New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes

New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416536079
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/20/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 406,083
Product dimensions: 7.37(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading voluntary health organization dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by diabetes. Equally important is its unceasing support for research to prevent and cure this chronic disease that affects nearly 21 million Americans

The American Dietetic Association is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The American Dietetic Association serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health, and well-being.

Read an Excerpt

The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes

By American Diabetes Association

Simon & Schuster

Copyright © 2007 American Diabetes Association
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416536079


Food gives us energy and provides essential nutrients for good health, but eating food is also something we enjoy and look forward to. It's hard to imagine breaks at work, a trip to the movies, watching sports, and gathering together for holidays, birthdays, or picnics without our favorite foods!

When you (or a family member) is diagnosed with diabetes, you may have concerns and questions about your eating habits and whether or not you can eat your favorite foods.

Having diabetes does not mean giving them up entirely, but you may need to eat some foods less often or in smaller amounts and you may need to buy or make more healthful versions of some of the foods you enjoy.

Remember: the food that is good for you is the same food that is good for people without diabetes. You won't need to spend more time in the kitchen chopping, mixing, and preparing special meals. Your family and friends can enjoy the same healthful foods that you are eating and enjoying. Take a look through this book -- you're sure to find some family favorites.

The recipes in the cookbook are easy to prepare, and the ingredients are readily available in supermarkets or well-stocked grocerystores. Whether you love to cook or are just learning how, this book can help you manage your diabetes.

About the Recipes

The 400 recipes in this book are the best of the best from the Family Cookbook series, volumes I to IV, published by the American Diabetes Association and The American Dietetic Association. To create the most delicious and healthful dishes, the recipes chosen for this collection were revised, updated, and taste-tested to make sure they are consistent with the latest diabetes recommendations and make the best use of new food products available in the marketplace today.

The updates and changes to the recipes include the following:

  • Recipes use new lower-fat ingredients whenever possible.

Most Americans eat too much fat, which can contribute to the development of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity. In this book, the ingredient chosen for a recipe is the lowest-fat product that could be used to create a dish with the best taste and texture. For example, each recipe that uses salad dressing, mayonnaise, or sour cream was tested with light, low-fat, and fat-free variations. If you want to eat foods with a minimal amount of fat, you can use fat-free products in recipes that call for the low-fat versions. The texture and taste of the dish may change but the recipe will still taste fine. Remember, however, that fat-free does not mean carbohydrate-free or calorie-free.

  • Recipes use unsaturated fats whenever possible.

Monounsaturated fats (olive or canola oil) and polyunsaturated fats (sunflower and other vegetable oils) are better for your heart than saturated fats (butter or meat fats) and trans fats (many processed foods). Eating too much saturated fat, trans fats, and cholesterol can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. To further lower the cholesterol in the recipes, use egg substitutes or egg whites instead of whole eggs.

  • Most recipes use sugar instead of sugar substitutes.

Nutrition guidelines for diabetes management allow sugar as part of a healthful eating plan. Sugar has the same effect on blood glucose levels as other carbohydrate, such as rice or potatoes. But keep in mind that sugar doesn't contain the nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and fiber) that are in other carbohydrate-rich foods like rice and potatoes. That's the main reason to eat only small amounts of sugar. Foods containing sugar count as part of the total amount of carbohydrate in your eating plan. For blood glucose control, the amount of carbohydrate you eat is more important than the source of carbohydrate.

  • In recipes with more than 480 milligrams of sodium, the amount of sodium is set in bold type and there is an arrow c pointing to the sodium line.

Eating too much sodium may contribute to high blood pressure in sodium-sensitive individuals. Table salt is the most common form of sodium in our diets. However, many foods contain sodium. Sometimes you can taste it, as in pickles and bacon. Other times you cannot. There is "hidden" sodium in many foods, such as cheese, salad dressing, tomato sauce, and canned foods. If you need to reduce the amount of sodium you eat, omit the salt from a recipe and/or use low-sodium versions of canned foods, such as vegetables, broths, and sauces. To boost the flavor of the dish, experiment with herbs or spices. Not everyone should use salt substitutes. Check with your doctor or dietitian before using them.

  • Recipes provide a choice of fresh or dried herbs.

You may like the flavor of garden-fresh herbs that you buy at the supermarket or grow at home. Or you may like the convenience of dried herbs. Whichever you prefer, the amounts for both forms are listed in the recipes.

  • Each recipe has a nutrient analysis and the latest diabetes choice information.

