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Ep. 168: Everything You Think You Know About Diabetes Is Wrong! with Robby Barbaro and Cyrus Khambatta | Vibe Podcast


Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Feb 19, 2020 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links


Vibe Podcast 168 Robby Barbaro and Cyrus Khambatta

These two guys are highly educated and have been Type 1 diabetics for 20 years–and they eat a vegan diet high in carbohydrates. An interesting conversation about what’s wrong with the way most physicians view both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

LINKS AND RESOURCES:

Get the book “Mastering Diabetes”

Learn more about Robby and Cyrus and their program


EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS WITH CYRUS KHAMBATTA & ROBBY BARBARO:

  •  [00:16:17]: Doctors and Diabetics. Cyrus Khambatta explains why doctors prolong diabetic myths.
  •  [00:19:42]: Low Carb Diets. Cyrus Khambatta explains why low carb diets look like they’re helping but are actually causing long-term damage.
  •  [00:45:14]: The Diet and You. Cyrus and Robby explain what happens biologically when you start their diet.
  •  [00:56:52]: Insulin Resistance. Cyrus and Robby explain how your cells become insulin resistant on certain diets.

 


TRANSCRIPT:

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Robyn: Hey everyone. It’s Robyn Openshaw. Welcome back to the Vibe show.

Today we are talking about diabetes and whether you’ve been diagnosed with type one or type two diabetes or not. I think it’s a conversation that’s useful to everyone because so many people are prediabetic and don’t know it. It’s habits that they have. It’s a nutritional choices or habits that lead us to be prediabetic.

Today I am interviewing Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro. They are the co-founders of Mastering Diabetes. It’s a coaching program that teaches people how to reverse insulin resistance using a low-fat plant based whole food nutrition approach.

Both of them have been living with type one diabetes for about 20 years. They’re both about 38 to 40. Cyrus has a PhD in nutritional biochemistry and Robby worked at Forks Over Knives.

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We’ll get into a little bit of what that is if you don’t know the documentary and sort of the whole movement of Forks Over Knives. [Robby] also has a master’s degree in public health.

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I think you’re really going to enjoy this conversation because it really clears the confusion out there about the dietary practices that are usually prescribed to diabetics.

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Welcome to the Vibe show, Cyrus Khambatta and Robby Barbaro.

Cyrus Khambatta: Thank you so much for having us here today, Robyn. We really appreciate it.

Robby Barbaro: I’m excited to be talking with a true legend in this space.

Robyn: [Laughter] Legend. You guys are diabetics and you also are super educated in your own right. I’d love for you to take a minute and talk about your journey.

I think, [Robby], you’re diagnosed type one diabetes in 2000, so that’s 20 years now. Cyrus, you’re a little less –18, 19 years — and you’re a PhD in nutritional biochemistry from UC Berkeley. That’s amazing. Amazing.

Robby, you have a master’s degree in public health. One at a time or however you want to do it, tell us about your journey in diabetes and mistakes along the way or things that you thought you knew and turned out to be wrong, that kind of thing.

Robby Barbaro: Yeah. Just recently I celebrated my 20th year living with type one diabetes. I was diagnosed when I was 12 just about to turn 13 and actually self-diagnosed myself. I have two older brothers. My middle older brother was diagnosed with type one diabetes nine years prior to me.

Type one is the type of diabetes where you’re not producing sufficient quantities of insulin. Type two and prediabetes, you’re actually producing excess quantities of insulin. We’ll talk about that later.

I got diagnosed with type one. The doctors taught me how to start using insulin to manage my blood glucose levels, and of course one of the things you learn in the beginning is to limit your carbohydrate content.

You control your blood glucose levels. That is the standard message for people living with all forms of diabetes. That was part of my life. I certainly tried doing that.

I tried the Weston A Price Foundation diet, which is basically lots of grass fed beef. There would be raw milk in this diet. I would actually go to a market and buy milk that was for cats because you can’t sell raw milk to humans.

I sort of adopted that, [but] didn’t see much change in my diabetes health. Then eventually I also adopted a plant based ketogenic diet. I started eating lots of nuts and seeds, lots of oil, lots of nut butters and avocados and lots of greens as well.

When I did this diet, the biggest problem was I didn’t have energy. That was my biggest problem, and I was struggling. I went back to a naturopath at that time and was like, “What can I do to try and improve this situation?”

She said, “Maybe do some curation therapy.” I was like, “Oh, okay, I’ll think about it.” Before I did that, I heard a podcast and that podcast changed my life.

On that podcast the host was talking about a book that was coming out, which is kind of interesting to be in a situation right now. We’re on a podcast, we’re talking about a book that’s coming out. It’s really crazy. I hope it changes some lives.

This podcast literally changed my life. Doug Graham was telling people that you can eat lots of fruits, and this is going to help you cleanse your body, get rid of the things my naturopath wanted me to try and cleanse, these heavy metals and all this stuff that we accumulate over years.

He said I could do it with this diet of high carbohydrate foods, and I’m like, “Wait a minute, that sounds crazy.” I’ve been avoiding fruit for all this time and I really want eat fruit, so let me give this a shot.

I preorder his book and the book comes in the mail. This is December of 2006 now. Cyrus Khambatta, the man, the myth, the legend right here, is one of the testimonials in the back of the book and I’m like, “Wow!”

Cyrus Khambatta: I was in the back of the book? I should have been in the front of the book.

Robby Barbaro: He should have put you on the cover if they wanted to sell more books.

Cyrus Khambatta: Come on now. [Laughter]

Robby Barbaro: I’m learning about his story, and I’m like, wow, this is fascinating. It’s just more encouraging. I do this online coaching with Dr. Graham. We email each other every single day for 90 days straight, and I learned how to eat a low-fat plant-based whole food diet.

The change that occurred for me was a dramatic adjustment in my insulin sensitivity. The amount of insulin I needed to inject for the amount of carbohydrate I was consuming improved by 600%.

I was using a normal physiological amount of insulin that my pancreas would have normally secreted before my beta cells were damaged and were not producing sufficient quantities of insulin. This was mind altering.

I’m at the university of Florida at this time. I have access to all the high-quality peer review journals, and I go and start learning that this information has been available for almost 100 years dating back to the 1920s.

I got really passionate about this [and] started educating other people. I worked at Forks Over Knives for six years. [I] helped educate people through that platform.

Robyn: Talk about Forks Over Knives because not everybody here knows what that is.

Robby Barbaro: Okay. Forks Over Knives is a documentary film. You can find it on Netflix, and it teaches people the science behind plant-based nutrition and how it addresses the root cause of many of our chronic diseases.

