Publisher: McGraw-Hill – 366 pages

Book Review by Laxmi Chaandi

This 366-page book in the form of a large and convenient ring binder with multicolor tabs is a highly useful reference guide for people with diabetes, either type 1 (those who take insulin) or type 2 (those who take oral medication).

Diabetics (referred by the editors of this book as PWD or people with diabetes) use other means to keep the level of their blood glucose under control. Health-conscious diabetics not only take medication regularly but also know and watch what to eat and what not to, and do physical exercise. A well-balanced approach using all these three lifestyle requirements is the best way for diabetics to live healthy and enjoy life.

The symptoms of diabetes – frequent urination, feeling tired and thirsty much of the time day and night – crimp one’s way of life. But the severe ravages of diabetes in an advanced state – amputation of limbs, blindness, heart disease, holes on the soles of feet, loss of eyesight and other debilitating effects – are too dreadful to ignore and precautions must be taken by PWD to avoid further progression of this disease in their bodies.

More than avoiding further progression of diabetes, the good news is that it has been demonstrated that it possible to actually reverse this disease through these three means mentioned above.

The book starts with its first tab entitled “begin” and outlines five ways to take control over diabetes. The five ways are: 1. manage your weight, 2. take your medication and 3. know the numbers, 4. exercise and 5.stay positive and build support.

In this first section (the “begin” tab) you are instructed (with a chart provided) to be conscious of eating the right number of grams of foods containing carbohydrates. The amount of carbs you get has the most to do with increasing or lowering your blood glucose, your main indicator of diabetes. Depending on your gender and your physical frame, you are shown how many carb grams you need per meal and per day.

A photo is shown of foods of healthy carbohydrate sources – fruit, vegetable, whole grains, and legumes that you can eat to keep your blood sugar low. In the same photo are also shown food items such as desserts, drinks and sweets that elevate your glucose levels which you should consume only in moderation

This section also informs you of how to count your carbs either by looking at the carb count on product labels and/or with a food scale that shows you the carb count based on the gram weight of the food, using an internally-programmed database. It shows you how to look on food labels for other nutrients and substances along with their respective weights and calorie counts.

Once you become conscious of how many calories and grams (or milligrams) of different healthy or harmful substances you’re getting from different foods, you are armed with the knowledge to control their intake into your body. How much in carbohydrates or protein, which minerals or vitamins, what amount of cholesterol, fat, potassium or sodium are you getting from consumption of a given amount of a particular food. Start at the “begin” section to develop a proper frame of mind as well as knowledge in controlling diabetes.

The book continues with very helpful tables containing numerous recipes for foods ideal for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, sandwiches, salads and soups. Want to know what dishes you can eat containing meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables? There is much for you in it. You had probably not thought you could eat these balanced meals if you were diabetic, but the good news is you can. There are also recipes on side dishes, snacks and sweets.

But the sweets contain something that’s good for you: a variety of fruits, which provide you with necessary nutrients.

Acquiring this ring-binder guide to keeping your diabetes under control and living a healthy life is one of the best things you can do for you or for a friend. Give it as a gift of good life this holiday season.

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