With an estimated 29 million Americans (as at 2014 statistics) now living with some form of Diabetes, it is becoming increasingly important that we educate ourselves on the best form of nourishment to combat this chronic condition.
If you or one of your loved ones has been diagnosed with the disorder, it’s advisable to investigate Diabetic-friendly cookbooks and meal plans to combat the unpleasant effects. Knowing where to start can be intimidating, however, so here we take a look at eight of the most popular such editions available on Amazon.
Things To Consider When Purchasing A Diabetes Recipe Book
Firstly, think about what you need from a recipe book. Are you always in a rush as you have a busy schedule, or always have a houseful of people that you have to feed quickly?
These are often the points that cause the most problems – you cannot simply eat anything from the cupboards, as you by now, will know. If you are organized and prepared, cooking or just simply eating something light, should be a breeze and not a chore.
Most recipes can be adapted to suit diabetic living, but we would say that recipe books certainly help even more.
Important points to consider when cooking for diabetes:
- Try to keep temptation out of the way
It is far too easy to grab something from the cupboard that you really shouldn't be eating.
- Keep your meals low carb as far as is feasible, if you want to reduce your blood glucose levels.
However, some carbs are necessary to provide you with energy. Choose carbs that are energy boosters and that have a reasonable fiber content. Swap out refined white flours and rice for brown versions, to cut down on unwanted and useless carbs.
- Keep fat intake down, but don’t totally avoid it.
It has no impact on blood sugar levels, but it does have an effect on your weight, which is a critical factor in controlling diabetes.
- Avoid processed foods.
They will undoubtedly have hidden sugar and salt.
- Include as many fresh vegetables and fruit in your diet.
Green and rainbow vegetables such as peppers (mainly Mediterranean vegetables) are by far the best. Red fruits and berries are the best fruits to eat, but be careful of fruits such as mangos and pineapple, as whilst their sugars are natural, they are quite high in content.
- Avoid processed sugar as much as possible.
You can use sugar substitutes in moderation.
- Eat well, but wisely.
You need not be hungry just because you cut out carbs. Making yourself hungry will result in unwanted snacking on foods that are bad for diabetes.
- Try ‘mindful eating.
Keep colors on your plate vibrant, and separate the portions so you can see exactly what you are eating – it works!
Now to the books – the selection is for both novice and more experienced cooks, but none of the recipes are difficult, and explain really well what you are doing to your body and how you are controlling diabetes.
Best Diabetic CookBooks
Betty Crocker Diabetes Cookbook
America’s favorite fictional chef has teamed with the International Diabetes Center to create this cookbook.
Collating all kinds of favorite recipes that prove Diabetics need not sacrifice flavor in their food preparation – international cuisine features heavily – the recipes contained within are interesting and delicious, while potentially providing inspiration to try a variety of unfamiliar meals.
Divided into eight categories, including breakfast dishes, vegetarian selections, gluten-free options and safe snacking, the Betty Crocker Diabetes Cookbook comes packed with ‘success tips’ alongside the recipes, in addition to breakdowns of the carbohydrate content contained within every dish.
Added value comes in the shape of guides on how to create the perfect Diabetic-friendly festive feast and catering for other holiday occasions, but best of all, the Betty Crocker Diabetes Cookbook eradicates the need to prepare separate meals for all the family; perfect for Diabetic parents keen to stealth-feed their children healthier options without them noticing the difference!
PROS – Eradicates need to prepare separate meals for all the damily and perfect for feeding children healthier options.
CONS – Some customers felt there were no enough recipes or there were not simpler recipes for when you don't want to spend time cooking.
2. Diabetic Cookbook for Two: 125 Perfectly Portioned, Heart-Healthy, Low-Carb Recipes (LINK)
Diabetic couples, or those who prepare meals for loved ones that live with the condition, will benefit hugely from this tome. Divided into a number of basic categories, consisting largely of user-friendly lists and shopping plans to ensure those store cupboard essentials remain well stocked, providing conversion tables for international audiences and filled with glossy pictures that will get the mouthwatering, the Diabetic Cookbook for Two takes all the confusion out of anybody new to their diagnosis.
Most of the recipes contained within can be prepared in less than half an hour, making the book perfect for those with busy lives that may be intimidated by the idea of cooking from scratch. The chapter on Comfort Classics, which contains Diabetic-friendly variations on such favorites as mac and cheese and lasagna, will be sure to reassure anybody that fears their days of munching on their favorite dinners are behind them.
3. The American Diabetes Association Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook (LINK)
If comfort food is your concern, however, then look no further – none other the American Diabetes Association have endorsed this book. It’s a little more no-nonsense than some of the tomes in this guide, forgoing splash pages of pictures in favor of more recipes, but the instructions are extremely easy to follow, and the dishes on offer are truly lip-smacking, without requiring ingredients that cannot be found in a typical supermarket. The choices range from American classics such as burgers to International cuisine, and there’s even a chapter on desserts for those who mourn the loss of sweet treats in their everyday diet.