That’s heart disease, cancer, diabetes. There are testimonials inside the movie of people who’ve actually reversed those conditions in addition to many others. There’s also books and a website and food products.

There’s a lot more that the company has expanded into. Start with the movie if you want to learn about Forks Over Knives.

It’s the number one food and drink app if you want to get an app in the app store for recipes. We did a lot of great stuff. It’s also one of the top selling magazines in the entire country right now.

Now that you’ve heard Forks Over Knives, it’ll be in your consciousness. When you’re checking out [in] just about any grocery store, any Whole Foods, any Lowe’s, any Home Depot, you’ll see the magazine.

Robyn: Forks Over Knives is the documentary about the lives and careers of Dr. T. Colin Campbell of the Oxford Cornell Project. He has been a guest on this show. It’s also about Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who also in his eighties has been a guest on the show.

Robby Barbaro: I believe Neal Barnard was a guest on your show as well, who’s in the movie?

Robyn: Yep. I have so many questions I’m going to go to later, Robby, including  Simply Raw and Dr. Gabriel Cousens, and what he says about the functioning of the pancreas in type one diabetics, and Doug Graham, and that banana guy on YouTube who ate 17 bananas and it didn’t affect his A1C. We’ll come back to that later.

Robby Barbaro: This is going to be fun.

Robyn: Oh, it’s going to be really fun. The guy that I interviewed named Kurt Tyson, a naturopathic doctor from Simply Raw, and what he said and how everybody went crazy on me. I’ll come back to some of that, but I want to hear Cyrus’s story.

Cyrus Khambatta: I’m actually glad that you know a lot about these characters because there’s a lot of truth and a lot of confusion in the world of vegan diets and for diabetes. It can get confusing for sure. We can definitely dive into a lot of detail.

My real quick story here is I was diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was 22. I was a senior in college. I was just graduating from Stanford, and I was just trying to move on with my life.

All of a sudden, I get diagnosed not only with one autoimmune condition, but with three. Within a six-month period, I developed Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, number one, followed by alopecia universalis, which is why I have no hair, no eyebrows, no eyelashes, nothing.

The third one was type one diabetes, and all three of these set in within a six-month period. You can imagine going from just being a happy go lucky college kid to a chronic disease patient with three autoimmune conditions with no explanation.

Robyn: What attacked your immune system? I mean, holy cow.

Cyrus Khambatta: No idea. I don’t know the answer to that question, and I don’t know if I ever will know the answer to that question. It could have been some combination of nutrients in the food that I was eating, some kind of contaminants.

It could have been a virus that I contracted because there’s a pretty strong body of evidence that shows that certain viruses can trigger autoimmunity as well. It could have been some combination of all of that together.

The point being is I went from being a happy go lucky kid to all of a sudden having three autoimmune conditions, one of which was life threatening being type one diabetes.

The doctors at that at that time told me to just eat a low carbohydrate diet because, like Robby said, the prevailing wisdom in the world of diabetes back then and now even 20 years later, is that a low carbohydrate diet is the only way to control your blood glucose.

That’s what I was told. Eat less carbohydrate because that’s going to metabolize to less blood glucose. If you do that then you can control your blood glucose with precision, and you can keep your insulin use low.

I said, “Cool, let’s do it.” I started eating a lot of animal-based foods that were low in carbohydrates such as meat, cheese, chicken, fish. I would have some olive oil, peanut butter, avocados, and I was eating some carbohydrate rich food, like rice and pasta and some fruits and potatoes, but I trying to keep it pretty low.

I was eating maybe like a hundred grams of carbohydrate per day, but that was pretty much it. This was supposed to make my blood glucose more controllable.

It didn’t, not even close. In fact, my blood glucose was a freaking disaster on any given day. You’d look at my blood glucose meter, and it was just a roller coaster — up, down, up, down, up, down.

As a result of that, it just took a lot of emotional energy out of me, took a lot of physical energy out of me, and I started to get really depressed. This thing was just going to take over my life and that I couldn’t solve it.

About a year into this process, I decided I had to change something because my current lifestyle just was not working. I looked for information online, and I ran across this guy named Doug Graham.

I picked up the phone, I called him, and I said, “Hey, can you handle this basket case?” He said, “Yeah, for sure. Come over to this health and fitness retreat that I’m running and let’s do some really cool work together.”

Robby did a coaching program with him on the phone or via email. I did an in-person retreat with him for seven days. There he basically showed me how to throw away all of these animal-based foods that I was eating.

No more meat, no more chicken, no more fish, no more dairy, none of that stuff. In substitute, I just ate literally a ton of fruit and a ton of vegetables. That was it. I didn’t even have beans, lentils, peas. I had no whole grains.

It was just very simple. It was a raw food diet. I didn’t know that much. I’m like, “Okay, great. Let’s just do it. I have nothing to lose.”

Under his supervision in the first week, my carbohydrate intake went from about a hundred grams per day to 600 grams of carbohydrate per day. I six folded my carbohydrate intake. Guess what happened to my insulin use?

Robyn: Tell us.

Cyrus Khambatta: It went down by 40%. I was doing the exact opposite of what I was being told, and I was getting better results.

I’m eating six times as much carbohydrate. I’m using 40% less insulin, and my energy levels are higher. I’m more hydrated. My glucose is more controllable, and my insulin use is down.

I was like, “This is unbelievable.” Long story short, I went back to school, and I got a PhD in nutritional biochemistry so that I could learn the science here and not just have one anecdotal story.

[I wanted to] actually see if this approach — adopting a plant-based diet – can actually be applicable to other people. While I was at school at UC Berkeley for five years, I studied insulin resistance.

What causes it, how to reverse it, how does intermittent fasting affect it? How does exercise affect it? How does food affect it?

In this process I uncovered this collection of research that’s been published for a hundred years about what the scientific community has uncovered in creating and reversing diabetes.

Once I learned that, I was like, “Oh my God, why is it that the scientific community has a ton of information but what the public does is literally the exact opposite?”

That’s when Robby and I ended up joining forces because we met somewhere along the way [and] decided that we were both basically the exact same person. He’d developed type one diabetes two years before me.

In this process we said, “Wait a minute, let’s try and teach people living with all forms of diabetes how they can manipulate their diet to their advantage so that they can also tremendously increase their insulin sensitivity, get rid of insulin resistance, and have the best glucose control they’ve ever had in their life.”

That’s where we are today.

Robyn: You both have amazing stories, and you’re both very brave to go out there. I would imagine that if you went out there among the diabetic population, you would take a lot of slings and arrows and there’d be a lot of incredulity. You probably get questioned a lot.

I mean, the results speak for themselves. Everybody isn’t seeing you guys like I am, but [Cyrus and Robby] are fit. They both have gorgeous skin.

Robby’s a competitive tennis player. He just threw it down and said we should play tennis. We’ll see. I’m sure he’ll crush me with his serve. Most guys do. They’re impressive [in] what they’ve accomplished.

I don’t know which one of you wants to take this question. You’re not suggesting something that’s a little bit different than what’s out there. You have millions of diabetics who believe they have to avoid bananas at all costs.

What is wrong with what medicine is teaching people out there and what the protocols are. What is wrong out there with the way we view insulin sensitivity?

Cyrus Khambatta: This is a great question. This could be a five-hour long response, but I’ll try and keep it relatively short. First off doctors are wonderful people, super altruistic. They go into medicine because they actually want to help people.

When they’re in medical school, they get 10,000 plus hours of medical school education and clinical experience, and they learn nutrition for something like 20 hours.

It’s not their fault, but they are taught how to use pharmaceutical medication, and they’re not taught how to use food as medicine. As a result of that, your average doctor just wasn’t given the training to talk about food.

As a result of that, this traditional low carbohydrate philosophy that has existed since the 1960s, 1950s maybe even before that, it just continues.

It continues to be the standard or the status quo and the standard of treatment for people living with all forms of diabetes.

The problem is that when you adopt a low carbohydrate diet, you will likely get good results. What I mean by that is whether you’re eating an Atkins diet or a paleo diet or a ketogenic diet — any one of these low carbohydrate diets, if implemented properly, will lead to a number of positive benefits.

Number one, rapid weight loss. That happens usually within the first couple of days, if not weeks, of adopting one of these low carbohydrate diets. Number two, reduced total cholesterol. Number three, increased HDL cholesterol.

Number four, reduced A1C value, which is a marker of your blood glucose control. Number five, reduced fasting blood glucose. Number six, reduced fasting insulin.

Imagine starting a low carbohydrate diet, seeing all these positive results and then coming back to your doctor. Three to six months later, your doctor does another blood test.

They take a look and they’re like, “Oh my God, you lost 37 pounds. Your A1C is now approaching the nondiabetic range. Your fasting insulin is down. Whatever you’re doing, just keep doing it. This is clearly working, right?”

Amen. Power to the people who are putting in the effort to change their diet. I think it’s great.

The problem, though, is that when you adopt a low carbohydrate diet, you get a lot of short-term positive benefits that we’re talking about here. In the long-term, these low carbohydrate diets end up causing a lot of problems.

There’s plenty of evidence in the scientific literature to show that low carbohydrate diets — especially if they contain significant amounts of animal products — can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, for atherosclerosis, and for insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is really the name of the game in this whole paradigm here for talking about diabetes. A low carbohydrate diet will flatline your blood glucose and it’ll make it look like your blood glucose control is better.

However, the minute you try and consume anything that’s carbohydrate rich, whether it’s even a single banana, a mango, a bowl of quinoa, some wild rice, a potato, a bowl of beans, anything that’s carbohydrate rich, your glucose is likely to go very high, and it’s likely to stay high.

The reason for that is because there’s an underlying biology which is not being addressed. There’s an underlying biology that’s happening inside of your muscle and liver, which is actually getting worse over the course of time when you eat a low carbohydrate diet.

The reason you don’t see it on a low carbohydrate diet is because you literally don’t eat anything that’s carbohydrate rich.

Effectively it appears as though your diabetes health is improving, but in reality, your diabetes health is actually either not improving or getting worse because you’re literally just avoiding the carbohydrate challenge.

As soon as you do integrate that carbohydrate challenge, your blood glucose goes high, your insulin levels go high, and all of a sudden now diabetes becomes visible. Is this making sense?

Robyn: It makes sense. I have been talking about these issues for many years, and you just explained it with fewer words and more clearly than I’ve ever heard anybody do it.

I think I’m going to end up referring a lot of people to this episode because they always start talking about some short-term lab result, some biomarker that in the course of a couple of weeks changed and seems like something favorable.

I’m like, yeah, but you know what? When you stop eating fiber and all the most nutritious foods very well documented to prevent human disease — they’re all the nutrient dense ones — your liver can’t do it.

Your liver can’t actually handle the amount of fat that’s in this latest fad, the ketogenic diet, which might be the most destructive diet I’ve seen in 25 years of following diet fads. Actually, it just got trumped by the carnivore diet.

I love the way that you explained it because it’s really perfect for a lay person to understand. The problem with diabetes is there are all these complexities, and it’s really hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been studying [or] doesn’t have a PhD in nutritional biochemistry like you do.

I don’t know, I feel like at least in North America, we’re so wired for the short-term gain. We just get some kind of dopamine hit about seeing triglycerides come down. You’ve really explained what the long-term effect is.

I just talk all the time about the liver and how backed up the liver gets if it doesn’t get enough high fiber, nutrient dense, carbohydrate foods.

Do you guys feel like we’re obsessing about the wrong things? Everybody’s obsessed with counting grams of proteins, fats, and carbs. There’s another story that should be told.

Cyrus Khambatta: Yes. I’m actually really glad that you brought this up because a lot of the times I, personally, get sick of talking about carbohydrates. I really do.

If you think about it, when you open your mouth to eat a plate of food, you’re not eating carbohydrate and fat and protein.

I mean, you are, but you’re actually eating food, right? You’re eating bananas, you’re eating mangoes, you’re eating papayas, you’re drinking a green smoothie.

Rather than talking about the components of those foods, which is what has become our vernacular, it’s more important to talk about the food as a whole.

When you talk about the food as the whole, you have the ability to talk about all of the nutrients that are contained within that food.

We as human beings, try to simplify things as much as possible because it allows us to be able to understand a complicated puzzle better.

Let’s take a food example. A potato contains carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Most people think of a potato as just being this giant carbohydrate bomb and having zero fat and zero protein which is not biologically accurate.

Potato contains carbohydrate and fat and protein. In addition to that, it also contains vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Okay.

These are all just classes of micronutrients which are important to talk about in addition to the macronutrients. A potato is actually a three-dimensional complex object, and that object has both macronutrients and micronutrients in it.

You can think of the structure of that potato being made up of predominantly fiber. It gives it its three-dimensional shape, but then interspersed inside of these fiber molecules you have your protein, you have fatty acids, you got vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

It’s this very complex three-dimensional structure. Put that inside of your mouth, and that food gets chomped by your teeth and then travels down your esophagus into your stomach and then into your small intestine.

The enzymes that are injected into your small intestine that are either made by the walls of your small intestine or by other tissues like your pancreas or your liver, those enzymes have a job.

Each one of them is a very specific job. The job is to extract and break down the fatty acids or extract and break down the carbohydrate chains or extract and break down the protein or extract and breakdown the vitamin B12 or any of the other components of micronutrients.

Each one of those enzymes has a very specific function, and it takes time for those enzymes to act on a very complex biology.

Because it takes time, it actually leads to a very physiological, normal appearance of glucose and amino acids and fatty acids in your blood.

The nice thing is that there’s a combination of nutrients that actually acts like a soup. This soup allows these nutrients to show up in your blood at a totally normal, physiologically relevant rate.

If you instead were to eat or drank a Coca Cola or potato chips as an example — refined products that contain sweeteners inside of them or refined products that have oils have been stripped of their total macronutrient or their total nutrient value.

When you eat those foods, they’re missing fiber. They’re missing vitamins, minerals, fiber water, antioxidants. As a result of that, the speed at which your digestive system can act on it is much faster.

By doing so, glucose shows up in your blood quicker. Fatty acids show up in your blood quicker. Amino acids show up in your blood quicker.

That leads to unfavorable responses that can then cause tissue level inflammation. It can assault your liver. It can assault your pancreas. It can assault your brain.

As a result of that, now you have tissue level inflammation which is happening all throughout your body. A lot of that inflammation is just literally related to the speed at which those nutrients had access to your blood.

Long winded way of me saying eating whole foods is a simple thing that you can do to make sure that the speed at which nutrients get into your blood is actually slowed down.

When that happens, you could actually incorporate those nutrients and transport those nutrients in a very physiological, normal manner. By doing so, your long-term health is greatly increased.

Robyn: Yeah, good explanation. I told you guys before we get started that I had just interviewed Neal Barnard today and it was like boom, boom boom. Very quick.

He talked about being vegan. All that tells you is that you don’t eat animal products. He said that’s a starting point. From there, you have lots more discovery to do.

You guys don’t eat animal products. There are some animal products that I now have in my diet or I’ve found that this works for me and that doesn’t work for me.

I know my audience wants to know this. They always want to get into that. What do you eat? I want to know what you eat and how many units of insulin are you dependent on?

Robyn: How often do you actually have to use insulin or are you completely off of insulin? People are shocked. I did a YouTube video, I want to say 10 years ago with Kurt Tyson who was in Dr. Gabriel Cousen’s experiment, Simply Raw, which is another documentary.

I’m sure you guys are familiar with it — and feel free to talk about that. he put 30 diabetics (I think they were all type one) on an all raw vegan diet, and some of them dropped out. There are a bunch of diabetics.

Kurt Tyson was one of them who got off of insulin. He told me on this video, and I got just screamed at. So many people were coming at me and saying, “You can’t get off insulin, and you can’t cure type one diabetes.”

I was like, “Hold on. I didn’t say he cured it.” What he said is, “I don’t have to use insulin.” He’s living with it like you guys said. He’s managing it, he’s living with it.

He said, “If I eat anything junkie, if I have a backslide or if I get sick, then I might end up using insulin.”

He was a type one diabetes who for weeks and weeks or months and months on end doesn’t have to use any insulin. I’d like to know what do you guys eat? When is it that you have to use some insulin or other meds?

Robby Barbaro: Okay. This is a great question and one of the very few podcasts where we can dig deep into some nuances here. I’m happy to talk about the Kurt Tyson story.

I saw that movie, Simply Raw. I believe it was five or six people came to the Tree of Life Center, and they made a movie about what happened.

At the time of filming, Kurt Tyson had not gotten blood work. As far as they knew while he was there, they thought he was a type two. That’s what they thought.

This whole journey of trying to reverse type one diabetes to try and get beta cells to work, it’s something I’m very passionate about, something I’ve dug very deep into.

I have to get some more data on Kurt’s current situation, which would be interesting. My intuition is that what’s happening for Kurt is, he’s living with what would be called type 1.5 diabetes.

He probably has some antibodies present. He probably has a lower C-peptide. C-peptide is a measure of how much insulin your body is producing.

He probably has a lower number, but he’s producing enough of his own insulin in order to manage his blood glucose if he eats food in a certain way. That’s what I believe is happening there. We actually see clients like that as well in the Mastering Diabetes coaching program.

For what happens to me and Cyrus, personally, is we have zero insulin production. I have a C-peptide test [that] is less than 0.1 meaning that I have no insulin inside my body helping to metabolize the food that I’m eating.

Robyn: Okay. I remember Dr. Cousens saying that he believes the evidence shows that of type one diabetics, there’s about 83 – 84% of them who do still have some functioning islets.

If he’s right about that, you guys are both in that category of [insulin use is] never going to come back, and you’re always going to have to use insulin.

The Mastering Diabetes Diet and how it affects Insulin

Robby Barbaro: I definitely would love to look more into that data and understand what he’s coming from there and how much insulin he’s suggesting that type ones are producing. Correct in general.

There’s a certain number of people living with type one diabetes who are genuinely producing close to zero insulin. There’s nothing helping.

Therefore, when we eat food, our goal is to inject the same amount of insulin our pancreas would have normally secreted before the beta cells were damaged. That’s our goal.

There’s published research on people following low carbohydrate diets, following a ketogenic diet. True type ones without insulin production, they’ll eat 30 grams of carbohydrate per day, and they’ll inject about 30 total units of insulin per day. For a 24-hour carbohydrates insulin ratio, that’s one to one.

Whereas right now — I’ll speak for myself and I’ll let Cyrus share his numbers — I eat over 700 grams of carbohydrates per day, and I inject a total of about 27 units of insulin.

There’s a dramatic increase in total carbohydrate while I’m still using the same amount of insulin, which is an indication of a huge improvement in insulin sensitivity.

I mean I’ll tell you what I’m eating today for breakfast. I had papaya today. I had some mangoes, and I had some arugula for breakfast. That was my breakfast.

For lunch today (actually I’ll pull up my little app here and I’ll tell you), but it’s basically fruits and greens and lots of non-starchy vegetables. Lunch today is another fruit salad that has papaya, mangoes, kale, lettuce, arugula and banana.

My afternoon snack has wild blueberries, mangoes, tomatoes and spinach. For dinner it’s going to be mangoes, mandarin oranges, lettuce, kale, tomatoes and kiwi.

In general, it’s a diet of in season fruits in large quantities because they’re full of water. They’re full of fiber. I have lots of greens. That’s arugula. That’s kale, that’s spinach, that’s Swiss chard.

Lots of non-starchy vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber. Lots of herbs and spices. Things like cilantro, basil, spices like pepper and all that stuff. Nuts and seeds occasionally. I’ll have some Brazil nuts, I’ll have some almonds, I’ll have a little bit of avocado.

That’s pretty much my diet. Very simple, all whole foods. It really keeps me feeling energetic, keeps me insulin sensitive.

It’s also cleared up my skin, which was terrible. I had cystic acne. I had plantar fasciitis that went away and warts on my feet. I had seasonal allergies. I used Nasonex and Claritin D and would still get sick. I don’t take any other medication other than insulin.

Robyn: So interesting. You say you had cystic acne [but] the first thing I noticed about you is that man has gorgeous skin. You both do. You both do. I think that it goes to what your skin looks like when you eat a really clean plant-based diet.

I think I was out on my personal page where I told the story of my boyfriend (who’s the age of you guys, 39). I’ve put him on my detox three times, and he does it willingly.

He’s getting more and more willing about it because of what happens when he eats nothing but plants. He’s done it for up to three weeks at a time.

This is a guy who never went one single day of his life without eating, not just animal products, but meat two, three times a day.

Robyn: I had told him, your poop doesn’t stink if you eat all plants, and people don’t believe me. I don’t think he believed me about that. You have to give it a week or two to clear all the other stuff out.

If you past a horse poop in the road — maybe a lot of people in really urban areas have never walked past a horse turd — that’s totally normal here in Utah. What does it smell like? It smells like alfalfa. I don’t think most Americans realize that this horrible foul smell from bathrooms is not actually normal.

What are all the things that you noticed, Robby, when you got onto a plant based [diet]? All those foods you’re talking about sound really low calorie. I know that there’s going to be people listening going, “Wait, that’s like not enough calories.”

Robby Barbaro: Yeah. I eat large quantities of them, large quantities. That’s the fun part. On this program, you get to eat more and weigh less because of the calorie density. The foods are loaded with water and loaded with fiber.

By mass, I believe a mango is almost 90% water. Watermelons, 95% water. Lettuce is 95% water. Bananas like 75% water. These whole foods, even potatoes, quinoa and rice, all these foods (We have a whole chart in our book) are high in water content.

[This] means that [these foods are] the purest form of water you can get. The first source of high-quality water is whole foods where the water has been filtered by nature.

Robyn: Hmm. Okay. Do you feel like you need to chew it? When you blend it, is that going to spike your insulin?

Robby Barbaro: I do prefer to chew my meals and enjoy them slowly and not inhale my meals. That’s really helpful.

I do wear a continuous glucose monitor so I can see how my meals impact my blood glucose level. Every five minutes I get a new reading on my phone telling me exactly where I’m at.

My favorite smoothie, I’ll put some frozen bananas and some carrot powder and maybe a little bit of arugula in there. That is my favorite smoothie. I will just drink it slowly.

I also might pour it on top of a bed of greens and sort of make almost a salad to a certain extent. That also helps keep the absorption of the glucose at a steady rate.

Robyn: Okay, awesome. Cyrus, what do you eat?

Cyrus Khambatta: I used to be a raw foodie myself for the first 14 years because that’s what Doug Graham had taught me to do, and I got phenomenal results doing it.

Over the course of time, I started to integrate some more cooked foods — a hundred percent plant based cooked foods — into my diet, and I started to love it.

First things first in the morning, I’ll usually wake up, and I will eat half of one of those large Mexican marital papayas. I’ll also eat maybe two bananas to go along with that. Then I will go and exercise.

When I come back home from exercise, my wife is a doll, and she makes me a giant smoothie bowl every day. I absolutely love it.

The smoothie bowl usually has something like maybe one and a half or two plantains in it. She’ll cut up some papaya and put it on top. Maybe she’ll cut up a mango and put that on top.

The whole collection usually contains something like 250 grams of carbohydrate right there in that one sitting. It’s very fruit heavy for breakfast. It’s fruit heavy for lunch.

Then the afternoon rolls around, and at that point I’ll usually jump into some garbanzo beans. Maybe I’ll have a little bit of pineapple to go along with that.

By the time dinner rolls around, it’s usually some kind of large vegetable-centric dish that’s got maybe some more garbanzo beans plus zucchini noodles, some steamed vegetables, maybe some steamed cauliflower or steamed broccoli.

I’ll usually have tomatoes and onions and maybe some green papaya and some cucumbers. It’s non starchy vegetables or steamed vegetables plus some legumes here and there.

As far as carbohydrate value is concerned, it’s up there with Robby — 600, 700, 800 grams of carbohydrate per day. As far as fiber intake concern is concerned, it’s usually upwards of like 60, 65, 70, 80 grams per day.

As far as total calories are concerned, it’s usually somewhere upwards of 2,600 at the minimum, sometimes upwards of 3000, 4000, depending on how much I had exercised that day. It’s pretty tasty. I’m not going to lie.

Robyn: You’re eating legumes. I don’t hear Robby talking about eating legumes, and you only eat a little bit of nuts and seeds. How come no legumes in that list? Robby, any anything wrong with that? For diabetics?

Robby Barbaro: There’s nothing wrong with beans. I mean, as a matter of fact, if you look at the blue zones (the longest-lived people on the planet), the most consistent thing they eat is beans.

We are big advocates of beans, we encourage beans. I personally, I just don’t like them. I’ve been eating this way for 13 years. I’m happy with it, and I’m just going to keep enjoying my food.

Robyn: Yeah. I’ve always felt if you’re going to be vegan, I don’t know how you would be vegan without a lot of legumes and maybe some whole grains.

You’re not talking about any of those. You must eat a lot of quantity because you’re mostly talking about greens and fruits and a little bit of vegetables. Super interesting. There’s a lot at play there. You guys have a pretty different diet.

Cyrus Khambatta: Yeah. The beauty here is that beyond what Robby does and beyond what I do is what the research shows. Eating a whole food plant-based diet that is low in fat is one of the most successful, one of the most tremendously powerful ways that you can reverse insulin resistance in your body.

We refer to it as a low fat, plant-based, whole food diet. You can do it in a thousand different ways. You can do it in a completely raw manner like Robby does it. You can do it in like a raw plus, some not raw way that I do it.

You can do it in like a predominantly cooked food way as well. You can be eating lots of quinoa and brown rice and whole grains and legumes with small amounts of fruit as well. Really the world is your oyster.

It really just depends on whether you like eating savory foods or sweet foods, whether you like having cooked foods or not cooked foods, whether you like having things warmer or at room temperature.

Whatever you want to do is totally up to you. The beauty is that regardless of the approach that you take, you can dramatically improve your insulin sensitivity, and it doesn’t really take that long of a period of time at all.

