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October 19, 1999

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Illinois, USA:

What are acceptable daily grams of sugar and carbohydrates for a 58 year old female with blood test count of 131? My doctor said I should start watching my diet before I become diabetic. Food packages lists everything in grams.

Answer:

There really is no recommendation for a certain number of grams of sugar appropriate to eat. I would suggest you try cutting way back on sweets such as cookies, pies, ice cream , syrup, jam, honey regular soda, etc., that contain a good deal of sugar. Products that have more than half of the total amount of carbohydrate per serving in sugar are usually not a good choice. This may include some cereals that you may think are healthy choices. The labels on foods these days will give you the total grams of carbohydrate and the number of grams of carbohydrate that come from sugar as well. Another important facet of taking good care of yourself is to increase your exercise. Ask your doctor to give you the okay for starting an exercise program.

JM
Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:

I think we need to recommend a diabetes team regarding you an appropriate meal plan since the meal plan is very individualized (based on present eating style, weight, activity level, etc).

LSF

[Editor’s comment: If your blood sugar level of 131 was done fasting, you may have diabetes already. In any case, ask your doctor to doublecheck the value soon, and to get a glycohemoglobin test also, to help analyze if diabetes is already present. See Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes for more information.

WWQ]