Book Review: Diabetes Essentials

Diabetes Essentials: Tips & Recipes to Manage Type 2 Diabetes, is a brief, easy-to-understand, illustrated introduction and guide to living with type 2 diabetes, that was recently published by registered dietitian and diabetes educator Karen Graham, and endocrinologist Dr. Mansur Shomali. I received the book for review at no charge and all opinions are my own.

My Review

When a person is newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes it can feel isolating and overwhelming, especially for those who were previously unfamiliar with the condition and what diabetes management entails. This short, easy-to-understand, illustrated guide covers the main concepts and provides concrete advice to help set new patients on the right path to healthy living with diabetes.

The information in the book is organized in easy-to-read “top-ten” lists and focuses on many categories that are relevant to life with diabetes, including diet, exercise, blood sugar management, healthy lifestyle choices, weight loss, mental health, planning for pregnancy, and much more. The information covers the basics, without going into detail, and is in line with the commonly prescribed medical advice that is typically offered to patients with diabetes.

Throughout, the book offers helpful and specific tips that aim to help people with diabetes better understand their condition and improve their health. From advice on mindful eating to smoking cessation to preventing and identifying complications, this book covers so many aspects of living well with diabetes. I particularly liked the list with advice for getting through the first 10 days after a diabetes diagnosis, as well as the guide to different doctors’ appointments.

A considerable section of the book is dedicated solely to “diabetes-friendly” recipes, including a sample ten-day meal plan, along with ideas for salads, soups, dinners, snacks, and desserts. Most of the recipes are moderate in carbohydrates, high in fiber, and low in fat. Detailed nutritional information is provided alongside each recommendation.

One section I liked, in particular, discussed trending research and recent diabetes advancements. These included a discussion of continuous glucose monitoring technology, as well as newer insulins and diabetes medications. The authors also cited some relevant information from the national Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). I thought this section was particularly useful to help new patients understand how recent advances in care (even if not yet practiced in the mainstream) can help people with diabetes better manage their condition.

The last section of the book consists of quizzes on various topics to help readers reinforce their understanding of the educational materials. This also provides a fun way to learn about some common misconceptions. Finally, the detailed index at the end makes it easy to quickly find a specific topic of interest.

Summary

Overall, this text provides a competent and easy-to-understand overview of type 2 diabetes basics and advice for newly diagnosed patients. It informs without overwhelming the reader with too many details and provides concrete strategies to help manage the condition and related health issues.

Diabetes Essentials costs $24.95 and can be purchased online here.

***

Have you purchased this book already? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Also, check out this comprehensive list: The Best Books About Diabetes.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Why a Ketogenic Diet Works for Kim

Meet Kim Carter. Kim has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 24 years. She has tried many different tactics to manage her blood sugar and her weight over the years. She has found following a ketogenic diet to be the best way to successfully manage her diabetes and her waistline. 

I spoke to Kim about the ketogenic diet, the transitioning to and the results of following this way of eating.

At what point did you start a ketogenic diet? What was the catalyst?

I started in May to help lose weight, and as an alternative to pain medication, I was taking for fibromyalgia.

Did you find it hard to adapt to your new lifestyle?

The first few days were hard. I went through the keto flu. I had heard it would happen but living it was rough.

Why a Ketogenic Diet Works (3)

Kim has tried different ways of eating but the keto diet along with regular exercise helped her achieved her weight loss goals. | Photo credit: Kim Carter

How soon did you start seeing the effects of your new eating habits?

I lost ten pounds in the first week and stopped the fibro meds within three weeks. Blood sugars were excellent the first week after I adjusted a few things.

What were some of the positive changes you noticed in your overall health? What about your blood sugars?

I’m off all opioid pain medication, A1c of 5.3% on MDI [multiple daily injections], more energy, lost 55 pounds.

What were some negative changes you noticed in your overall health? What about your blood sugars?

Hair loss. I had to incorporate collagen into my diet to make up for this. In the first few days, I had some low blood sugars, but then I was able to adapt. Now I rarely have a high and rarely have a low — straight line on my CGM most days.

Do you find this way of eating easy to manage and sustainable? 