The recipe nutrient and food choice information is for 1 serving. Measure your serving size the first time you make a recipe. Portion size is an important factor in controlling your weight and blood glucose level. As time goes on, you'll develop an ability to estimate portion size visually without measuring and weighing.

Nutrient Analysis

Each recipe includes a complete nutrient analysis with the same nutrient information you find on the Nutrition Facts label on food packages. When a recipe lists a choice of ingredients, the first choice was used for the nutrient analysis. The analysis does not include optional ingredients and garnishes.

"Count as" information

Each recipe provides the most up-to-date information for people who use an individualized meal plan based on the Food Choice method (formerly called exchanges -- see Appendix). In this meal plan method, food lists are grouped together because they are alike. Each serving of a food has about the same amount of carbohydrate, protein, fat, and calories as the other foods on that list.

If you use the "count as" information in the recipes, it will be helpful for you to know the following:

  • Only whole or half choices are listed, not smaller fractions such as quarters.
  • Foods from the carbohydrate group (starch, fruit, milk, sweets, dessert, and carbohydrates) may be interchanged. Each food group contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate.
  • If a recipe is a "free food," it has no more than 20 calories and no more than 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving.
  • If beans, peas, or lentils are the main ingredients in a recipe, the "count as" information may include both starch and lean meat to help plan vegetarian meals. If the recipe contains beans, peas, or lentils as one of the many ingredients, they are included as a starch only.

What Is Diabetes?

Your body produces glucose from the foods you eat and uses this glucose as fuel. Glucose travels around your body in the bloodstream, but it has to get into your cells before you can use it. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, is the key that opens the door and lets glucose into the cells. People who have diabetes either do not make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin that they make. Therefore, the glucose cannot get into their cells, so their blood glucose levels increase. Untreated diabetes causes great thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, weakness, sudden weight loss, fatigue, and irritability.

If your diabetes is not discovered or is not managed properly, the high blood glucose levels damage body tissues and blood vessels over time. This is why people with diabetes are more likely to have heart and blood vessel disease, and kidney, eye, and nerve damage. If you keep your blood glucose levels close to normal, you can avoid many of these complications. Therefore, it is important for you to learn how food, activity, and medications affect your blood glucose level and what you can do to manage it.

Presently, over 20 million people in the United States have diabetes, but more than 6 million of them don't know it. About 1.5 million people a year are diagnosed with diabetes. You are more likely to develop diabetes if you are overweight, inactive, 45 years of age or older, or have a relative with diabetes. Also, people of African-American, Hispanic-American, Native-American, Asian-American, and Pacific Island backgrounds are especially at risk. Women who have had a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds also have a higher risk of developing diabetes later in life.

People with type 1 diabetes do not produce any insulin, and need insulin injections. If you have type 1 diabetes, you need to coordinate your insulin with what you eat, when you eat, and your physical activity. Your insulin injections and meals are planned so that the insulin is available when you need to get glucose from your bloodstream into your cells. This helps you keep your blood glucose levels close to normal and prevent the damage that results from high blood glucose levels.

People with type 2 diabetes may make some insulin but cannot use it properly. Many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose levels close to normal by eating healthful food choices and getting daily exercise. Some people with type 2 diabetes need to take medication to help their bodies use more of the insulin they make.

Others take another kind of medication that slows carbohydrate absorption so that glucose does not surge into their blood after a meal. And some people with type 2 diabetes need insulin injections to keep their blood glucose levels near normal.

Managing Diabetes

So far there is no cure for diabetes. But you can manage your diabetes so you prevent long-term complications and feel well day-to-day. The management of diabetes involves three things:

  • food
  • exercise
  • medication

Generally speaking, food raises your blood glucose level; exercise and medication lower it. You need to balance these three to keep your blood glucose level close to normal.


You can make a difference in your blood glucose control through your food choices. You do not need special foods. In fact, the foods that are good for you are good for everyone. However, it's usually best to eat about the same amount of food -- especially carbohydrates -- at the same time each day. Regardless of the level of your blood glucose, avoid skipping meals or snacks, as this may lead to large swings in blood glucose levels.

Your dietitian will take into consideration your age, lifestyle, activity level, food preferences, and health goals to determine your calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and fat needs. Your dietitian can then translate your nutrient needs into a meal plan to get the right balance among your food, medication, and exercise. Also, your dietitian can help you prepare for times when you are sick or for emergencies when you can't eat healthful foods, or can't eat them at the right time. It's always a good idea to visit your dietitian any time your schedule changes or when you have a life change, such as going off to college, starting a new job, having a baby, or retiring, or whenever your meal plan isn't working for you.

