The Prediabetes Diet Plan: How to Reverse Prediabetes and Prevent Diabetes Through Healthy Eating and Exercise

BY HILLARY WRIGHT, MED, RD

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Publication date: 5 November 2013

Cost: $15.99

More than 80 million adults in the United States have prediabetes, and up to 70% of them will develop type 2 diabetes. However, prediabetes is preventable and even reversible with the right information and lifestyle interventions.

Access to that information is essential, and this book by Hillary Wright is an excellent source of information for anyone who is at risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, as well as anyone who would like to improve his or her overall health. Wright, a registered and licensed dietitian with degrees in human nutrition and health education, has more than 20 years of experience in diabetes-related nutrition education. The suggestions enumerated in her book are informed by thousands of patient encounters, successes, and even failures.

Not surprisingly, Ms. Wright’s vast knowledge shines through in The Prediabetes Diet Plan. The first quarter of the book (∼50 pages) contains a technical yet accessible introduction to prediabetes and insulin resistance. For those who already understand these concepts (or prefer to avoid lengthy, scientific explanations), skip ahead to the rest of the book, which outlines two carbohydrate-focused (but not strictly “low-carb”) prevention strategies. The first is a simple, four-step approach to balancing your plate with appropriate proportions of proteins, starches, and vegetables. The second approach also focuses on a “balanced plate,” but more closely aims to meet specific carbohydrate goals. Despite, or perhaps because of, the simplicity of these approaches, they are effective and sustainable strategies for reversing prediabetes. Sample meal plans and a food journal are included to help readers jumpstart their healthy eating plan.

Given that it was published in 2013, The Prediabetes Diet Plan does contain several now-controversial suggestions. For example, there is conflicting evidence on the potential benefits of drinking diet soda compared to sugar-sweetened soda (1). (Wright recommends the former, despite also cautioning her readers to limit their intake of artificial sweeteners.) Similarly, her proposal to limit fat consumption does not recognize the latest thinking that healthy fats may play an important role in satiety and blood glucose management (e.g., eating full-fat rather than low-fat yogurt) (2). That said, her excellent carbohydrate-conscious suggestions, which comprise the vast majority of her book, are supported by a wealth of scientific and anecdotal evidence as effective, well-balanced, and sustainable first steps for someone with prediabetes (35).

In all, The Prediabetes Diet Plan offers a wealth of information and empowering, practical tips on mindset, cooking, weight loss, snacking, exercise, supplements, grocery shopping, healthy restaurant dining, and more, and its focus on providing practical, sustainable, advice is appreciated. The challenge, as always, is to get resources such as this one into the hands of people who need them.

No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.

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