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Cookbook Review

Betty Crocker’s Diabetes Cookbook: Everyday Meals as Easy as 1-2-3
by Center for Diabetes Excellence Dietitian Lisa Maccaroni, RD, CD

A patient with a new diagnosis of diabetes recently came for medical nutrition therapy toting this new cookbook. Being a fan of cookbooks, I was interested. Being a dietitian teaching principles of carbohydrate counting and label reading, I was skeptical. There are so many cookbooks targeted to diabetics. Some have outdated
information or unappealing recipes. This cookbook, however, appeared to have some promise. It was written by an endocrinologist and two dietitians, including a certified diabetes educator. These professionals teamed with Betty Crocker Kitchens to develop a cookbook and reference for individuals that live with diabetes. It begins by launching into a description of the different types of diabetes, importance of eating well, and the role of carbohydrate foods and carbohydrate counting.

The book also includes a section entitled “Ask a Dietitian” and a chapter on diabetes care, which outlines blood glucose control, diabetes medications, blood lipid and blood pressure control, and preventing and managing complications.

The recommendations in the health section are outstanding and follow American Diabetes Association guidelines. This cookbook provides excellent reinforcement of the topics taught during a patient’s initial appointments with the dietitian and diabetic nurse educator. The information and encouragement continue throughout the book, which includes real advice from people with diabetes, as well as parents of kids with diabetes. Plus, the pictures are beautiful and properly portioned so readers can envision the correct portion size. A week’s worth of menus are included, which offer complete nutritional information. There is a glossary of diabetes terms and a list of carbohydrate choices of many foods. The recipes range from breakfast foods to entrees and desserts. Carbohydrate choices are listed, along with the nutritional information. Food exchanges are included.

I cooked from this book for a week at home, and I’m pleased to report the recipes turn out as expected. The recipes vary in preparation from “scratch” to slow-cooker to assembly from convenience foods.

I purchased this cookbook for my own collection. My family has loved the recipes, and none of us are diabetic. This cookbook drives home the point that diabetes food planning benefits everyone. Just don’t tell my husband the “carrots” in the Southwest Chicken Soup are really sweet potatoes!