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Cookbook Review: The Italian Diabetes Cookbook

italian diabetes cookbookWith all the pasta that Italian cuisine is famous for, you’d think it would be the last type of cuisine recommended for folks with diabetes. But, according to author, chef and Mediterranean expert Amy Riolo, the core of classic Italian cooking is preparing fresh ingredients, such as vegetables, whole grains, legumes, poultry, seafood and more, with time-honored techniques that preserve flavor, as well as tradition.

When diagnosed with diabetes, people are often extolled to eat more fresh foods and less processed ones. Riolo’s book, The Italian Diabetes Cookbook: Delicious and Healthful Dishes from Venice to Sicily and Beyond, presents a collection Italian recipes that are also easy-to-prepare and diabetes-friendly.

Carma and the italian diabetes cookbook

NOTE: I received a free copy of this book for review, however I am under no obligation to write about it positively or otherwise.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Over the past couple of years, I’ve experienced an increased interest in the topic of diabetic-friendly cooking. Not only have a married a wonderful man who has Type 2 Diabetes, but I’ve discovered that I’m pre-diabetic (which is, thankfully, reversible through diet and exercise!). This is the third in a series of reviews of books on this topic.

Summary of The Italian Diabetes Cookbook

This cookbook includes a collection of 150 authentic and naturally healthy recipes from Riolo’s Italian homeland. There are recipes for all occasions and several have vegetarian and gluten-free options. In addition, there is are suggestions for seasonal menus, a short primer on how to cook Italian, a guide to what one would need for an Italian pantry, and an Italian Culinary Glossary. There is even a guide on where to find ingredients if you can’t find them in your local store.

What Worked for Me

The book is consistently laid out with ingredients on the left and instructions on the right, which makes it easy to use. Most, if not all, the recipes include a note about “Italian Living Tradition” and a wine pairing suggestion. The information about exchanges and other nutritional data is also nice. This is a utilitarian book with few pictures … which is what a cooks cookbook should be.

What Didn’t Work for Me

Many of the pages have a watermark image for design, which can make the recipes a tiny bit harder to read. But everything is still legible. The different chapters are not easily distinguishable from the rest of the book, so flipping to the area you’re looking for is not easy. You’ll have to look up the section in the Table of Contents or recipe in the Index and then find the correct page.


If you love fresh Italian food, this cookbook will do the trick — providing you with healthy options without all the high-glycemic index pasta. This is not a meat and potatoes lover’s cookbook, but many of the recipes might just turn that carb-loving diabetic in your home around to better eating options.

Rating for The Italian Diabetes Cookbook

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Format: Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: American Diabetes Association (January 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1580405657
ISBN-13: 978-1580405652

Pick up your copy on Amazon.com here.


Previous Reviews in this Series:

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.

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