Preparing For A Type 1 Diabetes Diet
Theres no standard diet for diabetes. A nutritionist or dietitian can help you come up with meal plans and create a diet that works for you in the long term.
Its easy to reach for fast food and other processed foods when youre short on time and money. However, these foods offer minimal nutrients and are high in fat, sugar, and salt. Planning meals ahead of time and grocery shopping regularly can help cut down on any emergency eating.
A well-stocked kitchen of healthy food can also cut down on unnecessary sugar, carbohydrates, sodium, and fat that can spike blood sugar.
An important aspect of any diabetic diet is consistency. To maintain blood sugar levels:
- dont skip meals
- try to eat around the same time each day
- pay attention to food labels
Sugar And Sugar Substitutes
Some people think sugar “causes” diabetes. But type 1 is caused by genetics and other factors. Still, many sweet foods have a lot of carbs, and that can affect your blood sugar.
If a food is “sugar free,” that doesn’t mean it also has fewer carbs or calories. Read the label so you can count how many carbs you’re getting. You may want to consider foods and drinks that use low-calorie or artificial sweeteners. They can satisfy your sweet tooth without the extra carbs and calories.
What Is The Long Term Outlook For Children With Diabetes
Children with diabetes can live a long and healthy life and can do activities just like other children who do not have diabetes. Parents and caregivers play an important role when children are young, but as they transition to teenagers and young adults, it is important to ensure that they will be able to self-manage their diabetes. Start early by letting your child do as much of their care as possible, as appropriate for their given age and ability.
There is an increased risk for complications, the longer your child has had diabetes. You can help reduce the risk of these complications by helping your child reach their target blood glucose levels and ensuring that your child has regular appointments with the diabetes health care team.
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How Common Is Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is relatively common. In the United States, approximately 1.24 million people live with Type 1 diabetes, and that number is expected to grow to five million by 2050.
Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases that affect children in the United States, though adults can be diagnosed with the disease as well.
What Are The Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
The most common diabetes symptoms include feeling very thirsty, extreme hunger, and frequent urination.
These are not the only symptoms though, other common symptoms for type 1 diabetes include the following:
- Weight loss despite eating more
- Frequent infections including vaginal infections for women and yeast infections for both men and women
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet due to nerve damage called neuropathy
If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms please see your doctor or health care professional immediately.
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Understanding Carbohydrates For Optimal Blood Glucose Management
When you have a child with , it’s easy to get carried away with the notion of a diabetic diet. But in reality, your child’s dietary needs are no different from a child who doesn’t have diabetes. Of course, there are certain considerations you need to be aware of, and understanding the carbohydrate content in food is arguably the most important. In this article, you will learn about the importance of carb counting, with a special emphasis on how fiber and sugar alcohols may also affect your child’s blood glucose levels.
Nutrition BasicsThere’s really no such thing as a diabetic diet. That’s why you should focus instead on providing your child with balanced nutrition. A good nutritional resource to consult is the Food Pyramid. In recent years, the United States Department of Agriculture has made some updates to the standard Food Pyramid that most of us grew up knowing. Instead of being a set-in-stone guideline, now you can create personalized eating plans that are flexible and balanced.
There are 3 main nutrients in foodsfats, proteins, and carbohydrates. These essential nutrients affect blood glucose in different ways.
It’s fairly easy to determine the total amount of carbohydrates in the food your child eats. All packaged foods contain a Nutrition Facts label, and that contains the total carbohydrates in each serving size. If the food doesn’t have a label, your dietitian can give you resources that contain the carbohydrate count of common foods.
Where To Find Support
Parenting a child with diabetes can be challenging. The health care team plays an important role in supporting all aspects of management, whether it be insulin medication adjustment, tips for sending children to school or camp, emotional support to manage the diagnosis and informing others, or discussions regarding when to consider an insulin pump.
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What Foods Type 1s Should Avoid
Before your diagnosis of diabetes, it is likely that you experienced extreme thirst. It is a good idea to avoid sugary drinks and fruit juices as a way of quenching your thirst. They usually put blood glucose levels up very high and very quickly which is why they can be a useful treatment for a hypo .
Instead, drink water, sugar-free and diet soft drinks. Tea and coffee are still OK to include, too. Read more about what to drink when you have diabetes.
Dont bother with foods labelled diabetic or suitable for diabetics. These foods contain similar amounts of calories and fat, and they can affect your blood glucose levels. They are usually more expensive and can have a laxative effect. Stick to your usual foods. If you want to have an occasional treat, go for your normal treats and watch your portion sizes.
