Sunday, May 9, 2010

Review: Eat & Beat Diabetes With Picture Perfect Weight Loss

Summary: Ask any doctor or nutritionist who treats patients with diabetes: the first focus for controlling the disease is a healthy eating plan. But typical diabetic eating plans have been all about what you can't eat and what to do if you fall prey to a craving for foods you shouldn't have.

But now a typical day in the life of a diabetic might start with a smoked salmon-and-dill omelet, continue to a lunch of three-bean chili, salsa and guacamole, and finish with a dinner of grilled shrimp and shaved fennel, topped off by a dessert of chocolate terrine. It's a kind of eating that virtually guarantees not just control of the disease and a satisfying of the appetite, but an emphasis on specific nutrients that actually target diabetes, beating back its potential side effects and maintaining the healthy weight that is key to controlling the disease.

In Eat & Beat Diabetes with Picture Perfect Weight Loss, Dr. Howard Shapiro uses the same visual method of food comparisons that made his bestselling weight-loss books so popular and easy to use. Now he has teamed with top chef Franklin Becker, a diabetic himself, and together they reveal the secrets to a diet that can actually help you prevent and beat diabetes—without depriving yourself of delicious food. -- Harlequin

I thought EAT TO BEAT DIABETES WITH PICTURE PERFECT WEIGHT LOSS: THE VISUAL PROGRAM TO PREVENT AND CONTROL DIABETES by Dr. Howard M. Shapiro and Chef Franklin Becker was a very interesting book. I was first drawn to this book because it had such colorful pictures and recipes from well-known chefs, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I learned while reading it. This book was just chock full of information about healthy foods and nutrition.

EAT TO BEAT DIABETES begins with lots of general information about diabetes, and I thought it was presented in a very clear and concise manner. While my grandmother has suffered from diabetes for years, I admit that I didn't know much about this disease. I knew diabetics had to watch their sugar intake and monitor their sugar levels, and I was aware that many people can control their risk with a healthy diet. But that was about it. I can now say that I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to prevent and control diabetes. Prior to this book, I had not seen the information presented in this fashion. It's detailed, yet clear enough, that even kids can learn how to make the right choices.

I think most fans of cookbooks will love all of the colorful pictures -- I actually got hungry just looking at the book. There is also a cool visual/interactive quiz that you can take which includes lots of pictures (just like the ones in the cookbook.) The quiz tests your knowledge to see if you know which foods are healthier and what is the "best choice." I think you'll be surprised by some of the answers -- I know I was.

Although I really liked EAT TO BEAT DIABETES, I did have a few issues with it. First, I didn't love the amount of artificial sweeteners used in the recipes. I realize some people aren't bothered by artificial sweeteners, but I really try to limit my intake. Having said that, I do realize the need of artificial sweeteners for people who have diabetes. I'm just saying that I probably wouldn't use this cookbook as a go-to for dessert recipes. Another slight issue I had this book was that the recipes from the well-known chefs were a little too complex for me. I was so looking forward to seeing these healthy recipes, but I actually found many of them to have different ingredients and many steps -- way too difficult for me at this point in my life.

I decided to make the Pumpkin Pie Pudding -- it was super easy. The authors suggest eating a serving of pudding instead of a slice of pumpkin pie, and you'll see why -- 390 calories for the pie vs. 65 calories for the pudding, 17 grams of fat vs. 0 grams, and 33 grams of sugar versus 0 grams. Plus the pudding has 5 grams of fiber. I thought the pudding turned out well and I wouldn't have any problem substituting this for pumpkin pie. In addition, the recipe is actually egg-free and dairy-free (if you leave out the whipped cream) which is perfect for my son's food allergies. I will definitely be making this for him next Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon brandy or run (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mint leaves
Whipped topping for garnish if desired

1. Combine all ingredients except mint leaves and whipped topping in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 1 minutes, or until smooth and well blended.

2. Spoon into dessert dishes and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

3. Garnish with mint leaves and whipped topping, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

I think everyone (even people who do not have diabetes) will appreciate EAT AND BEAT DIABETES. The pictures are very appealing and the recipes are extremely healthy. I especially enjoyed all of the comparisons between "normal" foods and their healthy substitutes. I also think this book is a great reference tool for overall healthy eating.

Thanks to FSB Associates for sending me a copy of this cookbook!

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rhapsodyinbooks said...

I agree with you - I would have a problem with all the artificial sweeteners. But on the other hand I have lived with diabetics and know how hard it is to go without so many things unless you can use artificial sweeteners. When you think about how we could go off GameOn any time if it was making us crazy, but they can never go off! Very hard! I'm glad more people are trying to come up with good cookbooks!

Beth F said...

I don't do artificial sweeteners either -- but I understand the need. I wonder if diabetics can use Stevia?

Now I'm going to try the quiz.

Beth F said...

I meant to add that the pumpkin recipe looks great! I bet non-diabetics can make it with regular pudding.

bermudaonion said...

I've heard that diabetics are the only ones who should use artificial sweeteners. My parents could probably use this cookbook. I don't they they totally understand what my dad should be eating.

Lenore said...

Complex recipes always daunt me too.

Cindy W. said...

I am a diabetic, as is my husband, mother and brother. Yes, diabetics can use artificial sweeteners. Stevia would be the best. I prefer Splenda. My mom bakes with the Splenda cooking sweetener and it works quite well...just not as moist.

Cindy W.


Heather said...

I can't use the artificial sweeteners. They taste like chemicals in my mouth and the bad taste lingers for hours sometimes. I'd rather go without out. Not a diabetic but several in the family so have tried to learn a bit and make options available to them when they visit. This sounds like a good book.