Type 1 Diabetes Diet Plan for Beginners

Type 1 Diabetes Diet Plan for Beginners

A solid type 1 diabetes diet may seem challenging, but experts point out that a diet suitable for people with the condition is actually not very different from a regular, recommended healthy diet for all people. A good diabetic diet will focus on as much whole food as possible, omitting those that are heavily processed and refined, and will include whole grains, lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies and low fat dairy products. Carbohydrates are the biggest hurdle facing sufferers, and this pitfall can be especially challenging when dealing with type 1 diabetes in children.

Insulin is the primary form of type 1 diabetes treatment. Although used in most people with both types of diabetes, those with type 1 may have a harder time striking the delicate balance necessary between insulin dosage and blood sugar levels. Therefore, a type 1 diabetes diet becomes just as integral a component to type 1 diabetes treatment as the medicine itself, because the dosage of the medicine is directly impacted by food ingestion. Carbohydrates remain the biggest challenge, because they affect the blood sugar the most.

Another pitfall for persons on a type 1 diabetes diet relates to various natural chemicals that are found in foods, herbs and spices. For instance, cinnamon is becoming a better known natural diabetes treatment and has been shown to naturally lower blood sugar levels, especially when taken regularly over time. But, in a person on a type 1 diabetes diet, these natural compounds may have too much an effect on blood sugar levels, and may need to be included only occasionally or sparingly.

Because of the hurdles that type 1 diabetics can face, most of them turn to a healthcare provider or counselor for help with planning out an appropriate type 1 diabetes diet. These resources can provide instruction on counting carbs such as how to calculate carbs when swapping for fiber sources. For most people, a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes includes working with a dietician or nutritionist in order to better understand a diabetic diet menu and how different foods affect blood sugar levels. They also provide information on managing portions and snacks and beverages too.

One easy sample diabetic diet revolves around something called the plate method. Especially when working with whole foods like fresh produce, this can be particularly beneficial. This type 1 diabetes diet uses a dinner plate to help with the measurements. People take their dinner plate, and reserve one half for non starchy vegetables like spinach or broccoli. The remaining one half is divided yet again, with one half of that space reserved for a lean source of protein like fish or skinless chicken. The balance of the plate is left for a starchy food item like beans or rice. It’s important to remember that this small portion of the plate is often the one that causes the most problems, and making good choices here is the most important part of a type 1 diabetes diet. Starches like brown rice, lentils, couscous, quinoa and other whole grains are far superior choices to white potatoes or white rice.

Although dinner might be the most challenging meal of the day, people with type 1 diabetes have a whole lot of day to get through before ever reaching the dinner table. Starting with breakfast, appropriate menu items might include a scrambled egg and a piece of whole wheat toast accompanied by a piece of fruit. Lunch provides a great opportunity to enjoy a salad full of fresh greens and a low fat dairy product such as yogurt. These choices will make getting through the day easier and help keep blood sugar levels balanced as a part of a type 1 diabetes diet.