I travel for work, so this is a godsend. I only have to worry about one meal a day while on the road. It’s a little socially awkward to go out for brunch or lunch and not eat, but when I explain the results I’ve had, people understand. It’s also more economical when grocery shopping.

Typically, in the course of your day, how many low and high blood sugars do you have? 

None!

Why a Ketogenic Diet Works (3)

Photo credit: Kim Carter

What does your morning look like? What is your fasting blood usually around? What does breakfast look like?

I drink a cup of coffee in the morning. My blood sugar is pretty much 85-100 mg/dL all of the time.

Do you find managing your blood sugar takes a lot of your time and energy throughout the day? Do you have to interrupt your daily routine to take care of highs and lows?

I use the Libre, and it’s an easy way to look at my blood sugar quickly in the middle of the day. I honestly worry less about my blood sugar with this way of eating than I did before.

Do you exercise? Does managing your blood sugars ever interfere with your workout? Do you eat anything pre-workout, and if so, what?

I walk and ride my bike. I walk without eating beforehand but will eat something before a bike ride. I exercise about four times a week.

Why a Ketogenic Diet Works (3)

Photo credit: Kim Carter

How do you sleep well at night? Do you set alarms or wake up on your own to check your blood sugar?

I sleep more soundly with this way of eating. My fear of going low in my sleep has diminished.

What is your current A1c? What was it before adapting to this lifestyle?

It’s 5.3%. It’s been 5.2-5.4% for the past few years. I take way less insulin now and have been on MDI, and it’s wonderful.

What would be your advice to someone considering this way of eating?

Research. Start slow and do it. So beneficial.

Thank you, Kim, for sharing your experience with us! We appreciate the feedback and hope it helps those who may be considering following a ketogenic diet!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Review: Cuisinart Air Fryer – A Healthier Way to Make Your Favorite Foods

I am always searching the diabetes online community for new healthy recipes. It seems more and more people are using and having great success with air fryers. An air fryer is an appliance that works by using a convection mechanism to produce a crispy coating due to hot air circulating at high speed. You need […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

Editor’s Note: You Are Not Alone

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and here at Diabetes Daily, we take this issue very seriously. Managing an invisible disease, day in and day out, can create a lot of other issues for people with diabetes. It is important that everyone feels comfortable talking about their problems, reaching out for help and knows they […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

I Thrive: Being the Architect of Your Future

While Basil’s story might not be about epic adventures of climbing mountains or sailing around the world, his story is real and unapologetically his. He’s a husband, father, uncle, son, and entrepreneur. His story deeply resonates. During the years when his body was in a pre-diabetic state, he actually wasn’t aware it existed and ultimately […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

From 208 to 116 Pounds: Type 2 Diabetes Helps Her Stay the Course

Terie is a reader of Diabetes Daily and wrote in when she saw we were featuring people with weight loss success. I am so glad she shared her story and hope she inspires those of you who are starting out on this journey! When were you diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? And how long did […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

Meet Thom: A Role Model for People with Type 2 Diabetes

Editor’s Note: I had the pleasure of “e-meeting” Thom through the diabetes online community. I could not believe his transformation photos. His story was even more compelling. I have no doubt that Thom will do great things for the type 2 community.  *** I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 37 after years […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

I Thrive: Finding Her Focus

Meet Melissa Williams, a popular influencer and amateur fitness model trying to fulfill her dreams. When she looks back on her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in 2011 she just has to laugh. Her health and fitness journey began before that fateful diagnosis, being in her early 20’s and living life to the fullest. Going […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

Dawn Shares How She Lost 100 Pounds

I had the pleasure of meeting Dawn almost four years ago through the diabetic online community. I post a “what’s your workout” post every morning on Type 1 Athletes Facebook page to serve as motivation for myself and others. I remember when Dawn first started chiming in. What started as a way for her to […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

How to Crowd Out Poor Food Choices With Protein and Fiber

When I attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, one thing I heard a lot about was how “crowding out” foods with preferred choices was a great way to improve eating habits without focusing on avoiding foods. So let’s say you want to eat more vegetables and cut down on the portions of refined grains. Instead […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

1 2

Search

+