Dietitian of Canada Members in Action Newsletter

October 2008  Volume 9 Issue 10

Author: Valerie Irvine “Denise draws on her personal experience with hypoglycemia as well as counseling numerous patients. The book outlines blood sugar values to detect both fasting and reactive hypoglycemia. The glossary of terms would benefit the lay reader. Charts outline both high satiety and energy dense foods. The title refers to the fact many individuals go undiagnosed and therefore struggle with overeating and weight issues.

Several methods for calculating calories for weight are provided. Dietary management focuses on regular meals and snacks and is based on the American pyramid. Menu planning is based on exchanges similar to diabetic exchanges. Several meal plans outline choices for varying calorie levels. A personalized menu plan and a daily food journal are included. 

Other chapters deal with eating and exercise, dining out and PMS. Appendix 1 refers to the previous Canada's Food Guide (prior to 2007).

Individuals suffering from hypoglycemia may find this book very useful in the same way diabetics find exchange systems useful. The book is easy to read in a direct, matter of fact way...”


Eating often can help take off pounds


Montreal dietitian Denise Dubé thinks "many, many" people are walking around with an undiagnosed condition that is making them miserable and could be contributing to their inability to lose weight.





Montreal dietitian Denise Dubé thinks "many, many" people are walking around with an undiagnosed condition that is making them miserable and could be contributing to their inability to lose weight.

She should know - she once suffered from it.

The condition is called hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and Dubé says that when it is properly diagnosed, it can change your life.

She has written a book, Eat Often, Feel Great and Lose Weight (Aab Publishing), to explain the condition and propose an eating and snacking plan that she says has changed the lives of several clients.

"I couldn't believe how many clients I was seeing who were more or less all experiencing the same thing," Dubé told me. "Lack of concentration, intense hunger, irritability, sometimes headachy and trembling" are common indicators of low blood sugar.

And Dubé found that many of her clients did not know where to begin. "When I meet a client for the first time, it isn't unusual for me to spend 20 minutes dispelling myths. ... They all come to me with so many questions about low-carb diets or no-carb diets and fad diets and are confused by all the information that is out there."

That's why she decided to write the book. "I thought: Why not add my voice to the pile of books on bookstore shelves?" she said with a laugh.

The most important factor in following Dubé's eating plan is to eat often - up to six times a day. It is something many people have a difficult time doing, probably because eating more often seems to go against the traditional "diet" mentality of eating less. But by now we should all know that deprivation does not work in the long run.

Though she uses technical terms throughout the book, Dubé tries to make it easy to read and understand. "I even put technical terms in bold with a glossary at the back explaining the term to help make it easier."

The book has graphs to help with such things like estimated caloric needs based on activity level, food guides to help build your own plans and BMI charts to help figure out where you are.

Like most books geared to healthier eating, Dubé encourages food choices with "low calorie density and high satiety," such as whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. She also says it is important that foods be eaten in combination, a carb with protein and/or fat (proteins and fats slow the stomach emptying process that stabilizes blood sugar levels).

"When you understand how to keep your appetite under control, it helps prevent overeating," she said.

Dubé hopes her book will spark more research into a condition that she says is often overlooked. "I strongly urge people to seek out a dietitian to evaluate their eating habits," she said. "After all, we go to dentists and doctors yearly, why not make a dietitian a part of that routine, too."

Good point.

Eat Often, Feel Great and Lose Weight: An Eating Plan to Curb Appetite and Prevent Low Blood Sugar, by Denise Dubé, is available at Nicholas Hoare bookshop and

CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.

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