Diabetes Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diet
There are not major differences in the dietary needs of type 1 and type 2 diabetics outside of insulin use. The same principles of healthy eating and nutritious choices apply to both, but for those taking insulin, meal timing and carb portion control become extra important, regardless of which type of diabetes you have.
It is also important to note that a type 2 diabetes diet is often focused on weight management. However, this does not change the types of food you consume, just the amount since weight loss is achieved by eating a calorie-controlled diet. If weight loss is part of your health plan, figuring out how many calories you need a day to lose weight is the first step. Then its just a matter of choosing the right balance of nutrient-dense foods to support your calorie goals.
Can Type 1 Diabetes Be Controlled By Diet Alone
The simple answer is no. What you eat plays an important role in how well you manage your diabetes, but a healthy lifestyle also includes exercise, adequate sleep, and as little stress as possible. All of these factors need to be balanced with how much insulin you take. As someone with type 1 diabetes, you will have to consider insulin, diet, exercises, stress, and more for the rest of your life.
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Best Diets For People With Diabetes
As the ADA reports, no single diet offers more benefits to a person with diabetes than another.
However, research suggests that low carb diets may be useful. Some people may try this with or in place of medical treatment, according to their doctors guidance.
A low carb diet can help reduce cravings, lower blood sugar levels, and boost energy. It may also help people with diabetes maintain a moderate weight.
Low carb diets also have variations, including:
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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
- a boiled egg
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.
Type 1 Diabetes And Low
Carbohydrates are often made out to be the bad guy in managing type 1 diabetes, but it would be a mistake to think you should avoid them entirely. “That’s a misconception because the main source of energy for humans is carbohydrates,” says Arevalo.
Carbohydrates provide most of the sugar in your bloodstream, which is why the quantity and quality of the carbs you take in matter.
“We advise our patients with type 1 diabetes to carb count, which means learning to calculate the total number of carbohydrates in their meal and providing themselves insulin based on this carb amount,” says Dr. Adimoolam.
“The less simple sugars a person living with type 1 diabetes has in their meal, the more stable their blood sugar values will be,” she adds. “In general, we encourage our patients with type 1 diabetes to not restrict or limit carbohydrates, but to follow a healthy, balanced diet.”
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How Do Different Foods Affect Blood Sugar
The diabetes foods list above contains sources of three broad categories called macronutrients : carbohydrates , protein, and fat. Instead of being 100% protein, fat or carbs, many foods are actually a combination of two or all three like nuts, seeds and yogurt.
But how does each macronutrient affect your blood sugar?
Foods To Avoid With Diabetes
The importance of diet in managing diabetes can make it feel like a lot of your favorite foods have to be avoided. However, almost all foods can fit into a healthy diabetes diet, even sugar, its just a matter of finding balance through portion control and overall food choices.
To help tip the balance in your favor of better health aim to eat less of foods high in the following:
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What Are Healthy Foods For A Child With Type 1 Diabetes
There are many healthy foods your child can eat to help manage blood sugar levels. Eating a wide variety of foods is important. These healthy foods and snacks include:
- Vegetables prepared in many ways, including steamed, roasted, in a salad or dipped in dressing or hummus
- Fresh fruits with peanut/other nut butter
- Dairy products such as cheese or Greek yogurt
- Eggs prepared any way your child prefers
- Lean meats including poultry and fish
- Beans, nuts and seeds
Healthy Eating For Type 1 Diabetes
Eating healthily comes highly recommended and can play a part in helping to prevent the development of complications.
Eating a balanced diet, containing a variety of different vegetables, will help to provide many nutrients that the body needs.
Try to include foods containing unsaturated fats such as nuts, avocados and oily fish.
We recommend limiting the amount of processed foods you eat and try to include home prepared or freshly prepared food wherever possible.
- Read more on healthy eating for diabetes
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The Problem With High
The main issue with the current low-carbohydrate diets is that they ignore the underlying causes of high blood glucose levels , and instead prescribe a quick fix.
In many cases, the high-fat, low carbohydrate intake approach results in low A1c values, reduced insulin requirements, weight loss, reduced fasting insulin, reduced fasting glucose, reduced triglycerides, and increased HDL cholesterol in the short-term.
