Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus is a type of diabetes that usually develops in childhood and is caused by an autoimmune reaction that ends up damaging the pancreas, causing lower insulin production and, therefore, higher blood glucose levels.

  • Overview
  • Action Plan
  • Ask The Doctor
  • Read & Watch
  • Success Stories
  • See Also


The prevalence of type 1 diabetes has been increasing over the years and is now approximately 0.2% of U.S. youth.1 Symptoms of type 1 diabetes may include:

  • Very thirsty
  • Frequent urination
  • Lethargic or drowsy
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Labored breathing
  • Sweet odor on breath
  • Increased appetite
  • Vision changes

As with all the other autoimmune diseases, the exact cause of type 1 diabetes has not been found. Observations made around the world by investigators have discovered that a number of factors besides genetics are associated with a higher risk of developing this disease, such as early childhood introduction of cow’s milk in the diet, C-section delivery, preeclampsia in the mother, viral infections during pregnancy or in the child after birth, increased birth weight, and increased rate of growth after birth.2 These observations strongly suggest that the health of the mother as well as the diet of the young child are very important factors. Adopting a Nutritarian lifestyle as a pregnant mother or as a young child may be protective, and for those already with type 1 diabetes, a Nutritarian eating style will help lower insulin requirements significantly.

  1. Dabelea D, Mayer-Davis EJ, Saydah S, et al. Prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents from 2001 to 2009. JAMA 2014, 311:1778-1786.
  2. Soltesz G, Patterson CC, Dahlquist G, Group ES. Worldwide childhood type 1 diabetes incidence--what can we learn from epidemiology? Pediatr Diabetes 2007, 8 Suppl 6:6-14.

Action Plan


Prevention is important, and a Nutritarian eating style adopted before and during pregnancy may be helpful at lowering the risk of having a child with type 1 diabetes. Also, although not conclusive, avoiding childhood dairy intake may be protective.

A Nutritarian eating style is critically important for a Type 1 diabetic because it can not only lower their need for insulin, preventing highs and lows, but reduce the later life complications of diabetes that occur from more conventional eating which requires the excessive use of insulin. It is not only the high glucose levels that increase later life complications and heart disease but also the overuse of insulin in Type 1 diabetics is lifespan unfavorable and increases risk of both heart disease and cancer. My contention is that a Nutritarian diet will allow a type one diabetic to live a long healthy life without the morbidity and premature death resulting from conventional eating patterns. I have cared for hundreds of type 1 diabetics over the years, and the results have been rewarding and lifesaving.

I also have had the rewarding opportunity to work with young children right after the initial diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and some of these children were able to make complete recoveries of their type 1 diabetes with superior nutrition.

In general, a Nutritarian eating style drops blood glucose much lower, which allows for less than half the typical insulin dosing for the average person with type 1 diabetes. Small adjustments may be considered to help lower the glucose even more such as:

  • Limit dried fruits, very sweet fruits such as tropical fruits
  • Limit the overall daily intake of fruit to 2-3 servings, making berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.) the primary fruit choice
  • Reduce all flour and potato intake, and eat more legumes (especially beans), nuts, and seeds in their place. Beans have been shown to provide health advantages over whole grains in diabetes, and nuts provide healthy fats and are very low-glycemic calorie source.1, 2 Intact whole grains such as wheat berries, steel cut oats and quinoa are preferred, even over whole grain flours.
  • Combine your higher glycemic foods ( fruit, etc.) with raw vegetables (such as a salad) at the same meal
  • Meal plan: Diabetes Reversal


  • Dr. Fuhrman’s general supplement protocol for adults (see Vitamin Advisor for details) includes:
  • If blood glucose is not controlled well, many with diabetes may benefit from extra supplementation with certain nutrients. Talk with your doctor to see if these or other supplements are appropriate for you:
    • Thiamin and chromium: People with diabetes are at risk of low thiamin (vitamin B1) and chromium levels, and additional supplementation may be appropriate.
    • Cinnamon: Many human trials have suggested that cinnamon powder or supplemental cinnamon extract can support healthy blood glucose levels.3, 4 Discuss taking purified cinnamon extract with your doctor, as it may require an adjustment medication.5
    • Green tea extract: A meta-analysis of 17 trials using green tea extract as a supplement concluded that green tea extract reduced fasting blood glucose and HbA1c (a long-term indicator of blood glucose levels).6
    • Aloe vera gel: In people with either diabetes or prediabetes, supplementing with aloe vera gel powder resulted in decreases in fasting blood glucose.7
    • White mulberry leaf, banaba leaf, gymnema leaf, and fenugreek seed phytochemicals may also be helpful, according to preliminary studies 8-11


Exercise daily, even multiple times a day, as a strategy to lower blood glucose, such as after meals. Be sure to carefully calculate your lowered requirement of insulin as you adopt higher levels of exercising.


