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March 13, 2002

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from DeKalb, Illinois, USA:

My 61 year old mother, who has had type 2 diabetes for about a year and a half, thinks that eating only two fruits a day will keep her blood sugars in check and will help her lose the weight that her doctors are on her back about. Where can I find information about a diet plan for her? I want to help her, but I can't find a website that will lay out a diet plan for a week, just so she can see what kinds of things she should be eating and the quantities that are appropriate.

Answer:

It is very important that people with type�2 diabetes, like your mother, follow a diabetes meal plan to obtain optimal blood sugar control. Meal planning is the keystone for people with type 2 diabetes. Yes, fruit does raise blood sugar but limiting fruit needlessly is not a good idea also because of all of the vitamins and minerals in fruit. The total carbohydrate in a meal or snack is stressed more nowadays than the source of the carbohydrate.

I would suggest that you and your mother ask the physician in charge of your mother’s health care for a referral to a registered dietitian who specializes in diabetes. He/she can develop an individualized meal plan based on your mother’s eating times and food preferences.

JMS

[Editor’s comment: Use the Food Guide Pyramid as a place to start, but please have your mother see a dietitian as Mike has suggested.

SS]