Diabetes – and the type II variety in particular – is becoming increasingly common. There are now more than 1.5 million Australians with the disease and this number is set to double in the next five to 10 years. In the past, when people were diagnosed they were often told they would have to cut out sugar from their diets. But The CSIRO and Baker IDI Diabetes Recipe Book looks set to challenge some of that thinking.

The cookbook is by two nutrition researchers and a dietitian along with contributors from the research and academic fields. These individuals have decades of experience in the area and have previously been published in academic journals and media articles. The recipes are also accompanied by glossy colour photographs by Cath Muscat. The result is a polished cookbook full of sumptuous recipes.

Diabetes can be controlled with the right diet and regular exercise and if necessary, medication. The recommendations for dietary control these days are not just about sugar. Instead, it’s about weight control and healthy eating patterns where the foods are low in saturated fat and high in fibre and healthy fats like oils and nuts. A small amount of added sugar is also okay along with a moderate intake of less-refined wholegrain carbohydrates.

This book is comprehensive and well-organised. It lists the appropriate serving portions for different foods and breaks them down into: low GI breads and cereals, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, fruit, vegetables, fats (nuts, seeds and oils) and indulgence varieties. Each recipe’s ingredients and method are also accompanied by the serving size; preparation and cooking time; handy tips; lovely descriptions; and a calculation of how one portion will contribute to your daily food intake. This makes preparing meals and following the diet a lot easier. There is also a full index at the back where recipe types and ingredients are listed, making it easier to navigate than some other cookbooks.

A total of 115 recipes are included alongside a sample eating plan. The recipes are generally high in protein, as this can help maintain blood sugar levels. This also means the book is not only useful for diabetics but for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and those people wanting to lose weight. The recipes also cover the full range of food types like: breakfasts and snacks; lunches; light meals; soups; substantial salads; weeknight dinners; barbeques and picnics; dinner party or weekend dinners; and desserts.

The CSIRO and Baker IDI are research facilities working hard at preventative health and the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This volume is an excellent companion to their previous bestseller, The CSIRO and Baker IDI Diabetes Diet & Lifestyle Plan. While it’s no substitute for consulting with your doctor or health provider, it does at least point you in the right direction.

The CSIRO and Baker IDI Diabetes Recipe Book offers recipes that are designed to improve general health and to help manage weight while enabling you to eat tasty, satisfying and healthy foods. It also ultimately proves that a diabetes diagnosis doesn’t have to result in a boring or bland diet, meaning you can have your chocolate pot and eat it too.

Originally published on 29 August 2013 at the following website:

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