Plant-based diet perfect for diabetes

By Vaelei Von Dincklage 22 July 2021, 5:00PM

Moving to a plant-based diet would enable patients diagnosed with lifestyle diseases such as diabetes to address their health challenges, says Fagalima Mauletaua Faasoi of Matuaileoo Environment Trust Inc (M.E.T.I.).

Speaking during a seminar that the health-focused non-government organisation hosted at their Motootua headquarters on Wednesday morning, Fagalima said he continues to encourage people to switch the whole-food-plant-based diet as it helps to reverse their diabetes and any other illness they are diagnosed with.

"Many people have come to us for help and we give it to them. When you go to the hospital they give you pills to help ease the pain and rest,” he said in an interview.

“But here at M.E.T.I. we give you the whole-food-plant-based diet which means that you will not consume meat regularly. 

“You will also be asked to change your eating habits. 

“In here we say ‘thy food as thy medicine’ which simply means your medicine will be your food.

“We are not doctors but we work together to keep our people healthy.”

According to Fagalima, they’ve had patients who previously went to the hospital and were advised they had very little time left in life, due to his health condition.

“We had patients coming in here seeking our assistance because they have been to the hospital and were told that he does not have much time left.

“However, after joining our diet for some time, they have fully recovered and some have improved."

During the seminar Fagalima showed a few items which the patients can use to prepare meals such as oats, vegetables, fruits, brown bread and turmeric juice.

But he said the consumption of meat is not encouraged for those who want to embrace the whole-food-plant-based diet.

During the seminar on Wednesday a participant queried Fagalima why fish was on the list of food to avoid.

In response, he said their diet programme discourages the consumption of fish as they still classify it as meat.

“Fish is still meat, anything that has a face and has a mother is considered meat,” said Fagalima, laughing. 

"For instance, if you want to eat corned beef, you first ask if the corned beef was made from something that has a face or a mother; if yes, then you shouldn't eat it.

"This is the hardest part for all of our patients, is trying to move away from their usual meals. “Our people are used to consuming meat and it is the cause of so many sicknesses that have arisen in our country. 

"The diet works on those who are committed to it and not those who are not loyal to the diet. “So if it doesn't work on a patient it only means that they are not following the diet and they are cheating their diet."

Over 10 people who are also patients of the M.E.T.I. attended the seminar on Wednesday morning and were able to share their insights and thoughts on the programme. 


By Vaelei Von Dincklage 22 July 2021, 5:00PM

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