2 Day Diabetes Diet and Other Christmas Books for Diabetics
Here is a list of books for people with diabetes that would make great Christmas gifts, as well as year-round.
Since type 2 diabetes is such a common disease, chances are fairly good you have a person on your holiday shopping list who has this condition. I would like to suggest that instead of the 2 Day Diabetes Diet book, which was recently published, you might consider a few other holiday books for the diabetics for whom you need to shop.
Why not the 2 Day Diabetes Diet book?
If you have type 2 diabetes, you already know diet and exercise are major factors in how you manage your blood glucose levels and ultimately your current and future health.
The 2 Day Diabetes Diet book and dozens of other books and diabetes diet programs attempt to attract your attention using gimmicks. In this case, the gimmick is not too original: eat a reasonable (about 1,500 calories) amount of calories five days a week (Nourish days) and slash your caloric intake (600 to 650 calories) two days a week (Power Burn days).
On the two Power Burn days, you reportedly force your body to burn fat instead of carbs. This approach is supposed to ultimately stop two main features of type 2 diabetes: inflammation and insulin resistance. The author provides scientific evidence to back up the claims.
Does this sound like a program you could follow for the rest of your life? If your answer is yes, then you may not care to read the rest of this article. If your answer is no, then by all means, carry on!
Recommended picks for diabetes books
My first choice is a book that was written by a physician whose diet was ranked the third best for diabetes on the US News & World Report best diets list. The author is Dean Ornish, MD, and the book is The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health.
Dr. Ornish’s claims are backed up by studies, including research funded by the National Institutes of Health. He has shown that people with diabetes who follow his program can reverse type 2 diabetes or at the very least, achieve significantly better control of their blood sugar levels and perhaps eliminate their need for medications.
In fact, Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (and also the author of a book on reversing diabetes; see below) stated that Ornish’s program “is firmly rooted in science,” and that it “makes diabetes and hypertension more manageable, and sometimes even makes them go away.” The US News & World Report list noted that Ornish’s diet can “very likely” prevent or control diabetes.
The Ornish approach is based on scientific research and common sense: no gimmicks and no counting calories. Instead, people who adopt this way of eating and living will find that Ornish presents five food groups (ranked from most to least healthful), emphasizes exercise (you choose your favorites), encourages stress management, and stresses the importance of emotional support. No gimmicks here.
Ornish’s eating plan is low-fat and basically plant-based, although there is some wiggle room. Who else has praised this approach? None other than Bill Clinton, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Dr. Deepak Chopra.
My second choice is Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes without Drugs. Barnard has shared his program with thousands of patients over the years, and he and his research team have conducted trials to verify the claims.
For example, the investigators conducted a 74-week clinical trial that involved 99 individuals with type 2 diabetes. Forty-nine followed Barnard’s diet (low-fat vegan) and 50 followed the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet.
The results were as follows in the vegan vs ADA groups:
- Weight loss average: 9.7 lbs vs 6.6 lb
- Average changes in hemoglobin A1c: 0.40 vs 0.01
- Decline in total cholesterol: 20.4 mg/dL vs 6.8 mg/dL
- Decline in bad (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol: 13.5 mg/dL vs 3.4 mg/dL
In addition to the clinical findings, Barnard’s approach does not involve counting calories, giving up carbs, or reducing portion sizes. He explains that his program helps fix how the body utilizes insulin. Similar to Ornish’s recommendation, the one offered by Barnard is a low-fat, plant-based diet.
My third and last choice is The DASH Diet For Beginners: Essentials To Get Started by John Chatham. This diet was chosen as the number one Best Diabetes Diet by US News & World Report, and it is generally considered to be an excellent eating program for both diabetes and heart disease.
Studies of DASH have shown that it can reduce blood pressure and levels of bad cholesterol while increasing levels of good (high-density lipoprotein, HDL) cholesterol.
Unlike the other two programs already mentioned, the DASH diet is not plant-based. It does, however, emphasize limiting or eliminating sugary, fatty, and salty foods and focusing on fresh produce, whole grains, and lean protein.
All three suggested books contain lots of recipes and tips to help launch readers into a new eating program they can live with for the rest of their lives. If you have a person with type 2 diabetes on your holiday list, consider giving a gift that offers a chance for a healthier future.
Barnard ND et al. A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled, 74-wk clinical trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009 May; 89(5): 1588S-96S
US News & World Report, Best Diets
Note: Individuals with type 2 diabetes should always discuss changes in diet and lifestyle with a qualified healthcare provider.