What is Type 1 Diabetes Diet?
Type 1 diabetes is an incurable health problem brought about by the inability of the pancreas to produce the essential insulin for the process of getting the cells to absorb the sugar in the blood. This hormone, insulin, assists in the proper metabolism of carbohydrates as well as fats. When there is no insulin to move sugar into the cells to be kept and converted into energy, the sugar level in the blood increases. Since too high a level of sugar in the blood, also too low a level of sugar in the blood, can result in health complications, type 1 diabetics need to control their blood glucose levels well.
Besides other treatments, a healthy, controlled diet is essential in the management of type 1 diabetes. Such a type 1 diabetes diet is planned to derive the most nutrition and lessen the intake of sugar, sodium and carbohydrates. However, there can never be a diabetes diet suitable for all diabetics because a lot depends upon how certain foods consumed by you affect your body.
Is there a need for a type 1 diabetes diet?
Type 1 diabetics have to measure and keep careful watch over their blood glucose levels. With no suitable diabetes diet, insufficient exercise, and no insulin, health complications are bound to happen to a type 1 diabetic. The complications connected to this type of diabetes are given below:
- Poor vision.
- Hypertension which can lead to heart diseases and blood circulation problems.
- Damage to the kidney.
- Damage to the nerve.
- Skin problems, such as sores as well as infections, which can result in tissue death.
Having a dietitian or a nutritionist guide you towards a suitable healthy diet for you can reduce the problems resulting from type 1 diabetes. By preventing complications from occurring, life can be so much better.
Diabetes & Associated Complications – Video Guide
How to prepare for type 1 diabetes?
There is no one diet which is suitable for all diabetics. Your dietitian or nutritionist will have to decide on a diet that is right for you. When it comes to your meals, it has to be planned in advance so that there is no running out of supplies and being forced by such a circumstance to simply grab anything available for a meal. Of course, that means you have to shop for healthy food and store them at home. When shopping, give special attention to the contents of the labels to know how much carbohydrate is in the food you are going to eat. Do not be tempted to buy fast food or processed food even though you wish to save time or money as these food have hardly any nutrient and contains too much fat, salt and sugar. Being prepared with suitable healthy food in your kitchen can only mean very much less sugar, sodium, fat, and carbohydrates which can cause your blood glucose level to shoot upwards. Being consistent is important in the proper control of blood glucose levels. Strictly follow your schedule and miss no meal, eating at the time set. The Mayo Clinic gives the daytime range for blood glucose as between 80 and 120 mg/dL. and the bedtime range as between 100 and 140 mg/dL.
Planning a type 1 diabetes diet
In planning a type 1 diabetes diet, concentrate on foods with lots of nutrients, vitamins and minerals and leave out those which are just carbohydrates only or containing lots of fat and sugar. The recommended diet is actually good for everybody, not just diabetics.
Some fruits contain plenty of sugar as well and therefore, should be listed under carbohydrates too if you are planning a diet. Fruits are better eaten fresh. Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and oranges, are the most suitable.
A lot of vegetables, including potatoes, peas and corn, contain starch which is another form of sugar. Such vegetables are not altogether bad but since they contain a lot more carbohydrates compared to the leafy ones, they should be eaten less often. Use more often those vegetables that contain less carbohydrates but has lots of minerals, vitamins phytochemicals and fiber such as the ones given below.
- Almost all leafy vegetable which are green.
Remember to buy only vegetable which are fresh with no salt or sauces added to it. If fresh vegetables are not available, then choose frozen vegetables.
Although whole grains do contain carbohydrates and sugar, they provide you with so much nutrition as well as lots of fiber. You gets these benefits when you consume bran cereal, brown rice, and the various types of bread made with whole grains.
Carbohydrates change to glucose in your bloodstream and make the level of your blood glucose rise approximately an hour after your meal. Carbohydrates comprise of three kinds, namely starches, fiber, and sugar. You get carbohydrates from starchy vegetables, beans, fruit juices, bread, or pasta .
The UMHS(University of Michigan Health System) suggests having your blood glucose tested before a meal as well as two hours after to find out whether the quantity of carbohydrates consumed is right for you as well as your planned diet.
Proteins are essential in the maintenance of muscles and the repairing of torn muscles and skin. Proteins can be obtained from meats, eggs and beans.
Although protein does not increase your blood glucose, fat and processed meats have lots of fat, sodium, and cholesterol which can bring along other health problems.
When to Eat
The first meal of the day is the most important as a nutritious breakfast can raise your blood glucose after a whole night’s fast.
Any kind of activity which requires movement from your body will lower your blood glucose. So, before any forceful activity, you should test your blood glucose before as well as after the activity. The results will assist you to decide the amount you ought to eat to have a healthy glucose level. Having smaller meals and giving yourself several snacks the whole day can assist you in maintaining the blood glucose levels without too great a rise. You can take along fruits, nuts, vegetables, and certain foods wherever you go so that they are easily available whenever you require them.
Big meals can increase your blood glucose level fast and are certainly not good for the diabetic. However, in life, there are times when big meals are a must, some coming as a part of tradition. At such times, you have to watch out for your blood glucose and adjust the dosage of your insulin to suit the occasion.
You can get a list of every known foods as well as drinks together with their effects on your diabetes diet from the ADA(American Diabetes Association).
Long-Term Outlook for a type 1 diabetes diet
Having to get used to type 1 diabetes can be difficult. However, with regular actions, things become easier and manageable.
Living with diabetes has to do with being careful with the choice of foods and realizing the effects these foods have on your body.
Reach out to your doctor, nutritionist, and dietitian for assistance to plan a type 1 diabetic diet. You can be assured that they can help you with all the instructions necessary to plan such a diet.