Soulful Advice for African Americans with Diabetes

This press release is an announcement submitted by Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN (, and was not written by Diabetes Health.

Mar 14, 2007

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

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

“African Americans are more susceptible to diabetes than whites. They also have a higher rate of obesity, which also increases the risk of diabetes. Another reason is cultural—the food required to lower diabetic risk and control diabetes is atypical for many African Americans.”

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

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

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

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

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

She’s created a “Soul Food Pyramid” which organizes food by carbohydrates, and helps people understand how to manage the most serious bad actor—glucose easier. The book also contains easy to understand illustrations and charts that include all the necessary nutritional information a person needs to manage their diabetes.

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

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

This book provides life-saving information for people with diabetes and will help educate families while also serving as an excellent resource for health care providers and diabetes and dietetics professionals.

Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes by Constance Brown-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 than twenty-five years of experience in nutrition and dietetics.

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

She is principal of CBR Nutrition Enterprises, located in Massapequa, 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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Categories: Book Reviews, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Food News

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Mar 14, 2007

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