The Ketogenic Diet and Diabetes

Robyn: Okay. I know that you guys feel really strongly like I do that this latest fad, the ketogenic diet, has been frustrating. You probably field questions about it almost every day.

The frustrating thing to me is that people are like, “I went on the ketogenic diet, and I lost 30 pounds.” What they’re saying is therefore it’s a good diet and it’s kind of like what Cyrus was talking about before.

Yeah, you can lose 30 pounds eating almost any diet because it eliminates most of the foods that most people eat. Talk a little bit about the keto diet and if people are like, “Well can I at least eat a plant based ketogenic diet?”

What do you guys think about that? There are a few of my colleagues who were vegans, and they’re kind of on the high fat train. What do you think about the plant-based keto diet too?

Cyrus Khambatta: Yeah, for sure. I’m glad you brought this up actually. The plant based ketogenic diet is becoming super popular these days. It’s got some pros and some cons just like practically any other diet out there.

When it comes to a plant based ketogenic diet, if you choose to eat that way, what that means is that you’re basically still drastically limiting your total carbohydrate intake to something like what people refer to as the 30 net.

30 net refers to approximately 30 grams of net carbohydrate. You’re not accounting for fiber. Okay? You’re eliminating the fiber out of that equation.

It basically just boils down to eating a very small total amount of carbohydrate on a daily basis from things like fruits and legumes and whole grains and starchy vegetables like potatoes.

The majority of your calories will be coming from nuts and seeds and avocados and coconuts and olive oil or MCT oil or coconut oil. That’s the sort of bulk of your calories.

If you are determined to eat a ketogenic diet or a very low carbohydrate diet, then yes, please make it plant-based. There are advantages to doing this. Number one, you’re going to significantly increase your total fiber content. That is a big, big, big deal.

Robyn: Versus the regular ketogenic diet where you might be eating burgers and cheese and stuff. Is that what you’re saying?

Cyrus Khambatta: Exactly right. Yeah. A regular ketogenic diet has a relatively low fiber content. You could be eating 15 grams of fiber per day, 20 grams of fiber per day, 30 grams of fiber today, and that is insufficient. No questions asked.

When you eat a plant based ketogenic diet, you can easily eat 50, 60, 70, 80 grams of carbon fiber in your diet, especially if your non starchy vegetable intake is high.

When I say non starchy vegetables, I’m talking about things like cucumbers and celery and zucchini and cauliflower and broccoli and tomatoes. You eat a lot of these foods, and you’re going to increase your fiber intake. No question.

Number one, your fiber intake is going to increase. That’s a great thing. Number two, you’re also going to eliminate a lot of these problematic saturated fatty acids that tend to come with animal based foods.

When you’re eating cheese and meat and fish and eggs, you’re drastically increasing your total intake of saturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids are the number one nutrient that is most strongly correlated with the development of insulin resistance.

If you are decreasing your saturated fatty acid intake, you’re going to decrease your risk for development of insulin resistance.

You’re going to decrease your LDL cholesterol, and that is going to have profound implications for your risk for heart disease in the future.

The problem with a ketogenic diet that is plant based is that number one, it’s still going to increase your level of insulin resistance. It will.

It’s not going to be as dramatic as it would be if you were eating an animal based ketogenic diet. Your level of insulin resistance is going to be dramatically higher than it would be if you’re eating — the way Robby and I describe — a low fat plant based whole food diet.

Number two, there’s actually insufficient long-term research about the effects of a plant based ketogenic diet. As a whole, we don’t have very good data about long-term outcomes on a ketogenic diet period. End of story.

Robyn: That’s because nobody’s ever done it long term.

Cyrus Khambatta: Exactly. There’s actually a paper that was just published not too long ago in June of last year that documented the effects of a two-year intervention eating a ketogenic diet that did contain animal products.

The results were very, very mediocre. I was not impressed by the data in any way, shape or form. Two years is sort of like the upper end of good randomized control data that we really do have.

That’s concerning because — just like Robby was talking about — in the blue zones you have a whole collection of research that actually documents how the longest living people have been eating.

I can tell you right off the bat, one of the things you’ll find is that they’re predominantly eating mainly plant based diet that happens to be very low in total fat. That’s a very good thing. High in fiber, low in total fat.

There’s also a whole bunch of research has actually been done. People living with all forms of diabetes (mainly people with type two diabetes) that document the effects of a plant-based diet, on their improvement in A1C, decrease of body weight.

You just see consistently over and over again. When you eat a plant-based diet, especially if the plant-based diet is low in total fat, you get the most dramatic short term improvements that also translate to improve long-term health.

I think that’s what the ketogenic world is missing. The short-term improvements are important, don’t get me wrong, but the long-term improvements usually don’t happen.

The long-term improvements actually go in the opposite direction, and you actually increase your risk for chronic disease. In my mind that is not worth it. It is not worth it. Not even close.

Robyn: Very well said. Mainstream nutrition says that fruit is high in sugar, and when you eat fruit, it will cause a blood sugar spike. I know that you guys have proven with your own personal experiment for 20 years that this is not true for you.

Do you feel confident going out there and saying that’s true for everyone? Or is it individual? Talk a little bit about that. You two, at least, eat lots of fruit. The diet you two just described as what you eat in a day — you eat a lot more fruit than I do. I’m not afraid of fruit.

I talk all the time about how nobody ever got type two diabetes from eating too much fruit. It’s never happened. That’s not what is causing the meteoric rise in diabetes. What do you have to say about that?

Robby Barbaro: This is one of the most frustrating and also motivating topics that comes up just about every day. Now it’s really gaining momentum. More so with the popularity of Instagram, but also the access to continuous glucose monitors.

Regular people, educators, and doctors being able to be like, “I’m going to do this personal experiment in my own body. I’m going to eat a bunch of sugar, a bunch of processed food. I’m even going to try with orange juice, which people say is healthier. I’m going to try with bananas. I’ll show you on my CGM how my blood glucose spikes. I’ll even do some blood work and show you my insulin levels spike.”

The biggest mistake that’s being made repeatedly is that people try and eat higher carbohydrate foods, whether they’re whole or processed, while still consuming a high fat diet. They’re still consuming 20% of the calories from fat, 30% of calories of fat, 40% of calories from fat.

They’re adding in some carbohydrate rich food and, yes, they’re seeing a spike. They’re seeing higher insulin levels, but that’s not the root of the problem.

The problem is that they are consuming high fat ingredients which have led to insulin resistance, meaning their body cannot process and metabolize the glucose that’s coming in from whatever source they’re eating.

When you actually go look at the peer-reviewed research, you will find repeatedly that even when subjects are fed processed carbohydrates (I’m talking about liquid sugar diets) in a low fat environment, you still see a reduction in blood glucose levels and insulin levels.

