Type 1 Diabetes diet and its control – In Type 1 Diabetes, your body cannot release insulin which results in a high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia). If the condition is not managed or controlled then it can cause severe complications like kidney damage, heart diseases, blindness, etc.
The most important step to manage and handle Type 1 diabetes is to have insulin therapy, to maintain your lifestyle (exercise daily) and to have a calculated diabetic diet (carbohydrates, fats and protein). The article is designed to share the complete guide of Type 1 diabetes diet and its control.
For the complete basic guide of Type 1 Diabetes click here.
Tips to choose the right food for Type 1 diabetics
There is not a list of the standard meal or type 1 diabetic diet. The most crucial factors that affect the blood sugar of diabetics is, the timings at which food is taken and the glycemic index of food.
Glycemic index determines how fast a meal can raise your blood glucose level after eating. Having low GI foods, controlling food portions and managing the meal timing is what keeps your blood sugar under control.
Click for Glycemic index of foods.
How to determine carbohydrate to insulin ratio?
You need to consistently monitor your blood sugar level to schedule and set your food portions. There cannot be explained a strict list or portions of diabetic meals because every person has a different metabolic system and your body reacts to the food differently.
Measure the amount of blood sugar before and after taking meals to determine the right amount of carbohydrates. The insulin therapy can be aligned with your meals according to carbohydrate intake and doctor’s consultation.
There are two terms used for the insulin coverage for carbohydrate amount. Bolus refers to the insulin to carbohydrate ratio which determines the quantities of grams of carbs are covered by the one unit of insulin.
Basal insulin is slow-acting background insulin taken before bedtime or between mealtimes to control blood sugar. Finding the right amount of carbohydrate to insulin ratio is the most important step for Type 1 Diabetic.
For instance, you would require 1 unit of rapid-acting insulin for every 10 grams of carbohydrates. Add the number of units of insulin with the addition of every 10 grams of carbohydrates.
To know about different types of insulin visit here.
According to the Mayo Clinic, your body sugar level must at the normal level to avoid any complications. The recommended amount of blood sugar before meals should be between the 80 and 130 mg/dL in the daytime and no higher than 180 mg/dL after two hours of a meal.
Type 1 Diabetes diet and foods
There is not a strict diet or food list for Type 1 Diabetics whereas people are recommended to eat foods with low fat and high fibre which does not readily digest in the body. You should avoid refined carbohydrates, animal products and sugary foods.
People with Type 1 Diabetes need to eat daily at the same time to maintain their blood glucose level. If you skip a meal and take your diabetes medicine or insulin it can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
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Use the Plate Method for a balanced diet
Always eat the right portion of the meal by counting your carbohydrate level in the plate. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, you can use the plate method to control the portion size of your meal.
Take a 9 nine inches plate and put non-starchy vegetables in the half plate, protein or meat portion at other ¼ part and gain or starch (peas or corn) in remaining ¼ part of the plate. You can also take a small fruit bowl or a small glass of milk with your meal.
There is a different type of carbohydrates such as starch, sugars and fibres. Sugars and starch raise your blood sugar faster. You may add some amount of fast-acting sugar foods (about 15 grams) in your meal by managing portion size.
It is easy to calculate the carbohydrate quantity of your food by keeping an eye on food labels or by consulting reference websites. However, there is not mentioned a strict quantity of carbohydrates which you can eat daily. You can consult your nutritionist for the strict diet plan.
Vegetables contain 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates are 2 tablespoons raisins, 4-6 crackers, ¼ cup of fruit juice, 1 tablespoon honey, ¼ cup of fruit juice.
Fruits containing 15 grams of fast-acting sugars are ¼ cup dried fruit, canned fruit ½ cup, grapes 3 ounces, small bowl fresh fruit, berries or melon about 1 small cup.
Starchy vegetables have 15 of carbohydrates are corn ½ cup, baked potato 3 ounces, ½ cup peas, 1/2 winter squash.
Manage the number of carbohydrates for every meal plan with your doctor’s consultation.
Fibre Rich Food – Fiber containing foods are considered to be superfoods for Type 1 diabetes and are examined to be effective to control Type 1 diabetes complications. They do not only satisfy your hunger but are also a great source of nutrients and vitamins.
Some of the fibre rich foods are berries, oatmeal, pears and apples, peas, lentils, flax and chia seeds. Eat whole-grain foods such as brown rice, quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal, whole wheat bread and bran cereals.
Alcohol Consumption – Moderate amount of alcohol is fine to consume. A woman can take 1 small drink and a man can take 2 small drinks of alcohol in a day.
Proteins and Fats – For proteins and fats, eat lean cut meat or meat without fats, fish, nuts, seeds and avocado. Try to make a meal plan with mixed or variety of food portions for healthy living.
Avoid trans or saturated fats animal products, refined sugar foods such as pasta, cookies, chips, pastries, white bread, sodas. Some of the low glycemic foods recommended by the American Diabetes Association that are good for Type 1 diabetes people and rich in minerals and vitamins. These are fat-free yogurt, milk, whole grain, fish, nuts, berries, tomatoes, lentils, green leafy vegetables, sweet potato, citrus fruit.
Physical activities to control Type 1 Diabetes
For a healthy lifestyle, add some exercise or physical activities to your daily routine. Start with the 5-10 minutes of exercise and add time daily (level up to 30 minutes) according to your convenience. Some of the physical activities you can do
Walking during house chores or in a park
- Use stairs instead of the elevator
- Arrange outings with your family, use bikes
- Do lifting or stretching exercises
- You also can go for hiking
- Do sports like tennis or basketball
- Diabetes food Portion Recommendations
Below is the portions recommendation chart for the Type 1 Diabetes diet according to the USDA food guide pyramid. For more
Here are some meal recommendations by the UK Diabetes Organization.
Note: Always consult your nutritionist or dietitian before making a diet plan. Your portion size can vary according to your metabolic system, medication or insulin intake.