Remember, the more information you provide about what you eat and what you are willing to change, the better your dietitian can tailor your meal plan, and the more likely you are to follow it.


Your body uses insulin more efficiently when you exercise, whether or not you have diabetes. That's why people with type 2 diabetes can sometimes manage their blood glucose levels with just food and exercise. Also, if you take insulin or diabetes pills, you may need a lower dose if you start to exercise regularly. Exercise also makes your heart healthier. This is important because people with diabetes are more likely to get heart disease.

You don't have to jog or take an aerobics class every day. Start slowly and do whatever type of exercise you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, or swimming. You could start by walking for 5 minutes each day and work up to 30 minutes a day by making your walk 5 minutes longer each week. The important thing is to do something each day, for a total of 30 minutes of activity. Your body works best when you use it.


Your diabetes care team, which includes your doctor and dietitian, will decide whether you need insulin and/or other diabetes medication. If you need either one, they will teach you how and when to take them and how to balance the medication with your food and exercise.

Your diabetes care team will show you how to test your blood glucose level and schedule tests for your A1C (a test that estimates glucose levels over a 3-month period). They will also help you learn to adjust your food, exercise, and medication to keep your blood glucose level close to normal throughout the day.

Meal Planning

An individualized meal plan is one of the most important tools for managing your diabetes. Your meal plan will serve as a guide to help you know what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat at each meal or snack.

There are several meal-planning approaches your dietitian may recommend. The most common "tools" are based on food choice lists or counting grams of carbohydrate. These help you eat similar amounts of carbohydrate, fat, protein, and/or calories at the same times each day. Your meal plan will also help you learn about foods and how their nutrient content affects your blood glucose and lipid levels. A registered dietitian can help decide which tool will work best for you.

Food choices

Good health depends on eating a variety of foods that contain the right amounts of nutrients. For teenagers and adults, a healthy daily meal plan includes at least

  • 2 to 3 servings of nonstarchy vegetables
  • 2 servings of fruit
  • 6 servings of grains, beans, and starchy vegetables
  • 2 servings of low-fat or fat-free milk
  • about 6 ounces of meat or meat substitutes
  • small amounts of fat and sugar

The actual amounts of each depend on the number of calories you need, which in turn depend on your sex, size, age, and activity level.

The American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association have worked together since 1950 to help people with diabetes choose the right amounts of all types of food and develop meal plans for good health. To do this, food choices are placed into lists of similar foods. The lists divide foods into three main groups: Carbohydrate, Meats and Meat Substitutes, and Fat. Every food on a list contains about the same amount of carbohydrate, protein, and fat in the serving size listed. Depending on your daily nutrient needs, you can replace one food on a list for another food on the same list. The most recent lists have many choices to make your meal plan flexeble and enjoyable.

The Carbohydrate group has five lists: starch, fruit, milk, sweets, desserts and other carbohydrates, and nonstarchy vegetables. In this group, foods from all but the nonstarchy vegetables contain 60 to 90 calories and 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrate in one serving. Therefore, these foods can be substituted for one another occasionally. For example, if you are at a restaurant and fruit is not available, you can choose an extra serving of bread instead. If you use a lot of foods from the sweets, desserts, and other carbohydrate lists in your meal plan, you may not get all of the nutrients you need. You can, however, enjoy an occasional serving of these foods to replace a starch fruit of milk on your meal plan and still keep your diabetes under good control.

The foods in the nonstarchy vegetable list contain 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving.

The Meats and Meat Substitutes group has four lists of meats and other protein foods: lean, medium-fat, and high-fat meats, and plant-based protein. One serving of each of these foods contains 7 grams of protein. Only the plant-based proteins have carbohydrate. The fat content varies from 0 to 3 grams for lean meats and plant-based proteins to 8 grams for high-fat meats and plant-based proteins.

Foods in the Fats group are divided into three types: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are more heart-healthy than saturated fats, but all three types contain 5 grams of fat, no carbohydrate, and 45 calories per serving.

There is also a list of Free Foods. One serving of these foods does not provide enough calories or carbohydrate to be counted in your meal plan. As with all foods in any of the food choice lists, it's important to check the serving size. Additional lists include Combination Foods and Fast Foods. These foods include popular dishes and meals that don't fall into a single choice category.

Carbohydrate Counting

Carbohydrate counting is a sophisticated meal-planning approach that can offer a lot of flexibility. This approach is based on the main influencer of blood glucose -- grams of carbohydrate in foods. Your dietitian will develop a meal plan that indicates the amount of carbohydrate to be eaten at meals and snacks. If you know how much carbohydrate you are eating, you have a good idea of what your blood glucose level will be.

