Review Blog

Jan 22 2020

Life without diabetes by Dr Roy Taylor

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Simon and Schuster, 2020. ISBN: 9781760853914. 320pp.
(Age: Adult) Recommended. The Newcastle Diet gained notoriety in 2011, when a small group of people went on the diet exploring the link between diabetes and the fatty tissue around the liver and pancreas, by initially living for eight weeks on 600 calories a day. Half of the small group were deemed to be in remission with their diabetes at the end of the three month trial.
Professor Taylor's book, Life without Diabetes, outlines the physiology of the gut and what the pancreas, liver and stomach do in digesting food.
A forward by one of the participants in the study is of course positive and joyous about having achieved a remission for her diabetes and losing weight.
And following this introduction is a handy guide to using the book. If like me, you want to get to the nitty gritty, then turning to chapter 7 is the way to go, as this chapter tells you about the 600 calories a day diet and how to go about it. Chapters one to six outline the way the body usually copes with food intake, and what goes wrong to cause type 2 diabetes. And at the end of each chapter is a fact file reiterating what was covered in the chapter before, giving those overwhelmed with the terminology of the book an easy to understand navigation tool.
The guide gives access to those with little time on their hands, while many others will read the book from cover to cover. I dipped in an out, reading the sections suggested, but also using the substantial index to look things up that I wanted to know more about (the pancreas, for example).
Although chatty and using layman's terms through out, I found the book heavy going and needed to refer to the index, as well as having a list of commonly used terms and their meanings as a book mark. Not having done biology at school is a distinct disadvantage. (I have also read Gut by Giulia Enders recently and even though it is written in the most basic of language and uses humour to get its message across, I needed to reread and keep a checklist of commonly used words)
But this aside, for those living with diabetes, this is a fascinating exploration of why it occurs and the steps people can take to reduce the likelihood of getting it and a guide for some to shake off the mantle of diabetes altogether. It worked with seven out of the eleven original dieters in 2011 and has gained a much larger group of supporters and participants since then.
A well researched and presented book, well worth a visit in the continuing search for a way of loosing weight and preventing, even reversing the onset of diabetes. Themes: Diabetes, Diet, Newcastle Diet.
Fran Knight

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