Type 1 Diabetes Diet Meal Planning
The main concern for
Type 1 diabetes diet is finding the correct balance between the food they
eat and the medicine they take. A well thought out diet can make all the
difference, and reduce the amount of medication and frequency of
injections required. The body needs sugar to run on. All foods are
eventually broken down into sugar, and insulin releases this sugar from
the bloodstream into the cells. In a non-diabetic, the pancreas produces
insulin as needed, but for Type 1 diabetes insulin must be injected to
release the sugar and avoid the build up of glucose in the blood.
A good plan is to keep a food and testing journal that shows your meals and
glucose test results. This will help you identify problem areas and help you
continually improve your meal planning to attain the proper balance. Take
into account any exercise plan that will help you burn calories as well.
Most insulin dependent diabetes can take an insulin injection shortly before
eating. If meals are planned to contain roughly the same amounts of
nutrients each time, it will be easier to find an adequate dosage of
insulin. Children with diabetes should be carefully monitored, as their
dietary needs will change as they grow.
Carbohydrates are the bane of diabetics diet. Although necessary for energy,
if not burned off quickly they break down fast and dump sugar into the
bloodstream. A careful balance of insulin, carb intake and exercise is
needed to maintain optimal levels of glucose in the blood. Varying your diet
too widely from meal to meal or day to day can cause fluctuations and render
it difficult to accurately pinpoint the amount of insulin required. The
average Type 1 diabetes requires around 16 calories per pound of body weight
per day, and carbs should make up no more than 50 - 60 % of the total.
If you plan ahead, you can adjust your insulin dose to counter a high carb
meal or a special dessert, and prevent a surge in glucose levels. Being a
diabetic means practicing self control where food is concerned, but an
occasional treat is OK if you prepare for it in advance.
Prepare for low glucose levels as well by keeping snacks on hand for when
your blood sugar dips. If you test very low, soda, fruit juice or hard candy
combined with rest can bring your level back up and give you time to prepare
If you make it a habit to eat your meals on a regular schedule, you can
avoid unexpected highs and lows. Eating balanced healthy meals can also rule
out erratic glucose activity, so plan each meal to include the correct
portions of each food category as well as the right balance of proteins,
fats and carbs. This will help you assimilate the sugar from your food more
evenly. With proper nutrition, Type 1 diabetes can be controlled more
effectively and insulin intake modified.