Carbohydrate is found in starches and sugars. Foods that contain carbohydrate include:

  • breads, crackers, and cereals
  • pasta, rice, and grains
  • vegetables
  • milk and yogurt
  • fruit and juice
  • sugar, honey, syrup, and molasses

All sugars are carbohydrate. Sugars are added to foods such as baked goods and frozen desserts and are present naturally in foods such as milk and fruit. If you look at the Nutrition Facts labels on some unsweetened foods, such as unsweetened yogurt, you will see sugars listed because of the natural sugar (lactose) in the milk. The Nutrition Facts label gives one value for the total amount of natural and added sugar in a food. However, keep in mind that all carbohydrate turns into blood glucose sooner or later. The kinds or sources of carbohydrate are less important than the total amount of carbohydrate.

If you use carbohydrate counting as a meal-planning approach, you and your dietitian will decide on a "target" amount of carbohydrate that you should eat at each meal and snack. The amount of carbohydrate will be balanced with your physical activity and medication to keep your blood glucose level close to normal.

When your meal plan is based on carbohydrate counting, it is important that you eat the same amount of carbohydrate at the same time each day. You don't have to eat the same foods, just foods with the same amount of carbohydrate. You can use Nutrition Facts labels, exchange lists, nutrient value tables, or pocket counters to help determine how many grams of carbohydrate various foods contain. Also, the recipes in this cookbook provide the amount of carbohydrate per serving. This is extremely helpful if you are using carbohydrate counting as your meal-planning approach.

Other meal planning options

There are additional meal planning options other than the food choices lists or counting carbohydrate. An option popular in the past, though used less often now, is the food pyramid. This approach groups foods into a pyramid, with more healthful foods (such as whole-grains, fruits, and vegetables) forming the foundation and foods that need to be eaten in moderation (fats and sweets) at the top. This graphic tool visually reinforced what foods needed to be eaten most and which should be avoided (visit for more information on this method). Calorie counting and fat gram counting are also popular options, though they are more often used specifically for weight loss than diabetes meal planning. Discuss different meal planning options with your RD. Working together, the two of you should be able to develop a program that works for your lifestyle.

Serving Sizes

Whichever meal-planning tool you use, it's vital that you learn about serving sizes. You may be working very hard at eating the right foods at the right time, but if you eat too much or too little, your blood glucose level will be too high or too low.

How do you know if your serving is the right size? Start by measuring your food with measuring cups, measuring spoons, or a food scale. Don't trust your eyes to estimate a serving size until you've had some practice. For at least a week, measure and weigh everything you eat. You will know whether your meal plan is working by measuring your blood glucose level 1 to 2 hours after you eat. Judging by the results, you and your dietitian can make the necessary changes to your meal plan.

Even when you have been following your meal plan for a long time, it's a good idea to measure your servings occasionally to make sure your estimates are correct. You may be able to use mental pictures or visual cues to help you eat the right serving sizes. For example, you may know that 1 cup of milk fills your glass to a certain point or that a 3-ounce serving of meat is about the same size as a deck of cards.

Reading Food Labels

It is easy to buy healthful bread, plain rice and pasta, fruits, and vegetables. But with other foods it can be hard to know which are most healthful and which will fit best into your meal plan. The Nutrition Facts label found on food packages can help you decide which foods to buy and how they will fit into your meal plan.

The first thing you should check on the Nutrition Facts label is the serving size. Make sure that this is the amount you usually eat. If you eat twice as much, you will get double the calories and other nutrients shown on the Nutrition Facts label. If you use exchange lists, remember that the serving size on the food label may be different from that in the food choices lists. For example, the serving size for orange juice is 8 fluid ounces on a Nutrition Facts label and 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) in the food choices lists. So an 8-fluid-ounce juice box would be listed on the label as 1 serving, but you would need to count it as 2 fruit choices. The label also tells you the number of servings per container, which can help you serve the appropriate amount.

The next section tells you about the calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, and protein in 1 serving of the food. The total number of calories in a serving and the number of calories that come from fat are listed first. For fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrate, and dietary fiber the actual amount (grams or milligrams) and the Percent Daily Values are listed. If your meal plan is based on counting grams of carbohydrate, grams of fat, or calories, you will find this information very helpful.