The End of Diabetes contains the scientific information and full program to most effectively enable you to treat your type 1 diabetes, prevent complications, and reduce the amount of insulin you require.

Other Considerations

It is very important that you work with your doctor as you make changes to your diet, as medication adjustments may be necessary. For example, blood glucose levels may go down too low while eating a low-glycemic Nutritarian diet, which would require lower doses of insulin.

Find additional help

ONLINE: All members of DrFuhrman.com can search the Ask the Doctor archives for discussions on this topic. Platinum and Diamond members can connect with Dr. Fuhrman by posting questions in the forum. Not a member? Join now.

IN PERSON: Book a stay at Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live Retreat in San Diego, California. With options ranging from one, two and three months (and sometimes longer) you will be under Dr. Fuhrman’s direct medical supervision as you hit the “reset” button on your health. For more information: (949) 432-6295 or [email protected]

EVENTS: Join Dr. Fuhrman for an online boot camp, detox or other event. During these immersive online events, you’ll attend zoom lectures, follow a special meal plan, and have access to a special, live Q&A session with Dr. Fuhrman. Learn more about events.

  1. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Augustin LS, et al. Effect of legumes as part of a low glycemic index diet on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 2012, 172:1653-1660.
  2. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Banach MS, et al. Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet. Diabetes Care 2011, 34:1706-1711.
  3. Davis PA, Yokoyama W. Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis. J Med Food 2011, 14:884-889.
  4. Akilen R, Tsiami A, Devendra D, Robinson N. Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis. Clin Nutr 2012, 31:609-615.
  5. Ziegenfuss TN, Hofheins JE, Mendel RW, et al. Effects of a water-soluble cinnamon extract on body composition and features of the metabolic syndrome in pre-diabetic men and women. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2006, 3:45-53.
  6. Liu K, Zhou R, Wang B, et al. Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2013, 98:340-348.
  7. Suksomboon N, Poolsup N, Punthanitisarn S. Effect of Aloe vera on glycaemic control in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Pharm Ther 2016, 41:180-188.
  8. Mudra M, Ercan-Fang N, Zhong L, et al. Influence of mulberry leaf extract on the blood glucose and breath hydrogen response to ingestion of 75 g sucrose by type 2 diabetic and control subjects. Diabetes Care 2007, 30:1272-1274.
  9. Stohs SJ, Miller H, Kaats GR. A review of the efficacy and safety of banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa L.) and corosolic acid. Phytother Res 2012, 26:317-324.
  10. Leach MJ. Gymnema sylvestre for diabetes mellitus: a systematic review. J Altern Complement Med 2007, 13:977-983.
  11. Lu FR, Shen L, Qin Y, et al. Clinical observation on trigonella foenum-graecum L. total saponins in combination with sulfonylureas in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Chin J Integr Med 2008, 14:56-60.

Ask The Doctor

The following are sample questions from the Ask the Doctor Community Platinum and higher members can post their health questions directly to Dr. Fuhrman. (All members can browse questions and answers.)


Help! My 6-year-old granddaughter was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The family is devastated. What should we do nutritionally for her?


You should set up an appointment at our office, and read the book The End of Diabetes ASAP. Newly diagnosed children with diabetes can become non-diabetic or nearly so with perfect a Nutritarian eating style. Plus, it is lifesaving for their future, preventing the dangerous mix between insulin and SAD eating.


I would like to know what kind of fast is suitable for type 1 diabetics.

I have tried a 10 day juice fast, went off insulin, and had very good results. I had been eating a Nutritarian diet for 6 months beforehand.

What diet do you recommend to break the fast? Is a standard Nutritarian diet suitable, or shall I restrict it knowing that my metabolism will be slower for another 6 weeks?


I would not recommend a juice fast and no insulin for a type 1 diabetic. You should be very strict on the diet with mostly greens and the low carb vegetables, seeds, nuts, and beans (and a small amount of low sugar fruits such as berries) as the only carbohydrate source. The main thing is to read my book, The End of Diabetes, and get guidance to protect your long-term health. What you do over a limited period of time will not be effective at protecting you against health issues 20 to 40 years from now. You need to modify your dietary style forever.


How much does the Nutritarian diet help type 1 diabetics?


It makes the difference between vicious and life threatening medical complications and an early death with instead a lengthy and healthy life. Less medication use, a normal weight, no blood sugar highs and lows, no heart disease and strokes; a Nutritarian diet is more important for a type one than any other because traditional diets and the typical recommendations by dieticians for this group are so deadly. I give lots of information and guidance for type 1 diabetes in my book, The End of Diabetes.