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December 15, 2001

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Brooklyn, New York, USA:

I am 45 years old, 5 feet 4 inches tall, 168 pounds, and yesterday I was diagnosed with diabetes. They put me on 1500 calorie diet with no medicine, and the dietitian said not to have more than 3 grams of sugar per meal. She told me to have a piece of fruit with my meals for breakfast and lunch. Is each piece of fruit more than 3 grams? Is one piece of chicken (example: a chicken leg) considered to be 1 ounce?

Answer:

I would talk with your dietitian and make sure that 3 grams of sugar was really the information that was conveyed because it would be very hard to stick with a meal that has less than 3 grams of sugar. Maybe what the RD meant was three servings of carb (or about 45 grams of carbohydrate) per meal, rather than 3 grams of sugar. Nowadays, folks with diabetes have been instructed to watch carbohydrate servings as opposed to just sugar, since sugar is only one component of carbohydrate. A medium piece of fresh fruit (like an apple) has no added sugar but has about 15 grams of carbohydrate. A chicken leg is somewhere between 2-3 ounces of protein.

JMS