233: Reversing Diabetes

Reversing Diabetes Through Nutrition

Reversing diabetes naturally through nutrition is something people should look into. Robby Barbaro, my guest today, attests that the risks are lower and it has been proven effective.

I found Robby Barbaro because of the 9-day I Thrive series. I highly recommend watching the series because it has 55 doctors and experts, who talk about reversing diabetes and heart disease, as well as tips on how to lose weight. For more information, link to www.learntruehealth.com/ithrive.

Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes

Robby Barbaro's journey to reversing diabetes started when he was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 12 years old. He's 29 years old now, so it has been 17 years since he has been living with diabetes.

Incidentally, it was Robby Barbaro's older brother who was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Soon after, Robby Barbaro complained that he noticed being thirsty with the urge to urinate all the time.  Upon checking his sugar levels with his brother's glucometer, it was well over 400 which was not a good sign.

Going to the doctor to get an official diagnosis, Robby Barbaro went through tests to measure his carbs and insulin intake.  And because he lived in Minnesota that time, they had the tests done at the world-famous Mayo Clinic.

Tests confirmed he had Type 1 diabetes. Looking back, Robby Barbaro recalls it was unusual that such a famous clinic didn't tell him that nutrition could help in reversing diabetes. 

Diet Shift

Robby Barbaro was a competitive tennis player. He says the sport helped keep his Type 1 diabetes under control. In addition to that, he eventually made some dietary changes and took supplements.

But what changed his whole perception in reversing diabetes is when he moved to Florida and chanced upon a book that he saw at Barnes and Noble. Kevin Trudeau's Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know About book was popular that time. According to Robby Barbaro, the book contained one sentence that planted a seed in his mind that he could use nutrition in reversing diabetes.

Typical Diet

“I've been eating nothing but fruits and veggies for 11 years. Not cooked but rather raw and low fat, plant-based whole foods,” said Robby Barbaro. “Then I came across the Weston A. Price foundation which is a step in right direction.”

Eventually, Robby Barbaro learned not to eat processed foods and was eating grass-fed beef. During college, he was also a part of a website community discussing diets when somebody suggested watching this animal rights movie. That movie had a significant impact on Robby Barbaro.

“That's how I got to the plant-based world. I started a coaching program wherein the first week was eating purely bananas. It was a profound experience,” shares Robby Barbaro. 

He adds, “I was floored by my insulin sensitivity just by eating bananas. Then I began to adopt a low-fat diet. The next week I had bananas and lettuce. It was the beginning of a plant based-diet.”

Robby Barbaro reveals that eating a plant-based diet doesn't deprive you of nutrients. He gets his calories and energy from fruit and minerals from greens and non-starchy vegetables like zucchini, carrots, arugula and many more. He has also erased gluten from his diet.

“I felt good, my skin cleared, and allergies are gone. Every time you eat well, you are nourishing every single cell,” Robby Barbaro said.

Importance Of Insulin

Robby Barbaro and his Mastering Diabetes coaching partner Cyrus Khambatta both have Type 1 diabetes, and insulin is what keeps them alive. According to Robby Barbaro, the whole teaching point of insulin not being the enemy is something essential to the Mastering Diabetes program.

My grandmother passed away at the age of 77 in 1987. Incidentally, she also had Type 1 diabetes. And from what I heard, she was one of the earlier receivers of insulin when they were first creating it. Her diet was primarily steamed vegetables, but she made sure to collect the juice and drink it since all the minerals were in there.

“We have made a lot of progress in treating Type 1 diabetes. Today we have glucose monitors, the needles are smaller, and it's an overall more sanitary experience,” said Robby Barbaro.

Insulin Resistance

Robby Barbaro says that the cause of pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. But for people with Type 1 diabetes, insulin resistance is still a significant factor even if it is not the cause of their condition. 

“Insulin resistance is the precursor to so many other conditions. The number one killer of all people living with diabetes is heart disease. So it's vital to optimize one's insulin sensitivity,” said Robby Barbaro.

And how do we know if we're insulin insensitive? With Type 1 diabetes, it is very easy to assess that. The following determining factors are:

  • How many units of insulin we're injecting
  • Total carb consumption
  • Blood glucose testing

Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Robby Barbaro explains that for Type 1 diabetes, you have to make sure you are injecting about the same amount of insulin your pancreas would have normally secreted before it stopped producing its insulin.

“The key thing is to get to the appropriate amount.  The general ballpark number is measured by taking your weight, which is about .6 per kilogram of body weight. That's a good place to be. If you're more active, you can get closer to .3 or .4 units,” Robby Barbaro said.

As for those with Type 2 diabetes and taking no medication, Robby Barbaro suggests looking at your fasting blood glucose number. You also have to know the total carb intake you're consuming. 

“So if you have 200 to 300 carbs per day and your blood glucose is in range, then that's a good sign that your body is insulin sensitive. Anything opposite that is a sign that you're becoming pre-diabetic,” said Robby Barbaro.

Testing Yourself

The best way to check your sugar levels is by using a glucometer. Ideally, you should do the test upon waking up and provided you have not eaten for the past 12 hours.

“A level between 70 to 99 is good. If you are 100 to 126, that's pre-diabetic. And anything that's 127 and above is a full-on diabetic,” said Robby Barbaro.

Robby Barbaro also reveals that the biggest problem is the food that people are eating. Because eating more meats and dairy is not suitable for long-term health.

“When your blood glucose is out of control, it has a dramatic impact on our mood, behavior and also on our mental clarity. But it is all the more motivation and reason to fix it,” said Robby Barbaro.

Coaching Program

Mastering Diabetes is a program wherein Robby Barbaro and his partner Cyrus Khambatta teach people how to minimize and eliminate medication. But Robby Barbaro also makes it clear that they have a lot of respect for doctors. And aren't against doctors or the pharma industry in some respect.

Robby Barbaro offers group and private coaching.  To reach out to more people, the programs are now offered at a more affordable rate of $29 per month. He is proud to share that they have seen many success stories in as fast as four days by just altering diets.

For people suffering from Type 1 diabetes, there's a significant difference of 40 to 60% in four days.  Some people with Type 2 diabetes have even stopped the medication. The diet is served buffet style and is primarily steamed vegetables. 

“The worse thing that can happen is taking too much medication, and we have a team of trained professionals to monitor each person's progress,” said Robby Barbaro.


Robby Barbaro is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and the founder of Mindful Diabetic. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12 and embraced a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet four years after his diagnosis. 

To this day, adopting this lifestyle has been one of the best decisions of his life, and since that fateful day, Robby Barbaro's hemoglobin A1c value has never exceeded 6.4%. Robby Barbaro graduated from the University of Florida in 2011 and worked at Forks Over Knives for six years before turning his attention to coaching people with diabetes full time. 

Robby Barbaro enjoys exercising every day, spending time with friends and sharing his lifestyle on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Helping people with diabetes has gone from a desire to a true passion, and he loves inspiring others to achieve excellent health.

Get Connected With Robby Barbaro:

Official Website


Instagram – Mastering Diabetes

Instagram – Mindful Diabetic


Recommended Reading by Robby Barbaro

The Forks Over Knives Plan by Alona Pulde M.D.


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Ashley James

Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing

Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.

In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!

The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine


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