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Best diabetic cookbook?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My father is a diabetic, type 2 and I really want to find a great diabetic cookbook, there are so many, but which ones are the best???
post #2 of 9
If you're beginning to learn about cooking for the diabetic I would recommend "Cooking for Diabetics" (Kitty Maynard, R.N., Lucian Maynard, R.N.; Theodore Duncan, M.D.) as a good book to start with. There are lots of very good books on cooking for the diabetic and once you learn the basics you'll find yourself capable of identifying the better books with only a cursory inspection of their content. What I like about this cookbook is that it includes a lot of nutritional information that many either lack or don't cover thoroughly.
I used to struggle with artificial sweeteners. Now that I've found Splenda (there are other brands of the same stuff if you shop around for it - Walmart has a brand that I can't recall at the moment that's essentially identical and much less expensive) and learned how to use it (I find that if I use it on a one to one ratio with sugar the finished product is much too sweet) the meals I prepare for diabetics are much better.
Oh, one more thing. If you're cooking for anyone with special dietary needs you should try to develop the habit of reading labels. You'd be amazed how much sugar (sodium, etc.) is in things you'd never expect to find them in and in amounts that will astound you. Also, sugar by any other name (and there are many names) is still sugar.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the helpful info!!!
post #4 of 9
The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes

I don't know if it qualifies as one of the best, but I've gotten a lot of good ideas, information, and recipes from it, of which some have become favorites at my house.

post #5 of 9
I have The Art of Cooking for the Diabetic.. by Mary Abbott Hess, L. H. D., M. S., R. D., F. A. D. A. This one is updated to include the American Diabetes Association nutrition recommendations and revised exchange lists..

I also have and recommend: Multicultural Cooking (light and easy)..
and: Full Of Beans.. Both books by Kay Spicer.. Both endorsed by the Canadian Diabetes Association.. I've found I use the Multicultural Cooking book more than the others as its more exciting recipe wise. Not so much your everyday stuff that can get so hum drum after a while.. Full of Beans was actually written for people with celiac disease, but is also good for diabetics that won't eat animal products.. I do not use this book much..

Kay Spicer also has another book out (World Class Diabetic Cooking) I've not purchased yet but will be soon..
I think the best thing about her books is you can be a diabetic and still enjoy recipes from around the world.. Theres a lot of diabetic cookbooks out there that just stay with the more boring stuff.. To me anyway..

All the recipes in Kay Spicer's books are broken down into exchanges, calories, fat, carbs, of course..

And, if you live in Canada and are attending a Diabetes Clinic, you should (hopefully still) be able to pick up the "Good Health Eating Guide Resource" from the Canadian Diabetes Association.. It has a wealth of information about the different types of foods, combining food choices, dining out, going on a trip, what to do if you're feeling sick, reading lables, sweeteners, vegetarian variety and much more.. Very very helpful.. If you can't get it at the clinic, try contacting the Canadian Diabetes Association and see if you can get it there.. I belive I paid around $15 for mine..

My DH has been type 2 for almost 10 yrs. now.. It was mind boggling at first trying to change our way of eating.. So many foods and ways of cooking foods I thought were okay were not any more... Do learn to read and understand labels as Culprit says.. Its unreal whats in some of the products we buy..
Read, read, and learn all you can! Contact your local Diabetes clinic or association for brochures and recipes.. You'll find it pretty amazing what you can whip up healthy wise once put your mind to it!
Good luck to you!
post #6 of 9

I hate to take a different tack, but

I've lived with, and cooked for, a Type II diabetic for a long, long time. And have concluded that the terms "best" and "diabetic cookbook" are oxymoronic at best.

I have never tried a recipe from any of the myriad diabetic cookbooks that abound (those mentioned and many others as well) that worked out the way it was supposed to. Either ingredients were left out, or directions were wrong, or both. Every time!

My conclusion: Either those books aren't proofread, or the recipes have not been kitchen tested, or something.

