The best books on diabetes

7 authors have picked their favorite books about diabetes and why they recommend each book.

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Mastering Diabetes

By Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro,

Book cover of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes

Mastering Diabetes explains the nature of the disease, and why the standard treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in particular is counterproductive. The authors draw from their own personal experience and the experiences of those they have counseled, but they provide evidence from a raft of scientific studies. They have had striking success, which they report with energy and enthusiasm. With confidence born of that success, they stand conventional diabetes wisdom on its head.


Who am I?

Heart disease ravaged both sides of my family. When I was a teenager, my mother developed heart disease and her two brothers died of heart attacks. In response, at the age of seventeen, I gave up meat. Now, after a career writing comedy for the stage and television, I write books on health, and all my extensive research on nutrition has vindicated my instincts from the age of seventeen but taught me that there is far more to a healthy diet than just avoiding flesh foods. I have authored or co-authored eleven books that, in different ways, make the case for the health benefits of plants. 


I wrote...

Own Your Health: How to Live Long & Avoid Chronic Illness

By Glen Merzer,

Book cover of Own Your Health: How to Live Long & Avoid Chronic Illness

What is my book about?

Own Your Health is a funny and personal study of nutrition and health. By telling the stories of how the author’s parents saved each other’s lives and how his wife overcame lupus, by revealing how the science of nutrition is more settled than you think, and by explaining nutrition as it’s never been explained before, the book gives us an action plan to reverse the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, while obliterating demand for the kind of food-raising that risks future pandemics.

“I found myself laughing out loud on nearly every page. This book is for you if you want to be healthy for the rest of your life — and if you don’t mind laughing a lot.” –John Robbins, Author, Diet For A New America

Hockey Dreams

By David Adams Richards,

Book cover of Hockey Dreams: Memories of a Man Who Couldn't Play

This book by an award-winning Canadian novelist mixes memoir and essay. The memoir is set in New Brunswick’s Miramichi region in 1961. Richards has no use of his left arm; his best friend is going blind due to diabetes. They are in their last year of playing hockey. Woven into that story are other memories—including of distasteful meetings with people who don’t like the sport—as well as his thoughts on the game and its place in the Canadian psyche. Hockey Dreams is highly personal, so it may not be for readers, but I loved it. 


Who am I?

I’ve been reading hockey books since I was a kid and could usually count on finding one under the Christmas tree. I still keep many of those books from my childhood on the shelves in my office. Eventually, I was old enough to buy my own books, some of which are about hockey (and, lucky for me, I continue to receive hockey books as gifts on occasion). When I started to write books, I knew that someday I would write one about the game I love to play, watch and read about.


I wrote...

Klondikers: Dawson City's Stanley Cup Challenge and How a Nation Fell in Love with Hockey

By Tim Falconer,

Book cover of Klondikers: Dawson City's Stanley Cup Challenge and How a Nation Fell in Love with Hockey

What is my book about?

Early in 1905, an unlikely team of dreamers arrived in Ottawa to play for the Stanley Cup. The Klondikers had travelled—by foot, bicycle, train, ship, and more trains—for three-and-a-half weeks from Dawson City, Yukon. This is the story of their audacious trek and their equally audacious desire to win the Cup. It’s also the story of how hockey grew from a niche, regional sport when Lord Stanley donated his trophy in 1893 to a national obsession within a dozen years.

Unforgettable characters include Weldy Young, the former Ottawa star who never lost his hunger for the Cup; Joe Boyle, the Klondike King who managed the team; and “One-Eyed” Frank McGee, the game’s original superstar. For lovers of hockey, Canadian history and entertaining tales.

The Summer I Found You

By Jolene Perry,

Book cover of The Summer I Found You

Perry has created two great characters in Aidan and Kate. Both are damaged in their own ways – Kate has diabetes and Aidan lost an arm in Afghanistan - and certain their problems are the only things that define them. Watching them grow and change and accept that they are so much more than their problems makes this a satisfying read.


Who am I?

I’m a YA writer who likes to tackle difficult subject matter. My books cover things like euthanasia, drug abuse, coming out, and accessing sex as someone with a disability. If my books are found by even just one person who needs to see themselves in a story, then I feel like my job is done.


I wrote...

Stumped

By Kate Larkindale,

Book cover of Stumped

What is my book about?

Ozzy has a super-hot girlfriend who’s ready to take their relationship to the next level.  But a missing condom scuttles his plans for seduction. Furious, Ozzy takes his girlfriend home and drives off—into the path of an oncoming truck. He wakes up with both legs amputated above the knees.