The American Diabetes Association Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook is also ideal for families and regular entertainers, as many of the recipes contained with serve up to six or eight people – no more panicking about what to prepare when you have company!
4. Eat What You Love Diabetic Cookbook: Comforting, Balanced Meals (LINK)
One of the most recent additions to Amazon’s Diabetes cookbook library, Eat What You Love provides another welcome combination of good food and good health. With introductory chapters on ideal snacking, portion sizes (this book divides all recipes into full, half and quarter plate servings) and shopping planning, any newly diagnosed Diabetic will find the book extremely helpful.
All of this would count for nothing is the recipes themselves were not delicious of course, and thankfully they will tickle any taste bud. Packed with healthy superfoods such as tofu and flax seed flour, all the major bases are covered – breakfast, meat and poultry, vegetarian, seafood and dessert among them, all accompanied by the occasional glossy photos and simple, step-by-step instructions. Eat What You Love is one of the best-reviewed Diabetic cookbooks on Amazon, and it isn’t hard to see why.
5. Biggest Book of Diabetic Recipes (LINK)
If you only have room for one Diabetic cookbook on your kitchen shelf you may as well make it a comprehensive one, and this tome bible-size book from Better Homes and Gardens certainly delivers on that front; this traditional plastic comb-book hosts over 350 potential meals, most of which are accompanied by a full-size photo.
Unlike most rivals, the Biggest Book of Diabetic Recipes contains a whole chapter dedicated to Diabetes-friendly barbeque recipes, ensuring that you need not spend the warm summer months dwelling on what you’re missing out on, while anybody will be able to purchase the very basic ingredients required for the meals with a minimum of fuss. The Biggest Book of Diabetic Recipes does not provide the lifestyle information and advice that you’ll find in other books of this ilk, but if you’re seeking a no-frills selection of numerous clear and concise recipes, this is an ideal place to look.
6. Diabetic Slow Cooker (Diabetic Living) (LINK)
Even if you have never used a slow-cooker before, don’t be afraid to buy this informative book, particularly great for those who lead hectic lives and have to be organized both for diabetic needs, and for feeding a family.
Under the Diabetic Living magazine umbrella, you can rest assured that the information and recipes contained inside this attractive book are tried and tested. There are 150 recipes to choose from, covering everything from party entertaining, to snacks and full evening meals. Soups and stews abound, but the best chapter of all is Cook Once, Eat Thrice – an excellent way to use the same basic ingredients but produce three different tasty meals.
For the novice ‘slow cooker’ ingénue, the beginning shows you tips and tricks on using a slow cooker, so that you have a worry-free cooking experience. With 150 recipes to choose from, this book will soon become one of your most used in the kitchen. As well as being full of delicious recipes, each one has complete nutritional information, with highlighted carb counts and dietary exchanges accompanying each recipe, so that you can vary your choices.
7. Diabetes Meals by the Plate: 90 Low-Carb Meals to Mix & Match (LINK)
A second volume from Diabetic Living magazine, this cookbook focuses on the important of balancing your meals to include all major food groups. Packed with helpful infographics and guides, as well as no shortage of glossy photographs that will demonstrate just how delicious Diabetes-friendly cooking can be, Diabetes Meals by the Plate provides plenty of choice for those with a particular palate; if you don’t like one of the ingredients listed in a recipe, you can find an alternative with a similar carbohydrate count to switch it out for.
Breaking down each meal into three categories – a protein source and two vegetables, one laden with starch and one not – means that kitchen creativity need not fall by the wayside just because of your diagnosis, and with each recipe containing a substantial number of ingredients, there is no need sacrifice subtlety or flavor. If you are a visual chef, a fussy eater or just plain interested in delicious, healthy meals, this is the book for you.
8. The Type 2 Diabetic Cookbook & Action Plan: A Three-Month Kickstart Guide for Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes (LINK)
“What can I eat now?” is surely the most commonly posed question of any newly diagnosed Diabetic, worried that the condition will become a prison sentence of bland, flavorless food for the rest of their days. This tome, while not a cookbook in the conventional sense, is the perfect guide to the early days of this life-changing condition, dedicating a great many plans to advice on health, nutrition and shopping lists.
A unique touch, however, is the structured suggestions for an eating plan for these opening months, with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks all laid out with recipes and photographs; rather than oppressive and controlling, this gentle guidance will assist and remove the risk of understandable human error as you come to grips with your lifestyle change. A no-nonsense, easy-to-read layout will also stop a reader from becoming overwhelmed, and choice is provided by the three levels of calories that can be found in each dish, ensuring that a meal can be tailored to the needs of the individual. An ideal introduction to the world of living with Type 2 Diabetes.
If you liked htis article you may also like our article of the Best Diabetes Apps.
Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com