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November 16, 2001

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Grayslake, Illinois, USA

My three year old son and I both have diabetes, and I have been doing a lot of research which leads me to believe that the diabetic diet is still too high in carbs. I think a lot of doctors are going with the low carb zone diet (40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein). It eliminates the high rise in blood sugars after meals, and you can use less insulin. I think people are looking for low carbs snacks, and I think a low carb zone diet for kids controls blood sugars a lot better.


There are quite a few professionals that feel that the meal plan for those with diabetes should be more restricted in carbohydrates than the guidelines from the American Diabetes Association or the USDA Food Guide Pyramid, but I do not think there are any studies that show better blood glucose control or fewer complications if one uses less insulin, which usually happens when adhering to a diet lower in carbohydrate. One challenge of that meal plan is that a lot of fat can be consumed, and, over the long haul, that seems to result in more vascular problems. Limiting carbohydrates can also make planning meals more challenging since carbohydrates are in so many foods, as starches, vegetables, fruits, milk. Keep in mind they are an excellent source of nutrients which are vital to the body so careful meal planning is essential, especially for growth periods. LSF