When his girlfriend runs out gagging after one look at him, Ozzy knows he’s a hideous freak. Determined to prove he can be a man despite his disability, Ozzy throws himself into dumping his virginity, but finds there are few people willing to touch legless dudes in wheelchairs. His obsession takes him into an underworld where he discovers the difference between sex and intimacy, and that sometimes the price is much higher than a sex worker’s fee.

Chicken Friend

By Nicola Morgan,

Book cover of Chicken Friend

Chicken Friend is another story about friends and family. Becca is taken out of school to be homeschooled in the country. She struggles to adjust and make friends with the cool kids who are her neighbors. I could definitely sympathize with that feeling of trying so hard to make friends and yet feeling so out of place. It also reminded me of my move at the beginning of high school. Becca is a fun character with a wacky but loving family. She also has things she hides from everyone, even the reader, that made the story a little bit of a mystery.

And now that I have chickens myself, I enjoy the story even more.


Who am I?

I was homeschooled from the beginning until I graduated from high school, and I’m now homeschooling my family. I also teach writing and English to kids from around the world, many of whom are homeschooled. As a kid, I loved fantasy and adventure stories, but I didn’t really like realistic stories because I wasn’t familiar with things like homeroom or class periods. I have loved finding books with characters who are homeschooled, especially if homeschooling is portrayed accurately. I also love stories about relationships, so stories with strong family ties and deep friendships are meaningful to me. I hope that both homeschoolers and other schoolers can enjoy these book picks!


I wrote...

Best Friends Playbook

By A.W. Downer,

Book cover of Best Friends Playbook

What is my book about?

What do touchdowns and tea parties have in common? Absolutely nothing.

Eleven-year-old football superfan, Hannah Taylor, has watched her friends leave the homeschool group one by one. It was okay, at first, because she always had Beth, her best, best friend. They were a team for science experiments, for co-op classes, and on the football field. But just as they’re starting sixth grade, Beth’s parents put her in private school. Now Hannah is the only middle schooler left in the homeschool group. She’d better come up with a new play fast. The only kids even remotely close to her age don’t like football, and they don’t play sports. They play princess. And they want Hannah to join their team.

The Logic of Care

By Annemarie Mol,

Book cover of The Logic of Care: Health and the Problem of Patient Choice

Every book by Annemarie Mol is good but The Logic of Care is simply the best book on what medicine should be. It is short, deceptively simple but leaves no hiding places. Everyone will be able to understand it in the same way from a teenager up through a Professor of Medicine to a Minister for Health but don’t expect any Ministers to admit to reading it any time soon. Mol outlines a relationship-based rather than technology-based medicine. How do we ensure medical techniques help us to live the lives we want to live rather than force us to live lives that suit the companies that make the technologies want us to live? How do we care for people rather than service them?


Who am I?

I’ve been researching treatment harms for 3 decades and founded RxISK.org in 2012, now an important site for people to report these harms. They’ve been reporting in their thousands often in personal accounts that feature health service gaslighting. During these years, our treatments have become a leading cause of mortality and morbidity, the time it takes to recognize harms has been getting longer, and our medication burdens heavier. We have a health crisis that parallels the climate crisis. Both Green parties and Greta Thunberg’s generation are turning a blind eye to the health chemicals central to this. We need to understand what is going wrong and turn it around.   


I wrote...

Children of the Cure: Missing Data, Lost Lives and Antidepressants

By David Healy, Joanna Le Noury, Julie Wood

Book cover of Children of the Cure: Missing Data, Lost Lives and Antidepressants

What is my book about?

Study 329, a trial of paroxetine in depressed teenagers, led to a fraud charge and a $3 billion fine against GlaxoSmithKline for reporting a negative trial as showing paroxetine worked wonderfully well and was safe. Nearly one in five teens on paroxetine had serious behavioural problems. The ‘fraudulent’ report was ghostwritten, as it appears were other trials of antidepressants in depressed teens, all negative but published as safe and effective with FDA turning a blind eye and willing to approve drugs that didn’t work. Children of the Cure gives you the insight into who was sleeping with who story behind a trial that despite the fraud charge and billon dollar fines is now standard practice for all trials of all drugs you or those you know may be taking. 

