Thursday, April 21, 2011

Prediabetes and sugar

Question:  I was recently diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes and was wondering how strict my diet really needs to be?  Does every meal and snack need to be completely sugar and carb free?

Answer:  The best thing to do if you have pre-diabetes is to eat small, frequent meals, make mostly healthy food choices, and step up your daily activity.

 I actually encourage all of my patients with prediabetes, type 1 or type 2 diabetes to make sure they are having some carb everytime they eat.  I have patients focus on total carbohydrate content at meals and snacks.  Sugar is part of the total carb so it does not need to be taken into separate consideration - JUST FOCUS ON TOTAL CARBS.   General guidelines for carbs are 45-60g per meal and 15-30g carb per snack.  Individual needs may vary - it is recommended that you meet with a dietitian to figure out what amounts are best for you.

Is is nearly impossible to have a "sugar-free" diet as even many healthy foods contain natural sugars.  Just try to stick with more healthy food choices like whole grains, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein choices.  Save the unhealthy carbs like chips, snack foods, and sweets for special occasions.

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