A healthy diet
One of the first questions that many people have when they’re diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is ‘What can I eat and drink?’ and the good news is that you can eat pretty much anything. With more flexible insulin regimes and insulin pumps, the days of ‘not being allowed’ to eat certain types of food are gone.
However, there are some things that you do probably want to avoid or limit due to their impact on your blood glucose levels. Sugary drinks are best kept as a hypo treatment and foods labelled as ‘diabetic’ should be avoided as they can have a laxative effect.
People with type 1 diabetes should follow the same healthy eating advice as everyone else which includes food from all the main food groups, as demonstrated in the Eatwell Guide below. It is important to understand the main components of food and the impact these could have on blood glucose levels.
It’s a good idea to include some carbohydrates with your meals as, without them, your blood glucose levels may drop too low. Go for healthier carbs such as whole grains, starchy foods, fruit and veg, pulses, unsweetened yoghurt and milk and nuts and seeds.
Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods in the correct portions from different food groups each day. Regular meals with consistent quantities of nutrients may be important in stabilising blood glucose levels and to help control your appetite, whereas an erratic meal pattern with variable quantities of carbohydrate can result in fluctuating glucose levels.
This video explains the different component of food in relation to diabetes:
Following a healthy diet will help you to control blood fats, blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight, all of which are vital in helping you reduce your risk of developing complications.
Making gradual and realistic changes to your diet and lifestyle will help you with your overall diabetes management. If you’d like any further advice about your diet then speak to your diabetes team who can help you come up with an eating plan that is tailored to your needs and lifestyle.
Are there any foods that you tend to avoid because of their impact on your diabetes management?