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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Proper Diet for Diabetics
Posted by: Rick
Date: February 3, 2007 11:21 AM

I am 52 years old and have been diagnosed with diabetes. The dietician that I am seeing wants me to eat 45-60 carbs per meal 3 times per day. I am checking my sugar every day. I am 100 pounds overweight and I would prefer to consume fewer carbs per day. What are your thoughts?

RE: Proper Diet for Diabetics
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.,
Date: February 3, 2007 6:19 PM

The thing which stands out here is the 100 pounds overweight. That kind of excess weight predisposes you to diabetes, and it is possible that diabetes would not be manifest without that extra weight. Weight loss is the key element here. As weight comes down, you want to avoid elevated blood sugar and ketoacidosis. A balanced diet of protein, fats and carbs is OK - your system needs all three - but the carbs should be the low glycemic variety (colored vegetables). These release sugar in smaller quanties and much slower. Your system is not prepared to handle sudden increases in sugar which occur when you consume simple sugars (sweets) or refined carbs (pasta, breads - anything made from refined flower), or potaotes or rice. But back to weight loss. Counting calories is not that useful, in my experience, but selection of proper food is if it is combined with exercise. You should be evaluated by a cardiologist and have that person advise you on an exercise program. It is unlikely that your therapy will progress apace without that element. Exercise not only leads to weight loss, but also lowers blood sugar by making the insulin receptors more responsive.



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