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November 27, 2002

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Richmond, Indiana, USA:

Since things like chicken, hot dogs, hamburger, cheese and eggs do not have carbs, are they considered free foods or do they need limitations?

Answer:

You ask a good question with regard to the effect of protein and/or fat on postprandial blood sugars. Although proteins do not affect blood sugars as much or as quickly as carbohydrate (100% within an hour for carb versus 50% within two to three hours for protein), they still need to be incorporated into a meal plan and not counted simply as a free food. A free food is categorized as any food or drink that contains less than 20 calories or less than 5 grams of carb per serving.

JMS