However, a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet actually increases insulin resistance over time, and can cause long-term negative effects including:
- Weight gain
- Increased insulin use over time
- Elevated LDL cholesterol
- Increased risk for coronary artery disease
- Brain fog
- Low energy
- Digestive discomfort
If youd like to read more about exactly why carb counting and a low carbohydrate diet isnt right for you, you can dive even deeper into the science in this article debunking 7 misleading statements about ketosis and ketogenic diets.
What Is The Best Diet For People With Diabetes
Good diets offer well-rounded nutrition:
1. DASH. Created to help lower blood pressure , the DASH diet goes well beyond that. Its a well-rounded, healthy nutrition plan for everyone, not just if you have diabetes. DASH is rich in fruits, vegetables and grains, and low in fat, sugar and sodium.
For example, on a 1,600-calorie DASH plan, each day you would eat:
- Six servings of grains .
- Three to four servings of vegetables.
- Four servings of fruit.
- Two or three servings of dairy.
- Six or fewer servings of meats . Also, include about three portions of nuts, seeds and beans or lentils weekly.
2. Mediterranean. Not necessarily a diet, the Mediterranean diet is based on a style of eating of people in Greece, Southern France and Italy. This way of eating is high in vegetables, nuts and healthy fats. For instance, it recommends getting most of your calories from mostly whole grains, then fruits, vegetables and beans, and lastly, dairy.
You can eat some healthy fats such as those from avocados and olive oil every day. Eat sweets, eggs, poultry and fish only a few times each week, and red meat only a couple of times each month.
3. Plant-based. Most plant-based diet plans cut out or dramatically limit meat. A vegan diet cuts out meat and dairy. A vegetarian diet cuts meat, but allows foods like eggs and cheese. A flexitarian diet is mostly plant-based with some animal protein.
How To Start A Diabetic Diet
If you have diabetes, starting a new diet might sound daunting. However, it can be easier than it seems. The key is planning ahead to ensure healthy meals that will keep your blood sugar levels in check.
The CDC also recommends taking the following steps when developing an eating plan :
- Keep track of your carbohydrates and set a limit of carbs for each meal. Your doctor or a registered dietitian can help determine the right amount for you and your needs.
- Use the plate method and fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, one quarter with lean protein and one quarter with carbs.
- Keep an eye on portion sizes, and remember they often differ from the serving sizes listed on the label.
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Best Foods For Diabetics
For most of us, dialing back on sugar and simple carbs is an effective way to fast-track weight loss. But for those living with diabetes, it can be a matter of life and death. That’s why it’s important to know the best foods for diabetics .
Diabetics are two to four times more likely than people without diabetes to die of heart disease or experience a life-threatening stroke, according to the American Heart Association. And for those who don’t properly control their condition, the odds of health issueswhich range from cardiovascular trouble to nerve damage and kidney diseaseincreases exponentially.
Luckily there are plenty of delicious foods that are compatible with diabetes.
The best foods for diabetics are low-carb, low-sugar, and high in fiber, digestion-slowing macronutrients like healthy fats and protein, and high in flavor. These diabetes foods are recommended by registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators:
- Miriam Jacobson, MS, RD, CNS, CDN
These superfoods will keep your blood sugar in check without skimping on flavor. Bonus: Most of these foods are also packed with essential vitamins and antioxidants to fight off inflammation and keep your energy levels high.
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Grilled Turkey Burger Salad
Serves 1 person
- 4 oz ground turkey patty, lean
- Mixed greens
- Balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dressing
- Heat a little olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the turkey burger patties for 5 minutes on each side.
- Combine the mixed greens with all the vegetables and quinoa or brown rice. Toss with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Top the salad with the turkey burger and sprinkle some feta cheese on top.
Why its a good choice: Putting a turkey burger over a salad full of nonstarchy vegetables instead of on a carbohydrate-dense bun makes your plate much healthier, lower in carbohydrates, and higher in fiber. Skinless turkey is a great lean protein and using a little bit of balsamic and olive oil instead of a bottled salad dressing cuts down on added sugars. The combo of protein, healthy fats, and carbs will help keep your blood sugar steady.
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.
