7 Awesome Books About Diabetes You Need to Start Reading Right Now

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1. “What Do I Eat Now? A Step-by-Step Guide to Eating Right with Type 2 Diabetes” by Patti B. Geil, MS, RD, FADA, CDE and Tami A. Ross, RD, CDE, LD

This book, published by the American Diabetes Association, is full of sound information about diabetes and healthy eating, including label reading, shopping, portion size, and a review of the classic symptoms of diabetes. The four-week plan is based on the premise of small changes for big results. Each chapter delves into crucial information integral to diabetes management and contains meal plans and recipes. Carbohydrate counting is explained throughout in clear and concise language. The stages of change and the importance of setting reasonable goals, with instruction of how to do so, are emphasized. The book explains the pros and cons of four popular diets: the Mediterranean, low carb, vegetarian, and DASH diets.

2. “The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet”

This plan is formed around two phases – “Lose It!” and “Live It!” The first phase is meant to encourage rapid weight loss for two weeks. The second phase is a set of clearly described steps and lifestyle changes that the reader can make, with a goal of losing one to two pounds each week and then maintaining the weight loss with meal plans and sensible tips. The book presents common excuses that people use to not change their lifestyles, along with recommended solutions to these barriers such as not liking exercise, not enjoying the taste of healthful food, being crunched for time, having food cravings, and not having a solid support system. Discussion of the importance of positive thinking and self-image is a nice addition. Illustrations, charts, and photos keep the reader interested. This book is most appropriate for someone who needs to learn the basics of diabetes and who wants to get a jump-start on a new lifestyle.

3. “The Pre-Diabetes Diet Plan” by Hillary Wright, M. Ed., RD

After describing the process of developing insulin resistance, the author presents a clear strategy of lifestyle and diet changes to prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes. Topics covered in this book include meal planning, grocery shopping, dining out, dietary supplements, and exercise. Carbohydrate counting is covered in depth with detailed meal plans provided, although recipes are not included. Although pre-diabetes is very common, not many books have been written that specifically address this condition.

4. “The Diabetes Breakthrough: A Scientifically Proven Program to Lose Weight, Cut Medications, and Reverse Diabetes” by Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD and Dr. Sheri R. Colberg

The book promises to help you “reverse the course of your Type 2 Diabetes, lose weight for good and finally reclaim your health – in just 12 weeks!” While this is an overly ambitious and unrealistic premise, Dr. Hamdy is a respected doctor doing clinical research at Joslin Diabetes Center and presents his solidly designed and well-researched, step-by-step program named Why WAIT (Weight Achievement and Intensive Treatment). The 12-week plan can easily be extended for a longer time period. At the beginning, pre-portioned commercial foods such as meal replacement shakes and certain brands of frozen dinners are recommended. While some nutrition professionals would balk at this, others are OK with it for a brief period of time to learn portion control and jump-start a healthy weight loss plan. Women are advised to consume around 1,500 calories a day, and men around 1,800. These are reasonable calorie allowances for average people. Detailed meals plans with accompanying recipes are included.

Dr. Colberg adds her expertise as an exercise physiologist to the program and provides illustrated exercise routines. Dozens of checklists, goal worksheets, and real-life success stories help to keep motivation and focus high. The book goes through common diabetes medications and describes their side effects and impact on body weight. No one should change their medication regimen, however, without discussing with his or her prescribing physician.

5. “Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin” by Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE

An indispensable guide to insulin therapy, this book delves into the how and why of appropriately using insulin to control blood glucose, with tips on: monitoring glucose, matching dosage to carbohydrate intake, hypoglycemia, exercise, the different methods of administering insulin, how emotions and illness affect blood glucose, and much more. A detailed list of references for where people can turn for more education and support, as well as log sheets to get the reader to start keeping comprehensive written records, round out the book. The information is presented in a conversational tone and draws the reader in, although the information presented is fairly complex.

6. “The Diabetes Miracle: 3 Simple Steps to Prevent and Control Diabetes and Regain Your Health…Permanently” by Diane Kress

The author explores her ideas about “Metabolism B” (metabolic disorder), which causes the body to overreact to carbohydrates, release excess insulin, gain body fat, and develop Type 2 Diabetes. Her lifestyle plan includes three steps, which she says will “rest, reset, and retrain” your pancreas to react more normally to changes in blood sugar. A primer on diabetes and the diagnosis and prevention of complications are covered in the book.

7. “Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well’ by Kerri Sparling

This inspiring book is all about how to integrate diabetes management into your lifestyle without undue hardship or frustration. The author’s goal is to promote balance for all people with diabetes and/or those who take care of someone with diabetes. Diagnosis, school, work, relationships, traveling and parenting are all taken on in a humorous and friendly tone. The frustration and fear that many people feel when first diagnosed are touched on as the author shares her own experiences with Type 1 Diabetes. The author provides advice on appropriate exercise and diet guidelines for individuals with diabetes, although specifics are not included. This book is about the emotional side of diabetes, which is missing from the vast majority of books about diabetes.


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