A new book on managing diabetes can be helpful to anyone who is trying to eat well, says its author.
“It’s the healthiest program for most people and definitely for those who have had a heart attack, a stroke or simply want to lose weight,” says Karen Graham, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator.
“Canada’s Diabetes Meals for Good Health” (Robert Rose, $29.95, paperback), contains 70 complete meals, 100 recipes and over 100 snacks to choose from and each section is colour-coded for ease of use.
The first edition, published 15 years ago, sold over 100,000 copies says Graham, 53, who recently moved to Pentiction, B.C., where she continues working in the health-care field.
In the recent issue, she focuses on the new realities of a fast-paced life and how people are coping with it so far as meals are concerned.
“I did include some restaurant foods because many people are eating in their cars because of long commutes,” says Graham.
She added: “but although it is all right to have an occasional meal from a fast food place we still want to work some of their meals into their home life with family.”
She urges her readers to make changes for good health. Eating breakfast, she says, is key.
“It is the most important meal of the day. What I have found after 30 years of clinical practice is that very often people who don’t eat breakfast tend to eat a lot in the evening. Late night snacking is very bad for weight gain and poor health.”
Another concern Graham says, is portion control.
“We are in such a stage of portion distortion. What was a six ounce soda pop being the normal in the 1960s is today two litres.”
Consequently, the book has photos of large and small meals and different sized snacks. This section is meant to help readers decide what meal size and how many snacks they will need.
Graham says that portions will be different for each member of the family. For instance, small meals would be enough for most small children and older adults who are less active.
She says the hot-button topic of childhood obesity is “a tsunami in waiting in terms of disease.”
“This next generation that is coming up are not learning to cook or eat healthy meals and are so focused on fast foods there are going to be problems,” Graham predicts.
“We are already finding Type 2 diabetes among youngsters,” she says. “Now I am also seeing 30 and 40-year-olds who are diagnosed with Type two diabetes and high cholesterol so we need to address this problem now or there will be real health issues as they get older.”
The book also includes tips on how to organize your daily calories into delicious meals and snacks.
Also, it shows readers how to compare calories, carbs, fibre, fat and sodium in different cereals, egg breakfasts, soups and salads.
Graham has also included a “choose this instead of that” section that showcases her healthiest food options.