Dietary Advice for Adults with Type 1 diabetes.
When you have Type 1 diabetes it is important that, like everyone else, you eat regularly and follow a healthy eating plan that is low in refined sugars and fat. This means choosing lower fat options when eating meat, poultry, dairy products and spreads, enjoying a good variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, getting the majority of your energy from unrefined and whole grain starches (e.g. potatoes and wholegrain bread and cereals) and keeping high sugar, high fat foods as treats only. You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health and no single food supplies them all. Eating a wide variety of foods is the key to ensuring that you get all the nutrients you need. For further information on healthy eating see Food Groups
However, because you have Type 1 and are on insulin there are certain aspects of your diet that you need to pay particular attention to.
- What you eat. Along with your daily activity levels, what your eat determines how you manage your diabetes. This particularly applies to your carbohydrate intake – see Truth about Carbs. How much carbohydrate you should eat depends on your calorie needs which are related to your age and activity levels. Work with your dietitan to determine your dietary intake and with your diabetes team to establish the insulin regime to suit your dietary intake and lifestyle.
- When you eat. Regular meals are the key to healthy eating but also allow a steady input of sugar into your blood stream. Having roughly the same amount of carbohydrate at the same time each day is helpful in maintaining good blood glucose control. (if you are adjusting insulin, this may not apply).
- Knowing what is in the foods you eat. This can help you make healthier food choices and if you are learning how to count your carbohydrate intake knowing what is in your food is essential – see Carbohydrate Counting. Looking at food labels can determine how much carbohydrate is in a food item so learning how to read food labels is an important step in this process – See Understanding Food Labels.However, knowing how much carbohydrate to eat does not necessarily mean that all foods will affect your blood sugar level in the same way – See Glyceamic Index