I’ve been trying to eat fewer animal sources of protein, but menu plans don’t list carbohydrates.

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I have IDDM (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) and am a 37-year-old female, 5 feet 2 inch, 58 kilograms (128 pounds), 57-gram protein/day meal plan, up from 40 gram/day based on 0.8 gram/day healthy body weight. Protein was increased after a period with negative creatinine clearance tests. I’ve been trying to eat fewer animal sources of protein, hoping it would give me more quantity of food, but I’m stumped with the American Diabetes Association month of meals 5 (vegetarian) since it doesn’t list carbohydrates per meal, only exchanges and it states in the book one exchange may have been substituted for another.

The exchanges that have carbohydrate are starch – 15 grams, fruit – 15 grams, milk – 12 grams and vegetable – 5 grams. Refer to your exchange list booklet for more details. If you are carbohydrate counting then you do need to know the carbohydrates per meal.

Each meal in the American Diabetes Associations Month of Meals lists the total exchanges per meal. Number 5 book is now called vegetarian.

If your protein has been restricted because of an elevated creatinine clearance (reflects the breakdown of muscle and organs in the body which occurs in kidney disease), then you need high biologic value protein which is found in animal products. Animal sources of protein contain all 8 essential amino acids (complete protein). Egg protein is close to the ideal proportion of amino acids humans need.

If you are eating vegetable sources of protein, you may not be getting complete proteins from one day of meals. Unless you eat soybeans which are complete proteins.

I think it would be beneficial for you to see a registered dietitian to develop an eating plan that considers all your health needs.