You hear it all the time: if you’ve got type 1 diabetes, your diet is extremely important. But if you’ve just been diagnosed, chances are you have no idea what’s okay to eat, what you shouldn’t, or even what kinds of foods are which! There is no need to worry; you have to follow some simple guidelines.
Where To Start If You Have Type 1 Diabetes
Let’s start simple. If you have type 1 diabetes, your diet should look this: low in fat, low in salt and low in any added sugars. You need to take fruits, vegetables, cereal and whole grains in a huge amount. In fact, carbohydrates should make up close to 50% of your daily calories!
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Somewhere between 25-35% of your daily calories should be fat, less than 7% of calories should be saturated fat, and it’s best to avoid trans fat if possible. That means avoiding foods like butter or margarine in your diet if you’ve got type 1 diabetes. That will also help lower your chances of heart attack or stroke.
Be careful around egg yolks, whole milk and organ meats – these foods are rich in cholesterol and you should have less than 200mg per day. 15-20% of your calories should be protein. If a person with type 1 diabetes takes fibre in his diet, it will be helpful in maintaining blood glucose level as it lessens the amount of sodium. Sugar should be eaten in moderation.
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When you’re looking for a treat to add to work into your type 1 diabetes diet regime, try some sugar-free foods like diet soda, sugar-free gelatin or sugar-free gum. The level of insulin remains unaffected because those foods are not enriched with carbohydrates and calories in extra amount. When you consider how common type 1 diabetes is in children, this is a lifesaving technique – kids are picky enough and deserve a treat once in awhile!
There is also a recommended calorie intake for someone with type 1 diabetes. 15 calories per pound is required by a man or a working woman. For most women, sedentary men, and seniors over 55, you need 13 calories per pound.
Sedentary women or obese individuals need 10 calories per pound, and pregnant or lactating women need 15 to 17 calories per pound. If you are overweight and planning to exercise to lose weight, remember to adjust your diet – type 1 diabetes does not go away when the weight does, so your diet has to be adjusted accordingly.
Live It Your Diet For Type 1 Diabetes
While it may seem difficult to adjust your diet for type 1 diabetes, it’s not as hard as it sounds – and chances are, once you make the changes, other areas in your life will improve because it will affect other aspects of your life in most positive ways.