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Blood Sugar 101: What They Don’t Tell You About Diabetes

Apr 15, 2008

Jenny Ruhl (2008)


Reviewed by Karen Linz, JD, MBA, PharmD Candidate, University of Florida College of Pharmacy

Blood Sugar 101 is written specifically for Type 2 diabetics to let them know that it is possible for people with diabetes to achieve normal blood glucose levels, and that by doing so, they can avoid or even reverse the terrible complications of diabetes, such as blindness, impotence, kidney failure, amputation, or death by heart attack. The author’s goal is to encourage readers to become a member of “The 5% Club” by keeping their A1c under 6%, and to teach readers how to tell if any diabetes strategy they are using is working for them.

The book provides an in-depth discussion about the various causes of diabetes, the role of insulin, and how normal blood glucose deteriorates into diabetes. It also contains useful conversions for mg/dl into mmol/L, whole blood calibrated readings into plasma calibrated readings, and an explanation of all of the blood glucose tests.

The author explains numerous research studies throughout the text and uses them to back up the concepts in her book. In one chapter, she carefully debunks the myth that obesity causes diabetes. Instead, new research findings are showing people become insulin resistant before they become fat. In other words, it is much more likely that diabetes causes obesity than the other way around.

In another chapter, the author recommends that Type 2 diabetics should keep their post-meal blood glucose spikes under 140 mg/dl at all times to help eliminate long-term complications and organ damage. Readers will learn how to lower their blood glucose through a multi-step process that involves changing their food choices, selecting the safest oral drugs that work, and taking insulin when diet and drugs together cannot get the reader’s blood glucose levels back to normal. 

Readers will learn how to create their own personal diabetes meal plan using three simple tools: their blood glucose meter, a log of their blood glucose test results, and a good nutritional reference for the foods they eat. The book offers guidance in selecting and using a blood glucose meter, charts of post-meal blood glucose targets, and information about carbohydrates in food, low carbohydrate diets, and eating out in restaurants. The book does not, however, contain any food or calorie counting charts.  Instead, the reader is referred to several websites.

The latter part of the book reviews the effectiveness and side effects of the most commonly prescribed oral anti-diabetic drugs and insulin, evaluates the research findings of many high-priced supplements and so-called healing foods, and offers tips on exercise and working with doctors and hospitals. The author includes some of her own favorite low carbohydrate recipes at the end of the book.  

This book is very informative, easy-to-read, and well-researched, and readers will have a much better understanding about the disease process of diabetes and will have the tools they need to join “The 5% Club.”  Readers may also visit the author’s website at to keep informed of the latest diabetes news from Jenny Ruhl.

Copyright © 2008 Diabetes In Control, Inc.