Soulful Advice for African Americans with Diabetes

New York, NY – According to NY Department of Health and MentalHygiene report released January 30, 2007, one in eight adults in NewYork City has diabetes. Among those, African Americans have one ofthe highest rates at nearly 14.5%. Nationwide 2.6 million AfricanAmericans over the age of 20 have diabetes. That’s 10 AfricanAmericans for every 6 white Americans with diabetes. Of the 2.8million African Americans with diabetes, only 1.5 million have beendiagnosed. An estimated 730,000 don’t even know they have thedisease!

Constance Brown-Riggs, a New York State Certified NutritionistDiabetes Educator and author of the new book Eating Soulfully andHealthfully with Diabetes, explains the reasons for this disparity.

“African Americans are more susceptible to diabetes thanwhites. They also have a higher rate of obesity, which alsoincreases the risk of diabetes. Another reason is cultural—thefood required to lower diabetic risk and control diabetes isatypical for many African Americans.”

Her new book is a comprehensive guide that provides nutritioninformation and carbohydrate-counts for foods, particularly thosethat will appeal African Americans who suffer from diabetes.

“The first step to prevent and manage diabetes iseducation,” she says. “Learn about it now. Take areality pill and wake up to what’s facing you. The dangers ofdiabetes include higher risk of complications like kidney failure,visual impairment, or amputation.”

The hardest thing for people with diabetes is eating the right foodsin the right quantity.

“People just hate to be told ‘stay away fromsugar,’ or ‘just eat smaller portions’.It’s really difficult and frustrating.”

Brown-Riggs book has devised several ways for people with diabetesto be mindful of their eating habits while still enjoying foodspopular in the American South and the Caribbean.

She’s created a “Soul Food Pyramid” whichorganizes food by carbohydrates, and helps people understand how tomanage the most serious bad actor—glucose easier. The book alsocontains easy to understand illustrations and charts that includeall the necessary nutritional information a person needs to managetheir diabetes.

She covers the crucial topics—things like portion size, calories,fat and carbohydrate, and how to determine and track carb choicesand exchanges. She also provides menus that include favorite foodslike turkey sausage and omelets, and dishes like blackened catfishand stewed tomatoes and okra. One of the most helpful tools is thetwo-week soul food menu plan.

African Americans will enjoy her emphasis on traditional ethnic fareand she provides enjoyable ways to maintain normal glucose levelsand healthy food intake. The book includes an extensive listing oftraditional foods from the South and Caribbean, helpful advice onfast food and brand-name recognition, nutrient information andlabel-reading.

This book provides life-saving information for people with diabetesand will help educate families while also serving as an excellentresource for health care providers and diabetes and dieteticsprofessionals.

Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes by ConstanceBrown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN

  • 220 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • Multiple charts
  • Line illustrations
  • ISBN-10: 0-595-38051-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-595-38051-0
  • $17.95 trade paperback
  • Publication date: June 2006
  • Published by iUniverse, Inc.

Available at bookstores nationwide or online

For more information visit or call 1-800-288-4677.

About the Author

Constance Brown-Riggs is a nationally recognized nutritionist,registered dietitian, and certified diabetes educator with more thantwenty-five years of experience in nutrition and dietetics.

She is frequently interviewed by ESSENCE Magazine for health-relatedstories. She designed the personalized weight-loss meal plans forthe health and fitness makeover participants in the ESSENCE TotalMakeover Book, published January 2001. She was also the nutritionexpert for Lighten Up: The HealthQuest 30-day Weight-Loss Program,published October 2001.

She is principal of CBR Nutrition Enterprises, located inMassapequa, New York.

To request a review copy, arrange an interview with Constance Brown-Riggs, request cover art to be sent to you electronically, or for any additional information, please contact Constance Brown-Riggs, 516-795-4288,

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