Diabetes Diet

Diet Guidelines For Type 1 Diabetics

Type-1 diabetes normally affects children and adolescents, though it is possible that it may occur in as early as the 1st or as late as 40th year of life. This type of diabetes is also called juvenile diabetes or, more technically, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).

A healthy diet is very important in any kind of diabetes. Diabetes control is synonymous with controlling blood sugar. In addition, one's lifestyle has a direct effect on diabetes. A healthy diet is the primary thing. This is the same as the normal, balanced diet recommended for good health– low in fat, sugar and salt, high in fiber, vegetables and fruits.

While people agree on a healthy diet, there are differing views on what is the best diet for type 1 diabetes. The effects of food on blood glucose levels and the intricate relationship between insulin, diet, physical activity and blood glucose levels play an important role in the management of type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes requires consistency to allow food and insulin to work together to regulate blood glucose levels. If meals and insulin are out of balance, extreme variations in blood glucose can occur.

In general, carbohydrates should consist of about 50 percent of the daily calories. Lower carbohydrate intake means lower sugar levels in the blood. However, the benefits of this can be canceled out by eating a higher fat diet to compensate for the lower amount of carbohydrates. The greatest effect on blood glucose levels occurs from carbohydrate foods.

Digestive enzymes break down the carbohydrate foods into glucose. The glucose then enters the bloodstream from the intestine. As a result, the blood glucose level rises. Insulin helps the body's cells to take this glucose from the bloodstream and either use it for energy or store it for later usage.

People who do not have diabetes will create just the right amount of insulin to cope with the rise in blood glucose that occurs after a meal. Type 1 diabetic patients no longer produce insulin. So, they need to inject just the right amount of insulin to deal with the situation.

This situation can be improved by substituting monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for saturated fats. Starchy foods such as bread, cereals, potatoes, pasta, rice and alike have to be included in the meal planning. Special diabetic foods are not only necessary, but are also important and need to be eaten regularly to keep weight under control.

All people with diabetes should follow a healthy, balanced diet. People with Type 1 diabetes need to do more than just eat 'healthy'. A daily quota of fruit and vegetables is equally important as is the type, quantity and time of your food.