What Are The Possible Complications Of Type 1 Diabetes
Even with careful management, type 1 diabetes can put your child at risk of some serious complications that require prompt medical attention. These include hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar or insulin reaction, can happen when your childs blood sugar drops too low and their body doesnt have enough energy to function properly. Hypoglycemia can result from too high an insulin dose, a missed meal or snack, more physical activity than usual, or illness that causes vomiting and/or diarrhea.
- Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, sweating, weakness, blurry vision, and rapid heartbeat.
- If your child has any of these symptoms, measure their blood glucose level and give them a fast-acting carbohydrate, such as fruit juice, hard candy, or raisins. Seek medical attention right away.
- If left unchecked, hypoglycemia can result in a medical emergency. Your child could lose consciousness or go into seizure.
Hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, happens when blood sugar is too high and builds up in the blood stream. It can be caused by not having enough insulin, eating too much food or the wrong kinds of food, getting too little physical activity, or illness.
Diabetes ketoacidosis can cause fluid to build up in the brain and lead to a loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, or kidney failure.
Your child should receive medical attention right away if they have any of these symptoms:
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Artificial Sweeteners And Type 1 Diabetes
Foods and drinks that use artificial sweeteners give you more choices when eating or drinking something sweet.
The artificial sweeteners listed have been tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as generally regarded as safe . GRAS means experts have agreed that it is safe for use in moderation.
Many foods with artificial sweeteners may still have carbohydrate. Always check the label.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider If I Have Type 1 Diabetes
If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, such as extreme thirst and frequent urination, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
If you or your child have been diagnosed with diabetes, youll need to see your endocrinologist multiple times a year throughout your life to make sure your diabetes management is working well for you.
When should I go to ER if I have Type 1 diabetes?
If youre experiencing symptoms of diabetes-related ketoacidosis , such as high blood sugar, nausea and vomiting and rapid breathing, get to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. DKA is life-threatening and requires immediate medical care.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes is a life-changing event, but it doesnt mean that you cant live a happy and healthy life. Type 1 diabetes involves constant day-to-day care and management. While itll likely be very overwhelming at first, over time youll get a better grasp on how to manage the condition and how to be in tune with your body.
Be sure to see your endocrinologist and other healthcare providers regularly. Managing Type 1 diabetes involves a team effort youll want both medical professionals and friends and family on your side. Dont be afraid to reach out to them if you need help.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/09/2022.
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Why Do I Need To Manage My Diet With Type 1 Diabetes
Managing your diet with type 1 diabetes is important because what you eat has a direct effect on your blood sugar levels.
When you have type 1 diabetes, it is especially important to pay attention to the carbohydrate content of the foods you are eating by carb counting or counting every gram of carbohydrates you consume in a day.
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in the body and if not managed properly can cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
Eating healthy with correct portion sizes can keep your daily blood glucose level in the appropriate range so your body doesnt make too much glucose.
Exercising regularly can use the glucose already in your system while also maintaining a healthy weight.
Also, make sure to read any food labels before consuming food to help manage your dietary intake.
It is important to work with your doctor or a registered dietitian when possible to help you create a meal plan that fits your individual needs and lifestyle for the management of type 1 diabetes.
What Are The Diet Recommendations For Type 1 Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association recommends the same healthy diet for children who have type 1 diabetes as those who don’t. Eating adequate calories for your child to grow and develop appropriately is the primary goal of adequate nutrition. While your child doesn’t have to avoid any particular foods, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind:
- Avoid sugary drinks. Instead, choose water. There are many sparkling waters available that have minimal carbohydrates or sugar substitutes. Also, try infusing your water with fresh fruits and herbs to help give flavor, but not add extra calories or sugar. Crystal Light, sugar-free lemonades or unsweetened teas are options, but should not be your primary hydration source.
- Don’t let your child skip meals as this can cause them to overeat at the next meal.
- Even if your child is trying to lose weight, they should never skip a meal. They should only reduce portion sizes.
- Increase daily fiber to help overall blood sugar control as well as many other health benefits
- Choose healthy carbohydrates at every meal and try to pair them with a fat and protein. Healthy carbohydrate examples are whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal and fruit.
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Type 1 Diabetes
An endocrinologist a healthcare provider who specializes in treating hormone-related conditions treats people who have Type 1 diabetes. Some endocrinologists specialize in diabetes.
If your child has Type 1 diabetes, theyll need to see a pediatric endocrinologist.
