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November 18, 2001

Family Planning, Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Tampa, Florida, USA

I am 27, have had type 2 diabetes for a little over a year which is well-controlled (hemoglobin A1c of about 5%) with twice daily pre-mixed insulin, and I have recently found out that I am eight weeks pregnant. I adjust my diet and exercise according to my blood sugars, so why is my obstetrician telling me that I can no longer eat: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, onions, peas, lentils, lima beans, etc.? He said I could eat fruit, vegetables, salads, chicken, fish, and meat. He said I could get all of my carbs from fruit, and that my diet should be 50% protein, 30% complex carbs (from fruit only) and 20% "other". Won't all that protein contribute to kidney damage? I know I need more protein for the baby, but this diet just seems extreme to me. I know these foods are carbohydrates, and that they are metabolized differently (as simpler sugars), but I just don't think it sounds healthy to avoid these foods at all times for the next seven months! I agree that they should be moderated, as I know they can raise blood sugar, faster, but with my insulin, don't I need a little simple carb with a meal? I am not talking about four slices of bread, but a sandwich at lunch doesn't seem like it should be that much of a risk. Is it? I weigh and measure all of my portions, so I never eat more than I should.

ANSWER:

I would recommend that you consult with a dietitian. The items on the "do not eat" list are actually what is usually suggested as part of the diabetes diet and fruit is metabolized more quickly. Your complex carbohydrates should come from grains and pastas. OWJ