I have type 2 diabetes, and I have 2 questions. I can't eat anything sugar-free because the foods always make me sick. I heard somewhere that if foods have less than 10 grams of sugar that it would be OK for me to eat. Is this true? And the other question is, my cholesterol is a little high. What kinds of foods are high in cholesterol?

Amy Campbell


Dietitians used to advise people with diabetes to look at food labels for the amount of sugar, but we’ve learned that what’s more accurate is to read labels for total carbohydrate, instead. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate, but foods tend to contain other types of carbohydrate, too. So if you only look at the label for sugar, you’ll miss other sources of carbohydrate that may affect your blood glucose. Many people with diabetes use carb counting as a meal planning approach. One carb choice contains 15 grams of carbohydrate, the amount found in one slice of bread or a small piece of fruit, for example. A typical carbohydrate goal for meals may be anywhere from 45 to 60 grams. Snack are typically 15 to 30 grams of carb. To help you lower your cholesterol, cut back on foods high in saturated fat, a type of unhealthy fat that can raise cholesterol. Foods that tend to be high in saturated fat include red meat (beef, pork, lamb, veal), chicken skin, cheese, whole milk, butter, many fast foods and desserts. Eat more skinless chicken or turkey, seafood (broiled or grilled), fruits, vegetables, nonfat or lowfat milk, beans, tub margarine and vegetable oils. It’s also a good idea to meet with a dietitian who can help you with a meal plan that helps you manage your blood glucose and your cholesterol at the same time, and answer any questions you may have about meal planning.