Youll need to see your endocrinologist regularly to ensure that your Type 1 diabetes management is working well. Your insulin needs will change throughout your life.
What’s The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes
The main difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is simple. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which your bodys immune system mistakenly targets insulin-producing beta cells for destruction.
The process of autoimmunity begins with molecular mimicry, a sneaky tactic used by various bacteria and viruses in which pathogenic proteins attempt to evade detection by the human immune system by disguising themselves as mammalian proteins.
In both young children and adults, microscopic holes in the gut lining allow pathogenic proteins to pass directly from your digestive system into your blood before they have been sufficiently broken down by digestive enzymes.
Once these pathogenic proteins are present in your blood, your immune system recognizes them as foreign proteins and mounts an immune response that targets them for destruction.
But because these pathogenic proteins contain specific regions that mimic proteins found in your body, your immune system can mistakenly target proteins on human cells in tissues all over your body for destruction, setting the stage for an autoimmune reaction.
Think of type 1 diabetes as a form of biological friendly fire in which your immune system is hijacked by a pathogenic protein that tricks it into destroying critical human cells containing proteins with a similar structure on the surface of insulin-producing beta cells.
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is not an autoimmune condition.
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Creating A Type 1 Diabetes Meal Plan
People can use different methods to plan their type 1 diabetes diet. They can also seek help from a dietitian. Some common ways to prepare meals are:
Carbohydrate counting: This method involves keeping track of how many grams of carbohydrate someone eats and drinks each day.
Glycemic index:Glycemic index and glycemic load measure the amount of sugar in foods and how much they will raise blood sugar.
Plate method: People can use this technique to control portion sizes and food groups. It ensures that half of the plate consists of nonstarchy vegetables while a quarter contains a healthful protein, and a grain or starch fills the last quarter.
Snacks should aim to balance carbohydrates with protein or fats. So-called diabetic sweets are also available, but people should keep these to a minimum. Healthful snack ideas include:
- hummus and oatcakes
- chocolate protein balls made with oats, nut butter, cocoa powder, and a diabetes-friendly sweetener, such as stevia
- celery sticks and nut butter
People who are tracking their carbohydrate intake should take care to count fruit if they eat it as a snack. A small piece of whole fruit contains about 15 g of carbohydrate. Berries are a lower GI fruit, and melons, pineapples, and some dried fruits have a medium GI.
Eating a lower sugar fruit together with a protein source may help balance blood glucose more than eating the fruit on its own. For example, someone could have berries with natural yogurt.
Choose Healthful Protein Foods
Including protein in every meal can help balance blood sugar. People should choose healthful protein foods and vary their choices. Examples of these foods include:
- lean meat and poultry
- broccoli and cauliflower
Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, pumpkin, and corn, contain more sugar. However, people can still include these in their diet in smaller amounts as long as they monitor their blood glucose.
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/6how Can You Know If Your Child Has Type
Diabetes among children can occur anytime from birth. The affected children are symptomatic with excessive urination, nocturnal enuresis, thirst, appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, which can also be the presenting features. One does come across diabetes which could be Type 2 DM or the rarer neonatal diabetes, the latter occurs from birth to one year of age, says Dr. Bipin Kumar Sethi, Clinical Director & HOD Department of Endocrinology, CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.
Carb Counting: A Practical Skill To Use Every Day
Learning how to count carbs is a helpful skill to master, especially if your child takes insulin with each meal. When you know how many carbs are in the foods your child eats, you can match their insulin doses much better.
Registered dietitians are experts in helping kids and teens with diabetes balance carbs, proteins, and fats. They can tell you how many grams of carbs your child might need with meals and snacks depending on their age, size, activity level, and food preferences. When you work with your childs registered dietitian, youll learn practical skills, including how to:
- count the number of carbs in the foods your child eats
- read food labels
- calculate the carbs for homemade recipes
- use online resources or an app to find nutrition information
- try new ideas for healthy meals and snacks
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Breakfast: Oatmeal Pecan Pancakes
A healthful start to the day, these pancakes contain whole grain oats and delicious pecans.
Method:Brush both sides of the salmon with avocado oil and cook on a skillet on medium heat for 4 minutes on one side until browned. Turn the salmon over and season the other side with salt and pepper. Cook the salmon until it is opaque throughout.
Mix the watercress, cucumber, and orange pieces in a bowl and season with white wine vinegar, avocado oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Plate everything and top with avocado, walnuts, apple cider vinegar, and optional nasturtiums.