Dr Anderson, of the University of Kentucky in Lexington directed a study that was discussed in The China Study.
He conducted the study to find the effects of a low-fat, high-fiber, high-carbohydrate diet on 25 people with Type 1 diabetes and 25 people with Type 2 diabetes. Before starting the study, they all took insulin to control their blood sugar, and none were overweight.
Dr. James Anderson conducted his scientific experiment by having his patients eat the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association for one week, and then he switched them over to the experimental diet for the next three weeks, where they ate only -at most- a tiny amount of meat a day. Switching between the two diets allowed the doctors to test the patients' blood sugar levels as they moved to different diets.
Instead of animal protein, the participants were given soy substitutes when they switched to the second diet plan.
What he found was that in both groups, the people were able to lower their insulin medicine. This was an extraordinary finding, especially for the people with Type 1 diabetes, because their bodies cannot produce insulin and it was long thought that nothing would ever change that fact.
In the group with Type 2 diabetes, all but one person was able to completely discontinue their use of their insulin medicine! Some of those people had been taking their medicine for years and were able to completely stop using it.
Also, in both groups, blood cholesterol levels dropped dramatically as well. This means that these patients had a lower risk of having heart disease and strokes on the high-fiber, high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.
It seems that soy products helped to lower cholesterol and increase heart health over the long term effectively. "Soy protein increases the activity of low-density lipoprotein receptors primarily on the liver that clears it from the body. Eating soy protein increases the activity of these enzymes that break down the cholesterol," said Dr. James Anderson. He recommends that people add to their diet two servings of soy products a day, including options such as edamame or soy nuts. He recommends avoiding soy products that have been cooked at high temperatures because cooking destroys the nutritional benefit.
These results were sustained throughout the four years of the study.