For example, in 1971 Dr. Brunswick published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, and he gave the subjects a liquid solution diet, which contained 85% carbohydrate coming from dextrose — basically straight sugar — and 15% of calories coming from protein, which is in a protein powder form 0% fat.

You compare this to a control diet of 30% of calories coming from fat. What he saw was that when those subjects were given an oral glucose tolerance test, which is 75 grams of glucose consumed, and then you had your blood glucose measured every 30 minutes for two to three hours.

He saw that at every point during that oral glucose tolerance test, their blood glucose levels were lower, on the sugar water diet, and their insulin levels were lower on the sugar water diet.

This type of research has been performed repeatedly. Whether it’s Walter Kemnper in the 50’s, whether it’s Himsworth in the thirties whether it’s Sansum in the 20’s.

When people eat carbohydrate rich food in a low-fat environment, you can expect lower fasting blood glucose levels, lower blood glucose levels throughout the day, and a reduction in insulin levels because insulin sensitivity has improved. Does that make sense, Robyn?

Robyn: It makes sense. Just to boil it down for everyone, — correct me if I’m wrong because I’m really boiling it down here — is that for some reason for decades now, our medical doctors, our most educated people among us are still hung up on the sugars.

You’re not saying drink sugar water. You’re not saying refined sugar is just fine. You’re saying even with that it’s about the fat.

Robby Barbaro: Exactly right. That’s exactly right. I’m saying that there is no evidence. It’s a hard thing to say when it comes to science. Like, “Oh there’s zero evidence.”

I have yet to find anybody showing one published paper to the contrary that when people eat a low-fat diet and consume carbohydrate rich food in whatever form, see anything other than improved insulin sensitivity.

Whereas what you’re hearing is the public saying the exact opposite. They’re saying sugar causes insulin resistance. They’re saying these processed sugars cause diabetes [which] is absolutely not true based on the research.

Cyrus Khambatta: In other words, here’s what I think about it. In a high fat environment then eating carbohydrate rich anything will make your blood glucose go high in a low-fat environment. Eating carbohydrate rich food becomes very easy to do and easily metabolizable.

The problem in the diabetes world is that most people are operating in a high fat environment at baseline. Especially if you’re eating a ketogenic diet, then you’re operating in a very high fat environment.

In that setting, consuming carbohydrate rich anything just doesn’t work. That’s where people get frustrated. They’re like, “Oh look, I ate a banana. I ate a potato, and my blood glucose spiked.” It’s not the banana’s fault. It’s not the potato’s fault.

Go backwards in time and try and figure out all this stuff that you ate leading up to that banana. What you’re going to find is that you’re already operating in a high fat environment. If you’re in that situation, then good luck. Metabolizing carbohydrates is not going to be possible.

Robyn: Okay. See if you can do as good a job as you’ve been doing with all these complex subjects at answering this question, which I know is very foundational to what you guys do with your clients and what you’re helping people understand.

I think really the whole world of diabetes needs to be just turned upside down because it’s just astonishing how much evidence you’re talking about is out there. Yet we’re doing the exact wrong thing decade after decade, year after year, patient after patient.

Here’s the core question. Why does a low carb diet increase the risk for long-term complications of diabetes?

Cyrus Khambatta: There’s so many reasons why this happens. It’s kind of mind boggling. The number one most important reason is because it’s very high in saturated fat.

When saturated fat is present in your food in significant quantities, that saturated fat can basically over accumulate inside of your muscles and liver.

If it were just to go to your adipose tissue (your fat tissue) and stay there, then everything would be fine. Diabetes may not even exist as a medical condition.

The problem is that when you consume fat rich foods, the saturated fat gets directed to your adipose tissue for sure. It goes and it lives there for a long period of time.

It also ends up in your muscle, and it also ends up in your liver. Over the course of time, as your muscle and liver accumulate more saturated fat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and today, tomorrow and next week then the lipid droplet that’s present in each one of these cells begins to grow and grow and grow.

It gets to a point the lipid droplet has become too large. In that setting, then it starts to disrupt insulin signaling. Effectively what those cells are responding to is they’re saying, “Hey, wait a minute. If we could block more saturated fat from coming into these tissues, we absolutely would do it.”

But they don’t have a good self-defense mechanism against saturated fatty acids. As a result of that, they say, “We do have a good self-defense mechanism against insulin.”

Cells become Insulin Resistant

If we initiate this thing called insulin resistance, and we make ourselves resistant to insulin, then the next time that you eat anything that’s carbohydrate rich, the glucose from that food comes to the door and insulin knocks.

[Insulin] says, “Hey, I have this glucose. Do you want to take it up?” The cell can respond by saying, “No, no, no, no, no. I don’t want that insulin. I don’t want that glucose because I’m trying to block more energy from coming in.”

Insulin is such a powerful signal for allowing more energy to come into a cell that by blocking insulin, these cells can basically block energy from coming inside the cell. That’s exactly what they do.

What that means is that if you’ve already eaten a significant amount of saturated fat, cells create insulin resistance. The next time you eat something that’s carbohydrate rich, the glucose from those carbohydrate chains ends up getting trapped inside of your blood.

The insulin who saying, “Knock, knock. I got glucose. Would you like to take it up?” That also becomes trapped in your blood. As a result of that, you end up with high insulin and high glucose levels, which is classic prediabetes.

In that situation, you’ve actually eaten yourself into insulin resistance to begin with. By eating yourself into an insulin resistance, there’s now a traffic jam of glucose and a traffic jam of insulin that then leads to high glucose and high insulin levels, otherwise known as hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia.

In that situation, a doctor usually looks at it and goes, “Oh, looks like sugars. The problem, you’ve been eating too much sugar you and eating too many carbohydrates. Let’s get rid of that.” That’s the problem.

In reality, the problem was never sugar or carbohydrates to begin with. The problem was the saturated fat that caused the traffic jam.

If you simply go and reduce your saturated fat intake and you eat a significant amount of plant foods then the saturated fatty acid content of these cells goes down and down and down and down and down.

By doing so, these cells then become more responsive to insulin because they stop this insulin resistance self-defense mechanism. They enable insulin to say, “Knock, knock, I got this glucose. Do you want to take it up?” The cells respond by saying, “Sure, let’s take it up.”

Insulin resistance is literally just an effect that’s caused by either the excess accumulation of saturated fatty acids or in a setting where there’s very little fatty acids, then the cells basically say, “I’m going to put this insulin resistance thing away. Give me glucose because I can use that as a fuel.” Does that make sense?

