Home » Tackling Diabetes With a Bold New Dietary Approach by Neal Barnard (Full Transcript)

Tackling Diabetes With a Bold New Dietary Approach by Neal Barnard (Full Transcript)

So, what I’m saying is that we’re putting into our bodies foods that we’re really not designed for. Which raises the question: what foods are we really designed for?

Well there are different ways of looking at this. And one is called the dental test. Do you know the dental test? What you do is you wait for your cat to yawn, and you look in your cat’s mouth and what you notice is in its mouth are these very, very long protruding canine teeth, and on each side of its mouth, it’s just like a pitchfork that’s really good for capturing pray, killing small animals, and ripping the hide off the flesh and eating meat.

So now look at your own mouth. What you discover is that your canine teeth are no longer than your incisors. And that change occurred at least 3,5 million years ago. So our molars are really good for crunching on an apple, they’re not so hot for handling roadkill.

Now there’s the bunny test. Do you know the bunny test? You take a bunny, and you put the bunny in front of your cat and what you discover, no matter how young your cat is, the cat has this irrepressible desire to capture, attack, kill, and swallow that bunny.

Now, you put the very same bunny in front of a toddler or baby. And what you discover is the toddler say, “Bunny, bunny!” They want to play and the little baby is just absolutely delighted, the idea of killing and eating him would never occur to him in a million years.

We’re learning something here. Do you know the box test? You take a box that it was used to carry electronic equipment, and you look around at the bottom and what you find is silica gel. And silica gel is there to take moisture out of the box. And apparently, the manufacturers of silica gel have realized that human-beings are so indiscriminate in their eating habits, that they have to put these words on it, “Do not eat”.

So, here’s how I put this together: human-beings are naturally herbivores, but we’re really easily thrown off track. The fact of the matter is, before the Stone Age, people would have been just terrible hunters, really. You know this is true because we’re not very quick. Now a lion, a lion is quick, in the forest, a lion can easily catch a gazelle. A hawk or a falcon can easily catch a mouse. Humans, we sort of catch cold. That’s like it. We don’t really detect prey very well, we don’t have sensitive noses.

If you look at a dog, a dog has a very highly developed sense of smell, they can detect prey at long distances, which is why they are used in airports to detect bombs, and drugs, and that kind of things. And their sense of hearing far outstrips ours, they are outfitted to be able to detect prey.

Now, human-beings, we have cute noses and we have cute ears, but we really are pathetic as hunters. And if you’re going to succeed as a carnivore, you need good sharp claws, good sharp teeth, you need to be very, very quick, and you need to have sensitive hearing, sensitive smell, sensitive vision.

Which actually raises the question: what is the most sensitive part of the human body? What do you think? Well, I actually learned the answer. As I was coming here, I was at the airport. And the TSA agent pulled me aside and said, “I got to do a pat down, and when I get to a sensitive part of your body, I’ll use the back of my hand.” And I realized that apparently, the most sensitive part of the human body must be our back side, I guess.

So, anyway, what I take from this is that meat eating began somehow. How did it begin? I put that question to Richard Leakey. And Richard Leakey, the famous paleoanthropologist – and what he said was, “You know, human-beings as herbivores, you don’t have to be quick, you don’t have to be particularly sharp or sensitive because you don’t really have to sneak up on a strawberry, it’s just sitting, not doing anything. But to become carnivores really took some work. And it probably started as scavenging.” In other words, a lion doesn’t eat everything. When they walk away from the little pile of bones they’ve left there’s a little meat there, and humans could relatively easily sneak in and cut some of that off and take it back.

Now, that requires having some tools to do that with. So once the Stone Age arrived, then we had the possibility of actually doing that. And once we had arrowheads, and axes, and that sort of thing, then we were really on to something. Meat eating really became a big thing. But, we have pre-stone age bodies. To this day, when a person puts into their body plant foods, their arteries open up again, their diabetes starts to get better, their weight starts to come off, their bodies start to recover.

Now Americans, unfortunately, are really not on a diabetes reversal diet. Americans today eat more than a million animals per hour. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that one of three kids born in the year 2000 and in the years since is going to get diabetes at some point in their life. And you see the truth of it, turn on the television: half the commercials are for burgers, chicken wings, snack foods, the other half of the commercials are for medicines to undue the effects of all the foods that we’re eating.

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