Bittersweet

By Chris Feudtner,

Book cover of Bittersweet: Diabetes, Insulin, and the Transformation of Illness

The discovery of insulin in early 1922 was a medical milestone that has since saved countless lives–my own included. Until this moment, a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes was a certain death sentence. But as diabetes clinician and historian of medicine, Chris Feudtner points out, the success of insulin has distorted historical accounts of diabetes by marginalising the experience of the patient in favour of narratives that focus on the development of medical technology to treat them. And Feudtner’s diagnosis is confined not just to diabetes but to the history of medicine in general. Following a personal epiphany that patients have an existence beyond X-rays and blood tests, Feudtner set out to address this problem by writing a history of diabetes as told from the perspective of patients. He does so magnificently and offers important insights about our relationship with technology that extend well beyond the treatment of diabetes.


Who am I?

The discovery of the structure of DNA, the genetic material was one of the biggest milestones in science–but few people realise that a crucial unsung hero in this story was the humble wool fibre. But the Covid pandemic has changed all that and as a result we’ve all become acutely away of both the impact of science on our lives and our need to be more informed about it. Having long ago hung up my white coat and swapped the lab for the library to be a historian of science, I think we need a more honest, authentic understanding of scientific progress rather than the over-simplified accounts so often found in textbooks. 


I wrote...

The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and How Wool Wove a Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

By Kersten T. Hall,

Book cover of The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and How Wool Wove a Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix

What is my book about?

The discovery of the structure of DNA, the genetic material was one of the biggest milestones in science–but few people realise that s crucial unsung hero in this story was the humble wool fibre. This was thanks to the scientists William Astbury and Florence Bell, whose research for the local textile industries of West Yorkshire led them to make the very first attempt to solve the structure of DNA. In so doing, they paved the way for the later success of the more famous scientific duo of James Watson and Francis Crick, but Astbury’s real scientific legacy went far beyond DNA and was to be found in a rather unusual overcoat that may well have a stark new relevance in a world scarred by Covid-19.

The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet

By Michael Mosley,

Book cover of The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet: How to Beat Diabetes Fast

Michael Mosley was the one of the first best-selling authors to disseminate the new knowledge about how type 2 diabetes could be put into remission. It is all the more authentic in that he describes his personal battle with rising blood sugar levels. "Once you tip from prediabetes into diabetes you will be slapped on medication faster than you can say 'Coca-Cola'."  And it worth avoiding that fate. This is an eminently readable book which brings you onside with the author—a confident not a teacher. Just look at the section "Sort out your head". It’s the mind and body thing, often overlooked by well-meaning advisers. Just glance down the three sections of the book—The Science, The Diet, The Menus. Where will you start? This book bubbles with well-informed enthusiasm.


Who am I?

Since childhood, I’ve wanted to find out how things work. The human body is an amazing combination of mind and body. As Professor of Medicine and Metabolism at Newcastle University, I’ve been fortunate to be able to find out what goes wrong to cause type 2 diabetes. It was not the complex mystery believed by other experts, but just one simple process. A little too much fat inside the liver caused insulin not to work properly, and an overspill of fat prevented enough insulin to be made. Growing a wild idea into a proven NHS programme involves sleepless nights, disbelief of colleagues, gratitude of patients, and hugely enjoyable team-working. 


I wrote...

Life Without Diabetes: The Definitive Guide to Understanding and Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

By Roy Taylor,

Book cover of Life Without Diabetes: The Definitive Guide to Understanding and Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

What is my book about?

This book explains the new understanding of type 2 diabetes, and how to get back to full health. Medical opinion used to be emphatic—type 2 diabetes was always lifelong, requiring more, and more medicines. Emphatic, but wrong! The story of the exciting journey of discovery is told as a ‘who dun It’. The answer is shocking for scientists—it also was for me as a scientist-doctor—but very good news for people with type 2 diabetes. 

The research described was hugely controversial when first announced. It has been a long battle to change the minds of doctors and scientists. But now the method described is part of routine care for people with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. 

The Carbs & Cals & Fat & Fiber Counter

By Chris Cheyette, Yello Balolia,

Book cover of The Carbs & Cals & Fat & Fiber Counter

‘Counting’ calories at every meal is not a recipe for a sane or happy life. But knowing the approximate calorie content of what you regularly eat is certainly wise. This is a look-up book, not a reading book. So—how about the blueberry muffin you have been led to believe is the healthy option? What! 393 calories? But that is about a quarter of the daily calorie requirement for a smaller person. Orange juice? Ah yes, one of my five-a-day—so healthy. But at 90 calories per 250 ml glass it is easy to cut without bothering appetite. Taken in addition to a weight neutral diet, it would cause around six pounds of weight gain in a year. This is a book of information. Information useful for life. 


Who am I?

