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From Cairo, Egypt:

I'm a 24 year old female, newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic 2 months ago. My readings are within 70 to 130. I'm on 3 injections daily, and a 1500 calories diet. Our Egyptian cuisine depends largely on high-fat meals. To make up for the high-fat lunch, I'm thinking of substituting my breakfast and dinner with a proper amount of fruits. The problem is that in Egypt we do not have nutritionists nor food educators to ask.

Please advise if it's healthy to eat only fruits at breakfast and dinner, and if the answer is yes, what's the proper amount and will I feel more hungry?


It sounds like you are working very hard to control your blood sugars. You do not mention if you are maintaining an even weight gain.

I really cannot answer your question specifically. I believe that a variety of foods in each meal is probably a good plan. An all fruit breakfast and dinner may not satisfy your hunger and may not support your blood sugars overnight. I would suggest if you add fruit to add no more than two servings to a meal. I am sorry to say I am not familiar with your cuisine but including grains, protein and fruits and vegetables in moderate amounts may help. The fat content of the food is less of an issue unless it is causing your blood sugars to be high or if you are gaining weight too fast.


Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:

I have several questions:

  • I would like to know your meal plan. I would think that if you substituted all of your starches for fruit, you would have at least 3-4 servings of fruit per meal. If you checked blood glucoses about 1 1/2 to 2 hours after the breakfast and lunch meals and they were within your target range, then I would think it would be OK to switch all of your carbohydrates to fruit servings at those meals. I, like Joyce, am wary of leaving proteins out at the evening meal due to possible low blood glucoses overnight.

  • I do not have any ideas for low fat protein foods unless I know what was available there. I tried to see if there were any ethnic series on Egyptian foods put out by the Diabetes Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association, but could not find one. That would have helped give us some food ideas and how to use your native foods.

  • If you are of average height and weight and somewhat active, 1500 calories does not seem like much to eat.

  • I looked in the American Diabetes Association Directory and found a listing of quite a few doctors in Egypt who are ADA members; I wonder if one of them could be of more help with the meal plan, etc.


Additional Comments from Betty Brackenridge, diabetes dietitian:

I would add that eating only fruit for breakfast and dinner would probably require a significant increase in the insulin doses for those meals in order to maintain glucose control -- since carbohydrates like the sugars in fruit require more insulin for their metabolism than do fats or proteins. With no fat, protein or more slowly absorbed carbohydrates at these meals, you would also be more likely to have problems with low blood sugars between meals. Are there other cuisines in the region similar to Egyptian - I have some contacts on other middle Eastern countries who might be of assistance if the cuisine is sufficiently similar. I don't know if it's an acceptable alternative, but there are some excellent centers treating type 1 diabetes in Israel and they do have qualified nutritionists there.


Original posting 21 Sep 1998
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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