Children and adolescents are mostly affected by type 1 diabetes. There is no permanent cure for type 1 diabetes, but you can effectively control it with a diet that helps in the regulation of blood glucose levels and prevents the complications of diabetes. Here are some important components of type 1 diabetes diet:
In an individual with type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is required to convert glucose and starch into energy. Type 1 diabetics are recommended to take insulin injections on a daily basis to regulate their glucose levels. Unlike type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes can still produce insulin, but not enough to function normally. To control the body’s sugar levels and starch in type 1 diabetics, regulation of carbohydrates in the diet is essential. Starches give carbohydrates that are easily broken down into sugar, but carbohydrates high in fibre help in maintaining the blood sugar levels. Some excellent sources of carbohydrates rich in fibre are whole grain bread, cereal, pasta and beans. Increased sugar level due to consumption of starches will severely affect the health of the patient therefore, it is important to watch out the size of the servings. Dietary plans and serving sizes depend on the diabetic’s weight and exercise level.
People suffering from Type 1 diabetes need to monitor their fat intake. There are "good"(HDL cholesterol) and "bad" (LDL cholesterol) fats that we consume. In diabetics, bad fats can cause an increase in already elevated blood sugar levels. To incorporate the right fats in your diet, you can consume fresh fish that contain essential oils (such as omega-3 fatty acids) that are essential for the right growth and development of the body. Some low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk and tofu are also excellent choices. The major habit that type 1 diabetics must adapt is to avoid oily foods. Go for steamed, roasted or baked food. Adhering to a diet low in calories and fats will also help a person to maintain a healthy body weight.
Snacking is not associated with the idea of dieting. For type 1 diabetics, incorporation of snacks into daily eating habits is essential. To avoid having excessively low blood sugar level, it is advised to have few snacks during the day. Snacks should be healthy, low in fats, non-oily and nutritional such as baked chips, crackers, sugar-free biscuits and dried fruits.
Vegetables do not cause dramatic increase in your blood sugar level and can be consumed in abundance. Avoid eating potato as it is starchy. Consume vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, tomatoes and peppers. Another essential component of a diabetic diet is fruits; some fruits such as mango, banana, grapes, sapodilla (chikoo) etc can raise blood sugar levels, but others such as grapefruit, orange etc are good for health. Drinking fruit juices can shoot your blood glucose level up; therefore, consume whole fruits.
Type 1 diabetes diet alone will not be an effective treatment if you are not taking insulin injection every day. Since the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin in type 1 diabetics, you need to take insulin injections.
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