Type 1 Diabetes Diet


Diet Plan for Type 1 Diabetics

Proper diet for the diabetes patients are strongly advised by the doctors. This is more important for the type 1 diabetes patients. Doctors suggest specific meal and food guideline for these patients that include the amount of vegetables and fruits, the type of other ingredients and the timetable of eating. The main target of this food chart is to keep the blood glucose level under control as well as keeping a balance between this level with insulin and diet.


The children with type 1 diabetes need extra care to maintain a proper diet chart as it is easier for the elderly people to control their eating habit. The most important fact for the children to determine the diet chart is the weight and growth rate. Controlling the amount of carbohydrate is very important for every diabetes patient. So for special occasions where the children will eat sweet, the amount of carbohydrate should be reduced by removing rice, pasta or potato like foods from the other meals of the day.

Carbohydrate, Fat and Protein

Controlling the amount of carbohydrate is very important for the type 1 diabetes patients. The quantity of carbohydrate determines the quantity of insulin the patient needs to balance the blood sugar. Beside the carbohydrate, the amount of fat and protein is very important as both of them have similar impact on the sugar level in the blood. However, they are not as important as carbohydrate.

Exercise and insulin reduce the level of carbohydrate i.e. the level of blood sugar. After eating the food, the carbohydrate foods breakdown into glucose and increase its level in the bloodstream. Insulin takes out the extra glucose from the blood and keeps the patient in better condition.

Balanced Diet

In case of type 1 diabetes, the body loses the ability to produce insulin by its own. So the only way to keep the balance is by taking insulin. The insulin is injected to the patient after taking the meal. But to give the right amount of insulin, you have to know the amount of glucose in the blood and the way to know that is the food chart. From the food chart, the amount of glucose can be determined and according to that, amount of insulin can be fixed.

The right amount of insulin is important because if the insulin is lower than the glucose then, the level of sugar level in the bloodstream will be increased. On the other hand, too much insulin can reduce the glucose level dangerously low in the blood. The higher sugar level in the blood is known as hyperglycaemia and the lower level is known as hypoglycemia.

Proper food diet

The food chart for a type 1 diabetes patient depends on different facts including the sugar level in the blood and exercise. They also differ on the age and weight of the patient. So the food chart should be designed based on these facts. However, there are several diet recommendations by the doctors for the type 1 diabetes patients.

Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) is the indicator of the effect of glucose level in the blood from different foods that contain carbohydrate. There are some foods that increase the level and some food reduces the level. And some food takes the action very fast and some food works very slowly. The GI determines these effects. Foods with higher GI increase the sugar level faster than the food with lower GI.


Vegetable is very important for the diabetes patients. But for them, special processing is needed. Dark green or deep yellow vegetables are better for the diabetes patients and extra ingredients like fats, salt or sauces must be avoided. The best vegetables for the type 1 diabetes patients are broccoli, spinach, peppers and romaine.

Beans and Grains

Both beans and grains contain vitamins, fiber, minerals and necessary carbohydrates. These are very important for a diabetes patient. Foods like whole grain bread, tortillas, brown rice, crackers, bran cereal etc. are highly recommended. Low fat breads like English muffins, bagels, pita etc. are also very good.


For the type 1 diabetes patients, fruits are better than juices. Fruits, especially with fiber and citric acid, are more effective. Orange, papaya and tangerine are the best choice for these patients. In case of juices, added sweeteners should be avoided.


Non fat or at least low fat milk and yogurt is very good for the diabetic victims. Some of the yogurt may have added sugar or other sweetener ingredients. They should be avoided too.


Fish and meat are the best source of protein and a diabetic patient needs both of them. The skin of the chicken should not be eaten by the patient. Similarly, the fried chickens should not be eaten. All visible fat should be cut off from the meats. Excessive protein can do the same damage like the excessive carbohydrate by increasing the sugar level in the bloodstream in a very slow process.


Fat is very dangerous for the diabetic patient and every type of fats should be avoided to keep the glucose level normal. For this reason, every type of fast foods including cheese, burger, bacon, butter etc. should not be eaten by the type 1 diabetes patients. In general, fats reduce the rate of glucose increment in the blood; but excessive fat can do some severe damage.


A type 1 diabetes patient should have control over the alcohol. Too much drinking may cause severe problem for the victim. It should be limited only with the meals and the right amount should be determined by the doctor. The fat of the alcohol increase the glucose level.

Sweet and Sugar

Sweets are totally forbidden for the type 1 diabetes patients. However, non sugared sweets can be taken by a very small amount by the patients. And if the patient takes any sweet on any special occasions, the glucose level should be controlled by reducing the fat and carbohydrate from other foods of the day. Also, it should be balanced with insulin injection.

Sugar in the sucrose contains a very low level of GI and so can be eaten by the patients. The regular sugar that we use for tea and other daily life use has lower GI level than the cornflakes. But even so, it is better to avoid it as much as possible.


Light food or snacks have some significant effect on a type 1 diabetes patient. This is important to maintain a good blood glucose level for the patients who have a tendency of getting low glucose level faster. According to the doctors, for every type 1 diabetes patients, bedtime snack is a must.


The insulin is injected to the patient after the meal in most occasions. As the target is to keep the glucose level in balance, it can be changed with the lifestyle. In general, the most appropriate timing for taking eh insulin is after two or three hours of taking a meal. However, the doctor’s suggestion is the best way to determine the timing. The amount and timing may also vary over the amount of exercise. For snacks, it is better to have some before the exercise so that it can keep a balance from the sugar reduction by the exercise.


For a type 1 diabetes patient, following the diet chart is very important. The GI is a good way to prepare the chart and the use of insulin should be determined accordingly. To make the best timing, a time chart should be kept by the patient to take the injection. And during making the food chart, the different effect of carbohydrate, fat and protein should be considered. The patient should always be in contact with the doctor and make changes in the diet according to his suggestions.


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