Eat well, live well.

It is a simple message, but one which resonates loudly with Olympic shot put queen Dame Valerie Adams.

The 34-year-old is backing a new recipe book being released by Diabetes New Zealand; aimed at helping people with diabetes make healthier food choices.

The book, Eat Well Live Well, features dozens of recipes from some of New Zealand's most well known chefs and foodies; including Simon and Alison Holst, Robert Oliver, Kit Perera and MasterChef New Zealand celebrity cooks Brett McGregor and Jax Hamilton.


Adams, who gives the foreword in the book, shared that her late mother had type 2 diabetes; as did more than 50 per cent of her family in that generation or older.

"I feel it's an obligation for myself to do what I can to make sure that it's not like that for my generation and beyond.

"Diabetes is a real issue amongst the Pacific Island people and I think it's really important that we take the time to help show our communities that you can still enjoy the fruits of life...but think about your health.''

Statistics from the Ministry of Health show more than 200,000 people in New Zealand have been diagnosed with the disease. The majority have type 2 diabetes and the prevalence of diabetes in Māori and Pasifika is about three times higher than other Kiwis.

Another estimated 100,000 people are living with the disease but do not know it.

The book will be launched at the Giraffe Restaurant, in Auckland, tomorrow. It coincides with Diabetes Action Month this month, which is promoting the theme: Act now to live well.

Giraffe is owned by Kiwi celebrity chef Simon Gault, who also has diabetes.

"As a chef and having battled type 2 diabetes myself, I'm all too familiar with how smart and inventive you have to be to put healthy food on the table."

Recipes in the book include vegetarian options, mains, salads and desserts; and also has healthy versions of traditional Indian, Sri Lankan, Thai and Pasifika dishes such as povi māsima (corned beef) and sapasui (chop suey).

There is a take on the classic boil-up and parents who have children with diabetes will find snack and lunchbox ideas too.

All the profits from the book will go to supporting Diabetes NZ's work.

Dame Val, who is mum to 1-year-old Kimoana and is expecting her second child, said she loved to bake and cook to get away from the "stresses of competition.''

"I want to instil in my own family, as well as those in my wider community, that it's important to look after yourself and your loved ones and always try to live a healthy life as best you can.''