The Percent Daily Values shows how much of your daily allowance for that nutrient 1 serving of the food provides, based on someone eating 2,000 calories per day. If you eat fewer than 2,000 calories per day, the food would provide a greater percentage of your daily allowance for each nutrient; if you eat more than 2,000 calories per day, the food would provide a smaller percentage of your daily allowance. Your dietitian can help you figure out your own daily values in grams and percentages for your calorie level. The Percent Daily Values helps you see how the food can fit into a healthful eating plan. If you eat a food that provides a large percentage of the Percent Daily Values for fat, try to balance it with foods that provide a lower percentage of the Percent Daily Values at the same meal or later in the day.

For vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron, the Nutrition Facts panel lists only the Percent Daily Values. These percentages can help you find foods that are good sources of each of these nutrients.

The Nutrition Facts label also has an ingredient list. The ingredient list details exactly what is present in a product. Ingredients are listed in order of weight, with the largest amount listed first and the smallest amount listed last. For example, if the first ingredient in a breakfast cereal is sugar and the second ingredient is the grain, the cereal is probably high in sugar.

Using the food label should be part of your strategy for healthful eating. Your dietitian can help you practice using food labels to make the best decisions about what to buy.

Bon Appétit!

You may feel that you have to think very hard about what you eat. But with time, you will find it easier to make healthful food choices. This cookbook is a tool you and your family can use to make it easier to prepare and eat foods that help you manage your diabetes, and your overall health. Set the table, relax, and enjoy your meal.

In Addition

To obtain a referral to an RD in your area, visit The American Dietetic Association's Web site at

For general information about diabetes, call the American Diabetes Association at 800-DIABETES (800-342-2383). A free packet of information about diabetes is available upon request. Also, if you are interested in ordering other American Diabetes Association books, or would like to receive a free catalog of books, call 800-232-6733. Visit the American Diabetes Association's Web store at

Copyright (c) 1999, 2007 by The American Diabetes Association and The American Dietetic Association

The best cookbooks help us create delicious meals that appeal to our senses of sight, smell, and taste. If you get the added bonus of meals that are also healthful and nutritious, you have found a treasure of a cookbook indeed. If you have special health or dietary concerns, the search for such a cookbook can be frustrating. The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes offers you both good food and good health.

The recipes were developed for people with diabetes by The American Dietetic Association and the American Diabetes Association in their Family Cookbooks, volumes I, II, III, and IV. We've chosen the best recipes from these volumes and updated them using the newest and healthiest ingredients available. In addition, The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes incorporates the most recent nutrition recommendations for people with diabetes. These recommendations are designed to improve the health of persons with diabetes.

The recipes in this book help you and your family take the right steps toward good eating and good health. To help you take the mystery out of healthful eating, nutrient information and exchange values are provided per serving for each recipe.

We have learned a great deal about food and the nutrition it provides. This book translates our learning into practical solutions you can use as you plan and prepare your meals each day.

Ann Albright, Ph.D., RD


Health Care & Education

American Diabetes Association

Connie Diekman, M.Ed., RD, LD, FADA


The American Dietetic Association

Copyright (c) 1999, 2007 by The American Diabetes Association and The American Dietetic Association


Excerpted from The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes by American Diabetes Association Copyright © 2007 by American Diabetes Association. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


1 Breakfast and Brunch: Egg Dishes, Pancakes, Waffles, and French Toast
2 Breads, Biscuits, and Muffins
3 Appetizers, Dips, and Spreads
4 Soups
5 Salads and Salad Dressings
6 Meat
7 Poultry
8 Fish and Shellfish
9 Vegetables
10 Pasta, Grains, Pizza, and Legumes
11 Sauces, Relishes, and Condiments
12 Desserts
13 Beverages
14 Appendix: Exchange Lists for Meal Planning
About the Associations
Equivalency Tables

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New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had been eyeing this cookbook online for some time. Today I decided to break down and buy it. I am very disappointed, and may return it. I am appalled at the amount of white sugar, white flour, white potatoes etc., with no effort to at least cut the whites with half of a healthier option. My husband has diabetes and my adult children are athletes. I do stock whites in my pantry but they are used in moderation and really come under the 'treat' category. I cannot understand why the American Diabetes Association endorses it. Unless of course, this fare is a step up for those on a diet of frozen pizza,big mac's and packages mixes. Not for me
Guest More than 1 year ago
Diabetic cookbooks typically have three problems: 1)diabetics are treated as handicapped individuals, and their families are trapped into tasteless meals, 2) the recipes are confusing and hard to follow, or 3)their recipes include ingredients that are too expensive for many diabetics. This book 'breaks the mold.' This book offers a variety of tasty recipes that are easy to prepare and that all the family will enjoy.