Robyn: Yeah. It was one answer to my question, and you said that there were so many. That’s why you wrote the book. Everybody who is sitting on the verge of diabetes, I’ve been told they’re pre-diabetic.

If you have diabetic parents and siblings, if you’ve been treated with mainstream nutrition approaches, these guys have been trying to explain to us why they’re so off base. It’s because it’s complicated.

Because it’s complicated, it’s really easy to get cause and effect mixed up. I want to just circle back. Why does a low carb diet increase the risk for long-term complications of diabetes?

What Cyrus did is he took one answer. If all we said was this one thing, here’s what it is. He said, “A low carb diet is also a diet high in saturated fats almost across the board.” There’s this cascading sequence of events that he explained in detail.

I just want to point that out that we weren’t even talking about the carbs. We were talking about the low carb diet [which] is almost defacto also a high saturated fat diet. People should care about that. What about the effect on your longevity of eating like that?

Cyrus Khambatta: Yeah. I didn’t even go into detail about what’s happening in other tissues. In 20 seconds I’ll say that when you increase your intake of saturated fatty acids, you also dramatically increase LDL cholesterol.

There’s this thing called the Hegsted equation which was developed back in the eighties and nineties. It can literally mathematically predict an increase in LDL cholesterol (which is your bad cholesterol) based off of the amount of saturated fat in your diet.

As you eat more saturated fat, your LDL cholesterol will go up. That’s exactly why you see in the research when you look at people eating a ketogenic diet, they get a lot of improvements, but their LDL usually always goes up.

In addition to that, there’s actually a whole other body of research that shows that when you increase your saturated fat intake in your diet, your risk for the development of cognitive decline (which is Alzheimer’s disease and dementia) also goes up.

There’s two researchers named Dean and Ayesha Sherzai in the world of plant based diets. They have a whole bunch of content and really fascinating information about how saturated fat can actually impair your brain’s ability to function in the long-term.

Robyn: Yeah, the connection between Alzheimer’s or, the brain in general, diabetes is just starting to get explored. I think we are right now with that subject where we were 20 years ago with the understanding of the gut and the microbiome.

That was another five-hour subject right there. You guys have tackled this. I really hope for a day that everyone understands these things and I hope that you guys are the Trojan Horse or the Trojan Horses that drive this new body of knowledge.

It’s not even a new body of knowledge, but for some reason it gets too little attention [and] awareness because we have such a meteoric rise in diabetes.

Some people have predicted that by 2050, all of us will be diabetic. Of course we all won’t. The point is that’s the trend. That’s how fast diabetes is progressing in the population.

It’s destroying our ability to earn and support our families. You guys have it well under control, eating more fruit than I’ve ever even heard of anybody eating.

Say something really quick about Doug Graham. I haven’t read his books, myself, but I know he’s the 80, 10, 10 guy.

He really turned things upside down when he said, “80% carbohydrate, 10% fat 10% protein is inappropriate diet.” You guys still pretty much follow his principles and found them to be life changing and very true?

Cyrus Khambatta: Yeah. We actually recommend that our patients or our clients eat a diet that’s sort of closer to 70, 15, 15 or even 80, 10, 10 if they choose to do it that way.

Somewhere in that ballpark of mainly carbohydrate with small amounts of fat and small amounts of protein. That’s what gets you the best results, no questions asked.

Individuals can vary it based off of how old they are, what their activity levels are. There’s really no set number, but the idea here is high carbohydrate, low fat, low protein. That gets tremendous results.

Robyn: Okay. Well you guys are both brilliant, and I really enjoyed this conversation. Tell my listeners how they can plug into your content.

You have a new book coming out. Tell them the name of it, where they can find it, and how they can be coached by you guys and follow you on social media.

Robby Barbaro: Thank you so much Robyn. I’ll tell everybody about everything we have.

Cyrus has a podcast; just type in Mastering Diabetes into any podcast platform, and you’ll find us. We have a coaching program like you mentioned. You can learn more about that on our website, masteringdiabetes.org.

We do a wide range of options whether somebody wants private coaching, small group coaching, our signature program with a larger group or a DIY program. If you just want the information to do it yourself, we have that.

The biggest thing here, our most exciting thing is the book. We have put a lot of effort over two years of writing this book, and we made sure it’s very easy to understand but also very scientific in the sense that everything is evidence-based.

We’re not making this stuff up. We have over 800 citations in this book. Again, easy to understand. You’re going to hear our story. We’re going to have the science behind it. Then the how-to section. We’re proud of all of it.

It is over 30 recipes. In this book we have a meal plan so you just do exactly what the meal plan says. Eat this for breakfast on week one. Then we have breakfast and lunch on week two, breakfast, lunch and dinner on week three as you transition one step at a time.

We guarantee your results so you use the book to figure out how insulin resistant you are. We have a quiz in there.

You can choose which meal plan to use to make sure that as you transition you also see stable blood glucose as you improve your overall insulin sensitivity.

You can get it on Amazon, you can get it from Barnes and noble, you can buy it from the Kindle Apple books. We personally read the audio book, and we added in some extras at the beginning of each chapter.

We made some annotations with additional information and many of the other chapters. We’re really excited about that. People get a chance to hear us.

We also have an option for free international shipping. You can go to masteringdiabetes.org/book. Then there’ll be a link that takes you to a book depository.

I don’t know how they do it, but they give you a 10% discount off the cover price of the book and free worldwide shipping so you can get it anywhere.

Robyn: Wow, that’s amazing. Well, I’m excited for our folks who are struggling with diabetes or maybe they have someone they love who is. You should definitely get this book for them for their birthday, for Christmas. Give it to them early because they need it right now.

Follow these guys’ work because they’re really blazing a trail and calling attention to a massive body of evidence that has been highly neglected in treating diabetics.

You got anything you want to add to that? Cyrus, you gone?

Robby Barbaro: Cyrus, had to get to another appointment, but I just want to say thank you for your support. You’ve been around for a long time. You’ve seen a lot of information and, your confidence in what we’re doing means a lot.

We’re going to continue to work harder. We have a lot of lives to change. I mean, over 3000 people have read through our coaching program, which is awesome.

We have amazing results and testimonials all over the place. The number of people struggling with diabetes is large. We have to keep working hard here.

If anybody wants to connect with us on social media, we’re all over the place. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube at Mastering Diabetes. You can connect with us there, but we really hope everybody enjoys the book.

Even for people who want to prevent diabetes, people who want to finally reach their ideal body weight, want to gain more energy. The program laid out in this book is yours for the taking.

[Related Vibe Podcast Episode: Ep. 156: Reviewing “Grain Brain,” “The Plant Paradox,” and “The Bullet-Proof Diet” with Stephan Guyenet, PhD]

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