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Ask Dr. Gourmet

What is a healthy weight for a Type 2 diabetic?

My husband John just found out a couple months ago he has type 2 diabetes. He had always weighed around 165 and now is down to 147. What can we feed the man to put some meat back on his bones but won't make his blood sugar high? I think he is being too strict with his diet. He is going to be taking a class but I thought maybe you would have some suggestions or recipes we could try.

Dr. Gourmet Says....

This question needs a little more information to answer properly, but we can get started with the following. The first information that is needed is your husband's height. This can give you an idea of his ideal body weight. The formula below is not perfect but it is a good guideline.

Calculate this (for men) by allowing 106 pounds for the first 5 feet and then 6 pounds for each inch over 5 feet. So, ideal body weight for a 5'7" man would be 148 pounds [106 + (7 x 6)]. Diabetics do better at or just below ideal body weight. There are a lot of reasons for this and this is not really the place for that discussion... but suffice it to say that you may not want to put meat back on his bones. As a diabetic he needs to be lean and as such it is important for him to be very careful with his diet. He really can't be "too strict" as you say.

There is very good data that says if he is lean and very careful with his blood sugars he will live longer. But living longer is only part of it. He will have fewer problems with his eyes, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, risk for stroke, impotence, difficulty with infections... the list goes on and on.

The good news is that a Mediterranean style diet is the best diet for helping control Type 2 diabetes. All of the Dr. Gourmet meal plans and recipes are based on Mediterranean Diet principles, making them ideal for those with Type 2 diabetes. Here's where you can learn more about the Mediterranean Diet.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet