Book Review: Blood Sugar – Inspiring Recipes For Anyone Facing the Challenge of Diabetes and Maintaining Good Health
If you have diabetes or if you are just interested in eating good food while watching after your health, then Blood Sugar by Chef Michael Moore is for you. Moore has been a chef for 26 years and has owned and managed restaurants in both London and Sydney including The Bluebird London. He is currently the chef and owner of Summit Restaurant and Bar in Sydney. Despite being extremely active, fit, and otherwise healthy, Michael Moore was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 35. Eight years later he suffered a stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain. Although there was no clear link between the stroke and his diabetic condition, this near death experience has caused him to be even more vigilant about what foods he eats. It also helped inspire this book which contains over 100 delicious, healthy recipes for home cooking.
In the opening chapters of Blood Sugar, Chef Moore lays out the framework he uses to categorize all foods. The categories he uses are Fire, Water, and Coal. Fire includes all highly processed, sugary, fatty, low fiber, low protein foods. Some of the foods that fall within this category include rice, white bread, pasta, potatoes, sweets, as well as many fruits and fruit juices. The body burns these foods quickly and when these foods are consumed, they immediately elevate blood sugar levels. His Water category includes most vegetables except for pumpkins, potatoes, and parsnips. These foods are high in fiber and have minimal effect on blood sugar levels. The third category is Coal and includes foods that are high in fiber and high in protein. The body burns these foods slowly. Some of the foods in this category include nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Lean meats, fish, lentils, chickpeas, and beans are also included.
Diabetics rate foods according to their Glycemic Index which designates the impact that the particular food has on blood sugar (ie. Glucose) levels. Foods in the Fire category tend to elevate blood sugar levels and should be eaten in moderation. A healthy diet should rely heavily on foods in the water and coal categories as they help maintain sustained energy and promote the stability of blood sugar levels. Proper diet based on this framework combined with at least 20 minutes of exercise daily should lead to better overall health.
In our review, we tested 3 recipes from the book. The first recipe, Banana and Berry Iced Smoothie, was delicious and refreshing. It would be ideal for a spring or summer brunch. Be sure to prepare it two hours before guests arrive as it requires time to freeze to the proper consistency. The second recipe that we tried was the Power Food Salad which we found to be a nice combination of flavors, colors, and textures. It is a great tasting salad that would pair well with grilled meats or vegetables at a cookout. The third recipe in our review was the Baked Chocolate and Orange Pudding. This is a great tasting, healthy chocolate dessert with a hint of citrus flavor. It is amazing how good it tastes while having low sugar content. For its sweetness, the recipe relies on agave nectar, a natural sweetener that has a low glycemic index due to its slow rate of absorption into the bloodstream.
We give the book, Blood Sugar by Michael Moore, four stars out of five. The book provides a lot of useful information for diabetics and non-diabetics alike about eating better foods. All of the recipes that we tried were outstanding. The book is filled with delicious, healthy recipes that are accompanied by beautiful photographs of the dishes to match. With the projected growth of diabetes around the world, Michael Moore’s latest book will likely become a valuable resource to many families in the future.