How confused are you about all the hype surrounding carbohydrates? Low-carb diets, high-carb diets, little or no-carb diets? The information onslaught can be mind-boggling, and the only fact for certain is, that at best, all the controversy is confusing.

16 Myths of a Diabetic Diet - Click to Buy

16 Myths of a Diabetic Diet, by Karen Hanson Chalmers, MS, RD, CDE, and Amy Peterson, MS, Rd, CDE, is one of my long-anticipated new favorites and now it's here.

According to authors Chalmers and Peterson, so many myths exist about what people with diabetes can or cannot eat that it's hard to know what's real and what's not. My own email box is frequently filled with questions about our use of small amounts of refined sugar in Cinnamon Hearts recipes. It's evident that many people with diabetes have beliefs about food that are either out-dated or just not true. Without proper information and education, these beliefs continue to flourish. Simply stated, there is no such thing as a "diabetic diet."

16 Myths of a "Diabetic Diet" is divided into 16 chapters, each discussing in detail the misconceptions that most of us have come to believe.

Diabetes Related Misconceptions :

People with diabetes...

  • have to eat different foods from the rest of the family;
  • can eat as much as they want as long as the food does not contain sugar;
  • should not eat too many starchy foods, even if they contain fiber, because starch raises your blood glucose and make you gain weight;
  • should eat a lot of protein to stay healthy and strong;
  • do not have to worry about eating fat because it doesn't have much of an effect on blood glucose;
  • should only eat foods sweetened with sugar substitutes instead of sugar;
  • must use the exchange system for meal planning to manage their diabetes;
  • need to focus only on sugar and calories when reading food labels;
  • must be at ideal body weight to be healthy;
  • need special vitamin and mineral supplements;
  • should always follow a low-sodium diet;
  • should not eat snacks because snacking makes you gain weight and makes the blood glucose too high;
  • must exercise every day to stay healthy;
  • shouldn't eat in restaurants;
  • should never give in to food cravings; and
  • should have to throw out their favorite family recipes.

Chapter by chapter, verse by verse, Chalmers and Peterson dispel these most commonly held myths about food and diabetes, explain the origins of the misconceptions, and offer workable solutions to creating a healthy, enjoyable way of eating.

On a rating scale of 1 to 5, (with 5 being the highest), this is a 5-Star publication! Easy to read, extremely informative, and definitely on the cutting edge of new thought on managing diabetes through healthy nutrition. Published by the American Diabetes Association, 1999, $14.95, 240 pages. You can order toll-free by calling 1-800-232-6733. Ask for #4829-01 or you can order it from Amazon.com for only $11.96.

The Phytopia Cookbook: A World of Plant-Centered Cuisine - Click to Buy

The Phytopia Cookbook: A World
of Plant-Centered Cuisine

by Barbara Gollman and Kim Pierce

If you�ve heard of antioxidants, you�ve heard of phytochemicals, powerful compounds in plants which are believed to have the potential to slow aging, boost immunity, prevent, slow down or even reverse cancer and strengthen our hearts and circulation.

What an exciting, inviting surprise I found in The Phytopia Cookbook, filled with recipes of tantalizing tastes, textures, aromas and colors. Written by a chef-trained registered dietitian (Gollman), who grew up on a farm in Kansas, and an award-winning Dallas Morning News food journalist (Pierce), it produces a winning combination.

The Phytopia Cookbook is a wonderful resource of nutritional information, and each recipe includes a very complete analysis as well as ingredient notes and kitchen tips. Although the Dietary Exchanges are not included, everything else is there to help you decide if the recipe will fit into your eating plan. Softcover, 192 pages, $17.95 or you can order it from Amazon.com for only $14.36. Tip: You can find some recipes from The Phytopia Cookbook at the Cinnamon Hearts Website.

The All New Diabetic Cookbook - Click to Buy

The All New Diabetic Cookbook, by Kitty Maynard, R.N., Lucian Maynard, R.N., and Theodore Duncan, M.D., offers traditional recipes from appetizers to desserts, and new vegetarian recipes using a variety of rices, grains and vegetables.

If you associate the Maynards with non-diabetic cookbok titles, you're absolutely correct. They have authored The American Country Inn Cookbook and the Bed & Breakfast Cookbook, both of which I have in my library. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that they are both RNs with extensive experience in the care and knowledge of all diabetic conditions.

With bed and breakfast and country inn cookbook expertise infused into The All New Diabetic Cookbook, one can't go wrong. It caters to anyone who loves to cook, loves the kitchen and wishes to be aware of the nutritional value of the foods they prepare. More than 400 deliciously tempting recipes are included and, while the recipes are designed to meet the needs of diabetics, they will satisfy everyone.

I usually read a new cookbook from desserts back to appetizers (you can tell what I like to eat!) and this book certainly has a wealth of great food ideas. There is a special recipe section for children called Kids' Meals, an area frequently overlooked in general diabetic cookbooks. Recipes for healthy pizzas, burgers & fries, tacos, and desserts will tempt adult appetites, as well.

Information on how diet affects diabetes, designing an individualized meal plan, how to count carbohydrates, types of sugars, and practical tips for living with diabetes are presented by the third author, Theodore Duncan, M.D. Dr. Duncan is president of the Diabetes Education and Research Center, assistant professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and former chief, Department of Diabetes Mellitus and Metabolism at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. You can access the Diabetes Education and Research Center website at http://www.libertynet.org/~diabetes.

The All New Diabetic Cookbook is published by Rutledge Hill Press, 1999, $19.95, ISBN 1-55853-675-2 (pbk.) or you can order it from Amazon.com for only $15.96. I like this cookbook and I think you will, too!

The Diabetes Snack, Munch, Nibble, Nosh Book - Click to Buy

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The Diabetes Snack, Munch,
Nibble, Nosh Book

by Ruth Glick and American Diabetes Association

I own other cookbooks either authored or co-authored by Ruth Glick, who has a knack for making ordinary foods taste extraordinary. In addition to mouth-watering recipes for Stuffed Artichoke Hearts, Onion and Garlic Focaccia, Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches, and Honey-Almond Scone Cake, The Diabetes Snack, Munch, Nibble, Nosh Book also has a delightful section "Just For Kids."

Fun-to-make recipes such as Pear Mice, Celery Man, Egg Sailboats, Alphabet Letters, and Aladdin's Pizza are fun to make and designed to get little kids interested in eating the fruits and vegetables that are so good for them. Other special features include Microwave Wonders, Crowd Pleasers and recipes suitable for one or two. All recipes include nutrient analyses, prep times and dietary exchanges. Softcover, 208 pages, 150 recipes, $14.95. You can order it from Amazon.com by clicking here. This little book is worth your time!

Note: If you don�t find me at the Farmer�s Market this summer, look for me in the library, right next door! It�s been almost two years since I�ve had the pleasure of visiting our local branch and I�m hungry for some really good reading. Besides, I have a personal rule-of-thumb about investing in books for my personal collection. If I can find it in the library, I'll check it out. Then, if I renew it or check it out more than once, I consider it sold! It's a great way to get comfortable with a book before you buy it.

Until next time,

Marilyn Helton

Marilyn Helton