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Chef Becker and Dr. Shapiro: Eat and Beat Diabetes

Chef Franklin Becker was born and raised in Brooklyn.  After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Becker began working in the heart of New York City.  He served as executive chef of many world-renowned restaurants such as Capitale, Trinity at the Tribeca Grand Hotel and the Brasserie in Midtown.  Throughout his career, Becker received reviews for having “a talent for delivering big, punchy flavors.”  Then in 1997, Becker thought his career was over when he heard the devastating news: he had type II diabetes.  Rather than despair, Becker transformed his cooking style.  In the process, he lost 35 pounds!

While working on a project with Dr. Howard Shapiro, Becker told him how he lost weight after his diagnosis and how he made recipes for diabetics.  Together they came up with a plan to eat and beat type II diabetes.  Dr. Shapiro took the concepts from his Picture Perfect Weight Loss, which is a unique visual program for weight loss where dieters are presented with images of food and information is provided in regard to their caloric content.

A large part of the program involves comparing higher calorie foods with servings of lower calorie foods in terms of photographs. This system allows dieters to increase their awareness of the calories in food without having to rigidly count calories.  Dr. Shapiro highlights the fact that his program is not about deprivation but about learning to select filling nutritious foods that will not provide an excess of calories.  He maintains that you can actually eat more food and still lose weight so long as you have an awareness of which foods contain the most calories.

Dr. Shapiro reminds us that diabetes is the nation’s #6 killer of Americans.  If a woman is diagnosed with diabetes before the age of 40, her life span is shortened by 14 years.  For a man, take off 11 years.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 57 million people are prediabetic with abnormal blood sugar levels but don’t know it.  Every day, 2,200 Americans are actually diagnosed with the disease.  With childhood obesity on the rise, the disease is showing up earlier and earlier in our children.  “Diabetes and the excess weight that so often lead to it are a major cause of the reality that today’s rising generation is the first ever expected to have a shorter life span than that of its parents,” says Dr. Shapiro.

There are four nutrients that can not just control diabetes, but they can beat it (literally reverse its effects):

Fiber slows digestion and retards the process by which sugar enters the blood stream.  Phytonutrients are nutrients found in plants and defend the cells of the body from damage.  Soy protein regulates glucose and insulin levels, lowers cardiovascular disease and kidney disease and advances weight loss.  Good fats lower cholesterol and decrease insulin resistance.

Free Factsheet

ChefBeckerRecipies_SM.jpgFour Foods That Fight Diabetes

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