Book review: The Blood Sugar Solution

Diabetes may well be the fastest-growing non-communicable epidemic in world history.

From 1983 to 2008, diabetes increased seven-fold from 35 to 240 million worldwide. From 2008 to 2011 alone, 110 more people became diabetics.

Dr. Mark Hyman does a good job of explaining how this is happening in The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease and Feeling Great Now (Little Brown, $27.99).

He describes “diabesity” as a continuum of health problems from overweight and mild insulin resistance to obesity and diabetes. It is almost entirely caused by environmental and lifestyle factors and, therefore, preventable. About 1 out of 4 cases of diabetes remains undiagnosed, as well as nearly all of those with prediabetes.

Hyman points to the usual dietary suspects that contribute to the problem: excess sugar consumption, processed food and sodium. However, he expands the culprits to include environmental factors such as pollution, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics in food.

The book includes a six-week “action plan” to lower blood sugar and the requisite recipes section. Buyers beware: While the book contains valuable information, it is also a Trojan horse for a website that sells his expensive “recommended” supplements.