Most helpful critical review
78 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Very comprehensive but not sure if I agree with everything
on August 9, 2010
I had one of the earlier versions of the Picture Perfect Weight Loss books, and I must say this is MUCH more comprehensive. Because this one is specifically geared toward diabetes prevention & control, up front it includes a lot of information about the causes of the disease and risks that it involves. I thought a lot of this info was very clearly stated and easy to understand for pretty much anyone. The basics of the "diet" plan (which is really a lifestyle more than a diet) are also very easy to understand and apply. I like that they include the WHY of the foods they want you to eat so that you can feel you're making your own educated choices.
Another really nice added feature is that many recipes for healthy dishes are included this time. Previous books had just shown how you can eat a lot of healthy food vs a little junk food for the same amount of calories. This one not only suggests what you should eat, but gives you ideas on fun ways to prepare it. Like the other books, this one is laid out nicely, easy to read, and fully of really yummy-looking photos.
Unfortunately, I have several issues with the information being passed along here:
1) Over and over they highly recommend artificial sweeteners to enjoy throughout your day so you never have to go without your favorite sweets. I recognize that sugar is the enemy for diabetics, but artificial sweeteners come with their own set of risks and these are never mentioned. How about trying some fruit before washing down your sugar-free jellybeans with a case of diet soda? That's not real food.
2) They STRONGLY recommend that you replace pretty much all the meat and dairy in your diet with soy-based replacements. Soy is another nutrient that has some drawbacks along with its benefits, and while most can enjoy it in moderation it really isn't right for everyone. Potential dangers are NEVER mentioned and they have recommendations for how to include it in every single meal of your day! Again, I don't mind a little soy here & there but at least give full disclosure on the risks so the consumer can make an educated choice.
3) This is a small matter, but they devote one full page to the subject of salt. Their recommendation is: have all you want. They even mention that "you may have heard it's not good for your blood pressure" and go on to imply that it's really not THAT bad and if you like your vegetables salted, then go ahead and salt the crap out of them. I understand that their main goal is to get you to eat more vegetables, but to not even include a caveat like "If your doctor has you on a low-salt diet due to an existing heart condition..." is just plain dangerous. ESPECIALLY considering that they already recommend pre-packaged soy-based fake meats which are extremely high in sodium! I really wanted to give this book to my mom, but she has congestive heart failure along with diabetes and I fear she will see that as permission to go off the diet her doctor has her on (which she ignores most of the time anyway, unfortunately, but I don't want to give her any more reason to ignore her doctors).
4) They really want you to get all your protein from soy, beans, and fish, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but their stance is that All Beef And Chicken Is Bad. Also all dairy. Granted they can't go in depth on every single subject and they don't want to muddy the issue too much, but if you are able to get grass-fed beef and organically raised cage-free chickens, they're not nearly as bad for you as the factory farmed stuff. Many people have access to small farms nowadays that often yield very healthy, lean, chemical-free meats & dairy, but this alternative is never mentioned. Personally I believe that a locally raised grass-fed burger is better for you than a soy version full of sodium and other chemicals to make it taste like beef, but that's just me.
If you have absolutely no other health problems besides diabetes, and are willing to take some of the fake-food advice with a grain, it's really not a bad book. It is easy to read and has some very good recipes. Just do your own research on the side and make sure you are eating what is really right for you.