Since childhood, I’ve wanted to find out how things work. The human body is an amazing combination of mind and body. As Professor of Medicine and Metabolism at Newcastle University, I’ve been fortunate to be able to find out what goes wrong to cause type 2 diabetes. It was not the complex mystery believed by other experts, but just one simple process. A little too much fat inside the liver caused insulin not to work properly, and an overspill of fat prevented enough insulin to be made. Growing a wild idea into a proven NHS programme involves sleepless nights, disbelief of colleagues, gratitude of patients, and hugely enjoyable team-working. 


I wrote...

Life Without Diabetes: The Definitive Guide to Understanding and Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

By Roy Taylor,

Book cover of Life Without Diabetes: The Definitive Guide to Understanding and Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

What is my book about?

This book explains the new understanding of type 2 diabetes, and how to get back to full health. Medical opinion used to be emphatic—type 2 diabetes was always lifelong, requiring more, and more medicines. Emphatic, but wrong! The story of the exciting journey of discovery is told as a ‘who dun It’. The answer is shocking for scientists—it also was for me as a scientist-doctor—but very good news for people with type 2 diabetes. 

The research described was hugely controversial when first announced. It has been a long battle to change the minds of doctors and scientists. But now the method described is part of routine care for people with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. 

By Any Greens Necessary

By Tracye Lynn McQuirter,

Book cover of By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Look Phat

This is one of those books that will inspire you to do more for your own health and longevity. I was a semi-plant-based vegan back in 2010 and losing motivation to stick to my new diet. With this book, I was able to embrace veganism in a healthy, tasty, and cost-saving way.

Who am I?

As a wellness educator, executive coach, and herbalist, I help people reclaim wellness and nutritional practices that can help them reclaim their natural state of wellness. They helped me in my own wellness journey and now I shared them with clients, students, and in my speaking engagements. These books have been in my library and recommendation list for more than 10 years.


I wrote...

Reclaiming Wellness: Ancient Wisdom for Your Healthy, Happy, and Beautiful Life

By Jovanka Ciares,

Book cover of Reclaiming Wellness: Ancient Wisdom for Your Healthy, Happy, and Beautiful Life

Jovanka Ciares

Many of the most popular approaches to mind, body, and spirit wellness are rooted in age-old practices from around the world and come from communities of color. But today they are typically promoted and used only by dominant culture elites. No more. In Reclaiming Wellness, Jovanka Ciares reclaims these time- and science-proven modalities to make them affordable and easy to implement for anyone.

After years of suffering from IBS, ulcers, and fibroids, Ciares embraced alternative therapies like Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and herbalism. Her fifteen-year journey toward self-healing, peace, and happiness became her motivation to inspire and support thousands of others to do the same, especially those like herself — educated women of color who are rarely represented in the billion-dollar industry of health and wellness.

Forks Over Knives

By Gene Stone,

Book cover of Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health

Forks Over Knives describes how changing your diet (forks) can be used to good effect to improve health, therefore, avoid the need for surgery (knives). This is a book about the most important advice on healthy eating – guess what? eating a whole-food, plant-based diet. It is full of inspiring success stories of people who have taken charge of their diet and transformed their health, as well as useful recipes. The author advocates entirely plant-based, and although there is a healthy way to eat animal products, the foundational diet for everyone needs to be mostly plants, and most definitely whole foods, meaning not processed or industrially produced.

Who am I?

I am a naturopathic therapist, teacher, and writer working mainly with plant medicine since 1989. For decades, I’ve been teaching many aspects of natural healing and have written 5 books, published in 6 languages, on various aspects of my work. One of my favourite books is DEEPLY HOLISTIC, a Guide to Intuitive Self-Care, a synthesis of much of the advice I’ve given clients over my 30 years of practice.


I wrote...

Deeply Holistic: A Guide to Intuitive Self-Care--Know Your Body, Live Consciously, and Nurture Your Spirit

By Pip Waller,

Book cover of Deeply Holistic: A Guide to Intuitive Self-Care--Know Your Body, Live Consciously, and Nurture Your Spirit

What is my book about?

Natural medicine outcomes depend partly on helping people create a lifestyle which acts as the foundation for good health. Deeply Holistic is a smorgasbord of suggestions that you can help yourself to, to help yourself move more towards your optimum possible level of health, presented in the format of relevance to the various body systems.

Good eating is an essential foundational building block to feeling well. But what to eat, in the modern climate of often conflicting and contradictory advice? As I discuss in Deeply Holistic, there is no real one size fits all approach to diet, hence the emphasis on ‘intuitive’ self-care – increasing your ability to tune in and listen to what your body is asking for.k

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