What Is A Carbohydrate Serve
The recommended intake of carbohydrate foods is individual and will depend on your weight, age and activity level.
It is important to see a dietitian who will be able to recommend an appropriate carbohydrate intake for you. A dietitian will also teach you how to read and understand food labels, so that you are able to calculate the carbohydrate content of food.
Some examples of one carbohydrate serve:
- 1 slice of wholegrain bread, 1/2 piece of roti, or 1 small pita bread
- 1/2 cup bran cereal or 1/2 cup raw porridge oats or 1/4 cup low fat, unsweetened muesli
- 3 4 crispbreads or 2 plain sweet biscuits, eg: 2 gingernuts, 2 sultana fruit fingers or milk arrowroot biscuits
- 1/3 cup of cooked rice or pasta
- 1 small potato or kumara or 1/2 cup corn kernels
- 1 medium raw fruit
Carbohydrate foods help to balance your blood glucose levels. The effect of carbohydrate on blood glucose levels will depend on:
- The amount of carbohydrate eaten:
Eating a consistent amount of carbohydrate at each meal and snack will help to keep blood glucose levels more stable. Aim to choose 3 or 4 serves of carbohydrate food at each meal. A dietitian is the best person to help you work out your individual carbohydrate requirements. This will depend on your weight, activity levels, medication and blood glucose control.
- The type of carbohydrate
Choosing carbohydrate foods that are more slowly digested or have a low to moderate glycaemic index can help to maintain more even blood glucose levels.
What Physical Activities Should I Do If I Have Diabetes
Most kinds of physical activity can help you take care of your diabetes. Certain activities may be unsafe for some people, such as those with low vision or nerve damage to their feet. Ask your health care team what physical activities are safe for you. Many people choose walking with friends or family members for their activity.
Doing different types of physical activity each week will give you the most health benefits. Mixing it up also helps reduce boredom and lower your chance of getting hurt. Try these options for physical activity.
Read Also: Why Does Diabetes Affect Feet
Type 1 Diabetes And The Keto Diet
There has been considerable interest in using the high-fat, very-low-carb ketogenic diet to control diabetes, including type 1 diabetes. Normally, our bodies get energy from sugar, which comes from carbohydrate-rich foods. By restricting carbs and loading up on fat, the keto diet makes your body rely on ketones, which your liver produces from stored fat.
The subject is still a controversial one. One very small study found that adults with type 1 diabetes who followed a keto diet had well-controlled blood-sugar levels, but that the diet may have increased cholesterol levels as well as episodes of low blood sugar, which can be serious. Experts still don’t know much about how the keto diet affects our bodies, so don’t make any major changes in your eating without consulting a specialist.
Compared To What Youve Heard
The major difference between the low-fat, plant-based, whole food diet, a low-carbohydrate diet, or other methods like the glycemic index becomes apparent in the long-term.
Low-carb diets provide quick results, but as we mentioned above, they can drastically increase insulin resistance and therefore increase your risk for many chronic diseases in the long term.
The glycemic index also focuses on the short term effects of specific foods, rather than increasing the nutrient density of your overall diet.
Meanwhile, the low-fat, plant-based, whole food diet provides excellent short-term results and dramatically reduces your risk for chronic diseases like coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome , peripheral neuropathy, Alzheimers disease, chronic kidney disease, and fatty liver disease in the future.
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What Grains And Starches Are Recommended For A Type 1 Diabetes Diet Plan
Grains and starchy vegetables
Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal are good sources of fiber and nutrients and have a low glycemic load. This makes them good choices. Processed food labels make it very confusing to understand whole grains. For example “whole wheat bread” is made in many different ways and some of it is not really that different from white bread in its blood sugar impact . The same is true for whole grain pasta – it’s still pasta. Whole grains will require less insulin because of their low glycemic load. The best way to understand them is to check the nutrition label. Find the grams of dietary fiber and subtract that from the total carbohydrate. That number should be less than 25 per serving. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, squash, corn, and other root vegetables are higher in carbohydrates than green vegetables but lower than refined grains. They also are good sources of nutrients such as vitamin C. They are best eaten in smaller portions with an additional dose of insulin to cover 1 serving of carbohydrate.