Skip to main content

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD & Robby Barbaro, MPH Are Mastering Diabetes

By February 17, 2020January 17th, 2024No Comments
Play Video
Episode #499



A full blown epidemic in the developed world, diabetes currently afflicts an astonishing 30 million people in the US alone, despite the fact that 1 out of 4 don’t even know they have it.

Even more bewildering, over one-third of all U.S. adults have prediabetes. That’s more than 84 million people, 90% of whom are unaware of their condition.

Not enough? Over the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed has more than doubled, with no end in sight.

For purposes of clarity, 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes are the Type 2 form. The good news is that Type 2 isn’t just treatable, it’s actually reversible — often to the point of undetectability. And for those suffering from Type 1, certain diet and lifestyle changes render the illness more manageable than ever.

To learn more about the nature of diabetes, how to avoid it and the many things you can do if you have it, I sat down with Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH — the team behind Mastering Diabetes, an online coaching platform for people living with all forms of diabetes that focuses on low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition.

The average doctor learns about nutrition for a maximum twenty-five hours while in medical school. They're just not given proper training to talk about food.


Living with Type 1 diabetes since 2002, Cyrus received a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a PhD in nutritional biochemistry from UC Berkeley. In addition, he has co-authored many peer-reviewed scientific publications. Robbie has a master’s degree in public health from American Public University, spent six years helping build Forks Over Knives, and has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2000.

Experts in the science of insulin resistance, together they have successfully helped thousands prevent, navigate and reverse diabetes not by way of medication, but rather through simple changes in diet and lifestyle — all principles beautifully chronicled in their new book, aptly titled Mastering Diabeteshitting bookstores February 18.

Current medical dogma urges a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for anyone suffering from diabetes or prediabetes.

But is this actually true?

Today Cyrus & Robby put this paradigm to the test.

While it is true that a low carb approach may improve short-term blood glucose control, such a diet also increases the long-term risk for an array of chronic diseases.

The disconnect between the research and what the public believes and understands is mind boggling


Although it may sound counter-intuitive, perhaps even radical, the hard science is ironically quite clear: eating a high carbohydrate, low fat, plant-based whole-food diet rich in fruit (yes, fruit) and vegetables is actually the most powerful way to reverse insulin resistance in all types of diabetes — while also simultaneously preventing a litany of chronic disorders typically linked to today’s popular low-carb approach.

Whether or not you have diabetes, chances are you care for someone who does. For those who fall into this category, I truly believe that this conversation is potentially life-saving.

The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. And as always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

I appreciate the work these two young men are doing to positively impact a disease that unnecessarily debilitates millions. It’s an honor to share their message. And I sincerely hope you take it to heart.

Peace + Plants,

Listen, Watch, & Subscribe

For 1000s of delicious, customized plant-based recipes & so much more, check out our Plantpower Meal Planner.

For a complete list of all RRP sponsors, vanity URLs & discount codes, visit my Resources.

Patronize Our Sponsors: For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity URLs and discount codes, click “Sponsors” here.

Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics; portraits by Ali Rogers; and theme music by Hari Mathis, Tyler Piatt & Trapper Piatt.

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.