Nowadays I just live on the composition of foods database, and construct tasty meals we both can eat with enjoyment.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #7 of 9
Well you're right and you're wrong.. Some people CAN create a meal without a cookbook to go by, some cannot!
There is of course no 'best' diabetic cookbook and lots of useless diabetic cookbooks on the market, but at least there is a few good books out there that can help a person who has just found out they are diabetic..
Many of these people have no clue about starches, calories, sugars, exchanges, how to read a label etc.. and they need some type of information to help them understand these things..
When I first attended the diabetes clinic with my husband to learn about his diabetes and how to deal with it, there was an elderly gentleman there also. He lived alone, his wife had recently died, no family here, and had no idea how to cope with his diabetes. When he left our first meeting he was still so confused.. He said all he was going to eat from now on was broccoli as that seemed like it would be safest for him..
It's people like that that need the a diabetic book weather the recipes are up to snuff or not..

Not many people go strictly by the ingredients in the recipes anyway, its a guideline for them only.. It gives them ideas of what to cook..
Think of how many friends you have that can't cook or don't want to cook.. I have many... If they became diabetic, they will need to learn. That's where a book will help them.. Not everyone has food knowledge unfortunately..

The good health eating guide resource I recommended from the canadian diabetes association is not a 'cookbook' its a resource binder full of good information for people to learn about food and dealing with diabetes.. I really don't think its a book that would not be 'proofread' like you say..
As for kay Spicers books.. She writes books for the Canadian Diabetes association and also the Canadian Heart and Stroke association.. Her books are very informative.. Of course not everyone of her recipes is going to be wonderful, but you will still have them as a guideline..
Every little bit helps.. Especially for people who need it..
post #8 of 9
I have no disagreement with your basic contentions. And, yes, there is a slew of great information out there from the various diabeties foundations.

But the original post asked for cookbook recomendations. And the fact is, the errors they contain are a problem specifically for the people you describe. I'm a very experienced cook, and most of the time can spot errors when I read a recipe. But somebody who is new to this will only become frustrated if, time after time, they try recipes that don't work. They will, unfortunately, think that they're the ones at fault. Cuz after all, the author has all these great credentials.

In some cases, the recipe is ok in terms of ingredient list and directions. But then you look at the nutritional info. When you read something like an appetiser recipe with 65 carbs per serving, you have to wonder if the authors knows anything about what they're talking about. Or how trustworthy are they if, as is common, they force low carb counts by playing with the serving size; and take a dish that would normally serve 4-6 and identify it as serving 8-10?

These problems are, by no means, confined to diateties cookbooks. It's an on-going problem with cookbook publishing in general (and magazines are even worse). But for the newly diagnosed diabetic, for whom the right/wrong foods can literally be a live-or-die choice, it becomes more significant.

Even scarier, as you indicate, is what happens when you really read labels, and learn what those ingredient lists mean. Good grief! Is there a can of anything in North America that doesn't contain sugar? And does anyone really understand what "net carbs" are?

So me, I'll continue to use all my cookery resources, except diabetic cookbooks. Based on experience, I don't trust any of them. And will bounce everything off the composition of foods database to assure that the nutritional content is what it needs to be.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #9 of 9
I cook for two Type two diabetics, both have been able to control their diabetes so well with diet, that one has had her insulin reduced and the other has been off hers for 3 years. We use any recipe labeled as low-carb. We use George Stella's cookbooks the most. A next favorites are Nancy Moshier's, one is called Eat Yourself Thin Like I did, hers aren't the best but there are some good ideas for desserts that you can build on. I didn't like any of the Low-carb Comfort foods cookbooks or the Nancy Carpenter books. The ADA changed its approach in the lest few years and doesn't do portion control any longer. If you run across a book that does that, it is outdated. Counting carbs is the new approach and works great. Both my ladies get between 60 and 80 carbs per day and their blood sugar levels hold rock solid around 90-100. I did have one call me about a spike recently, she got a frozen chinese item at the Supermarket and she ate it before she read that it contained 101 carbs in a single 10oz servings. She won't be buying that product again! I mainly help these ladies with menus, recipes, and make desserts for them. A good website for great recipes is Low Carb Luxury: Recipes
Ignore when the recipes call for things like cake-ability baking aid, you don't need it. I just use all almond flour or substitute other things like wheat gluten flour or pecan meal. BTW if you use soy flour as a wheat flour baking substitute make sure it is made from roasted soybeans, unroasted ones have an awful raw bean aftertaste.
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