the diabetes drug deal you’re reportedly contemplating and will instead accept a place at our Kickstart table. I’m also happy to guide you through any diet changes that you decide to make to help improve your own health.

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.



Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.

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