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With a heavy heart, we share the news of Dr. John McDougall’s passing. A visionary physician and author, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, mentor and friend, Dr. McDougall died peacefully at his home on Saturday, June 22nd, at the age of 77.

John: Reversed His Diabetes and Beat His Family Genetics

The fundamentals of the McDougall Program are simple yet often difficult to implement. Star McDougallers have either adopted the Program themselves by learning from our website and books or joining one of our programs. For personalized help, learn more about the 12-Day McDougall Program. For questions on whether a change in diet can help your ailment, learn more about our consultations.
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John: Reversed His Diabetes and Beat His Family Genetics

Growing up with an Irish family, I learned early the four essential food groups: sugar, fat, alcohol, and caffeine. A balanced meal was a cookie in each hand. My mother used to say, “If God meant for us to touch our toes, he would have put them closer to our hands.”

I was a pretty normal kid, though slightly overweight. There was no real food in our refrigerator, but I never complained because there was always meat on the table, ice cream in the freezer and some kind of pie when I got home from school. When I was about seven I saw my aunt injecting herself with insulin and thought how strange that was. Later, her foot and then her leg was amputated, and she died at a young age. My sister also died at 43.

In my 20s, I lived on cheeseburgers and went to work with a pocket full of Oreo cookies and a giant bottle of Coke. Like many Americans, the only vegetables I ate were french fries. In the military during the Vietnam War, I could never understand why doctors always wanted to repeat my fasting blood test. Obviously, my blood sugars were high, yet no one ever explained what this meant or suggested I change my diet. I knew that heart disease and diabetes existed but had no clue what they were until one day a doctor told me I had them.

An EKG showed I had survived a mild heart attack and I didn’t even know it. I thought this stuff was for seniors, not a thirty-year-old. I did research and found out how horrible diabetes can be. Heart and kidney failure, blindness and amputations scared me into reading all the health books I could find. A few of them suggested I could live without taking insulin by making some changes in lifestyle. That certainly sounded better than jabbing myself with needles every day and ending up like my aunt.

As my triglycerides, blood pressure, fat, and cholesterol came down to normal, I kept reading health books and eventually went back to college to earn a degree in Nutrition. I’m now 77, have about 10% body fat, my last blood pressure read 110/70, and doctors no longer want to do blood tests because my blood sugar is always normal. I feel that everyone needs to know heart disease and type 2 diabetes can be avoided and even reversed by simply living on plants. I find it criminal so many are given distorted nutrition advice through the influence of large food companies. Hundreds of millions are suffering needlessly because they never hear or fail to believe Dr. McDougall. I was one of the few lucky ones.