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'Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and reversed' - Dr James Muecke AM, 2020 Australian of the Year

Posted on June 19 2020


The following is the eighth in a series of weekly guest posts from 2020 Australian of the Year, Dr James Muecke. 

About Dr Muecke

56-year-old Dr James Muecke AM is passionate about fighting blindness. His focus is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults – type 2 diabetes – a spiralling epidemic that in some regions of Australia is impacting over one-in-ten people. It's also the fastest growing cause of vision loss in Aboriginal people and the sixth-biggest killer in this country. James wants to challenge our perception of sugar and its toxic impact on the development of type 2 diabetes.

James co-founded Sight For All, a social impact organisation aiming to create a world where everyone can see. Sight For All’s comprehensive and sustainable educational strategies are impacting on the lives of over one million people each year. 

With 80% of world blindness avoidable – and almost 90% in low income countries – James treats blindness as a human rights issue.

This is the eighth piece in this series, to read the seventh message click here

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and reversed

Naturally occurring dietary fats, such as those found in avocado, nuts, olive oil, eggs, milk, butter and cheese, have never been linked to cardiovascular disease, and low fat/low calorie diets have proven to be universally unsuccessful – lowering your caloric intake simply lowers your metabolism.

What’s surprisingly little known, is that minimising your ingestion of sugar, refined carbohydrates, and highly processed products containing these substances, can prevent fatty liver, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. It’s proven and powerful.

Once a person has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it can be managed successfully in many people without medications or surgery. There’s good evidence that dietary modification and regular periods of short-term fasting can help – reducing your intake of sugar reverses fatty liver, hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinaemia.

Intermittent fasting triggers hormonal changes, such as a sharp drop in insulin level, that don’t occur with a simple reduction in dietary calories and which are key to weight loss and reversal of type 2 diabetes. There are several approaches to giving up sugar and for fasting, with plenty of books, social media platforms and apps to help, however if a patient is on any medication for type 2 diabetes, fasting should only be undertaken with guidance from a treating doctor.

It’s easy to nominate now for the 2021 Awards, just complete the online nomination form at

Ready to read more? Click here for the next blog! 


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