CAIRO: A leading Egyptian medical expert claims “miracle beans” could play a key role in the future treatment and cure of diabetes.
Dr. Osama Hamdi, professor of internal medicine and diabetes at Harvard University, told Arab News that a new diet and exercise program developed by scientists meant “a cure for diabetes has become possible.”
His comments coincided with World Diabetes Day on Monday which aims to raise awareness about the condition that globally affects more than 460 million people and claimed the lives of 2 million sufferers in 2019 alone.
Hamdi said: “The world is moving in many directions for the treatment of the disease. There are programs to treat patients in the first five years of being affected.”
He highlighted a treatment program centered around diet and muscle-strengthening workouts.
“The diet involves intermittent fasting, like in Ramadan — for 16 hours over a period of 90 days — and giving accurately calculated calories to the patient, with an exercise program that builds and strengthens muscles.
“Beans are a miracle for diabetics because they are high in protein and fibers that are useful for the body.
“If we go back to eating lentils, beans, fruits, vegetables, and cheese, and eating meat twice a week, it will be much better. Here lies the prevention.
“I advise diabetics to eat beans as a main meal for breakfast, with a little bread and a small amount of olive oil and lemon, provided that lunch is a piece of chicken or low-fat meat and a small amount of rice and vegetables,” he added.
Hamdi pointed out that dinner must be light and consist of yogurt or white cheese with a piece of bread and fruit such as watermelon.
He also noted the need to exercise for at least 10 minutes every day.
On the treatment of diabetes using stem cells, he said: “If someone asked me several years ago about the use of stem cells for the definitive treatment of type 1 (diabetes) disease, I would have said it is tens of years ahead, but now I am almost certain that it is within three to five years at the most.
“It is impossible for me to forget the importance of my country, Egypt, and I cannot forget that I am an Arab, so I promise all Egyptians and Arabs, that over the next two years, Cairo will be the largest and most important center for diabetes in the Middle East, to help around 40,000 patients annually suffering from this dreaded disease.
“But the emigration of doctors is a setback because they are a national security for the state, in order to maintain a healthy people.”
He described Egyptian doctors as “jewels,” adding that most young doctors left the country to work elsewhere due to the low rates of pay In Egypt.
Born in the Egyptian city of Mansoura in 1956, Hamdi graduated from the faculty of medicine in 1981. He is now medical director of an obesity program at the Joslin Diabetes Center, the largest and oldest diabetes research center in the US and the world.
A recipient of the American Academy of Sciences award, Hamdi is widely recognized as one of the top researchers in the world in diabetes technology particularly for his work on diets to treat the condition.