Sweet Fire: Sugar, Diabetes & Your Health Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Mary Toscano has distilled a vast amount of technical information into an easy-to-read and easily understood look at the role of our sugar-laden diets in the increasing incidence of obesity and diabetes in our country. Personally, this book had a profound impact on my life in that I discovered that my blood sugar (with no hereditary history of diabetes) hovered at pre-diabetic levels... despite having what I thought was a "healthy" diet.
Mary's book enabled me to start looking for the hidden sugar consumption within my diet and got me started on the path of a truly healthy diet. The book contains many helpful suggestions and recipes for incorporating more healthful foods in ones diet. The end result is that I no longer have elevated blood sugar levels and am off the "diabetes track"!... not to mention that I easily dropped 20 lbs. without even really working at it!
A nice, fringe benefit of the book are the numerous drawings and illustrations that help to elucidate many of the concepts presented.
This is an important book and needs to be widely read!
She walks you through how your body and brain uses sugar, how you need the right amount (and how to get sugar properly), and how too much can be very damaging to you.. She walks through various sugar alternatives, breaking down what they are, and why all those sugar substitutes can be even worse for you, and even showing you how products that often market themselves as "healthy", "low fat", and "good sugars", can be filled with more sugar than you imagine... Low fat foods are probably actually making you fatter!!
She also walks you through what you can do about it... Between being smart about reading labels, and how to approach managing your sugar, how to think about foods that have sugar in them (what's good, what's bad), I finished this book and thought that I had the knowledge I needed to make a real difference in my diet... I will be keeping this book on my kitchen counter next to my other health and food books...
Given the background of the author, Mary Toscano, (Santa Cruz, massage therapy, Esalen...), I was surprised at how scientific and carefully researched it is. So much for -my- stereotypes and biases! Turns out her earlier background, as an engineer, comes through loud and clear. While there are a few places where she gets a little strident (universally damning "processed" foods and "damaged" fats without a lot of definition or nuance), those moments are rare and almost everything is moderate in view and has cited, valid research from credible sources. Her presentation is sensible and logical.
There are two gold nuggets here. First is the quality of the explanations. These are the best explanations I have ever read about the complex chemistry of food and nutrition; how the liver, pancreas, and kidneys/adrenals work; how carbs, insulin, blood sugar work; and how the body behaves. It's all brilliantly explained such that anyone can understand it.
Second is that it recommends sensible strategies real people can do without suffering their diets. Rather than a list of restrictions and punishing diet rules (which invariably fail), it prescribes knowing what you are eating and using moderation. So yes, you can have some pie! It talks about rules we can live with -- adding foods to our diets rather than prohibiting, simple strategies based on success. Anyone can improve their health by following even just some of these easy rules.
The latter half of the book is composed of recipes. I was surprised here by how good they are. I was expecting a vegan bias with lots of flax seed and hippie chow. There go -my- biases again! I'm a foodie and these are great recipes that I will be trying. They look easy and delicious.
Finally, the closing chapters offer some great starter programs. There is a simple food journal and what looks like a winner of a program, the "21 Day Jump Start." I will be doing this.
And it's an easy and quick read.
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