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Health and Fitness

Type 1 Diabetes diet plan What food to Eat and Avoid

A Diet plan is a central part of the management of diabetes in type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes needs to keep a diet plan along with medication to prevent complications from type 1 diabetes. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 cannot be cured. So the only way to deal with Type 1 diabetes is to keep it down and prevent its spread in the body.

The only way to prevent the spread of type 1 diabetes is a healthy diet plan. The plan also includes a lot of food items and sugary items that are not out of the list of food for type 1 diabetes. Type 1 is uncommon diabetes. It occurs in around 10 percent of diabetic patients. Type 1 is also known as juvenile diabetes because it occurs mostly in kids a few years after birth. It can also develop in adults, but the chances are low after 12 years of age.

Type 1 diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolism disorder. It occurs when insulin in the body is no longer working the way it should work. The pancreas produces insulin. Insulin sends glucose from the food we eat into cells where it gets converted into energy. When insulin fails to work efficiently, the glucose levels increase in the bloodstream. It leads to diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas are attacked by the body’s immune system. This is why type 1 diabetes is also known as autoimmune diabetes. The pre-diabetes symptoms develop very fast in type 1 diabetes cases. It takes only a few weeks to see the onset of symptoms and diabetes.

Common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes

Excess thirst, urination, difficulty in healing, black patches on some parts of the body, yeast infection, erection difficulties in males, and gum diseases in both males and females. These symptoms are common in both males and females.

Excess glucose levels in the body put pressure on the kidney to filter the glucose. When it fails to do the job, it compensates by increasing urine to reduce glucose through urination. Frequent urine leads to dehydration.  This causes excessive thirst and needs for water. The person does not take much time from the appearance of symptoms to the onset of diabetes. Unlike type 2 diabetes, there is no prediabetes in type 1 diabetes. Some genetics and family history of similar cases are the prime factors behind type 1 diabetes.  

Medication and diet keep type 1 diabetes in check


type 1 diabetes diet

Diet is an essential component of overall type 1 diabetes management. Any increase in type 1 diabetes could lead to damage to vital body organs and vision issues. Without a diet plan, type 1 diabetes could cause blood pressure, heart stroke possibility, nerve damage, kidney damage, and infection, and soreness leading to tissue damage.

Type 1 Diabetes Diet Plan

The diet plan consists of having a balanced nutritional diet with protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, and low-calorie food. Carbohydrates get converted into sugar in the digestive tract to raise sugar levels in the bloodstream. It is important to curb the intake of easy to absorb carbohydrates.

  • Whole grains

Whole grain is a major part of the diet change to cure or control any type of diabetes. Ensure that whole grain bread, cereals, barley, millet, brown rice, are part of the diet at breakfast.

Avoid white bread, white rice, pizza, noodles, cookies, cakes, desserts, and pastries, candies, and items like that.

  • Fruits

All fruits are part of the diet for type 1 diabetes. However, preference is for fruits with skins, which add fiber to the fruit. Only canned fruit juices, packed juices, and juices with added sugar should be avoided. Even fresh fruit juice gets absorbed into the bloodstream to raise blood sugar levels.

Fruit with fibers takes time to get absorbed into bloodstream level. Avoid dried fruits and fresh fruits which are dried for later uses. These fruits have higher sugar concentrations than fresh fruits.

Fruit smoothies with added sugar are excluded from the diet plan. So are aerated drinks, soft drinks, flavored drinks, and lemonades with added sugar.

  • Vegetables

Preference is for non-starchy vegetables that do not increase blood sugar levels. These are leafy vegetables, green beans, cauliflower, carrot, sprouts, Brussel, etc. these vegetables are rich in various vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. Fibre keeps the stomach full for a longer period and reduces the need for unhealthy snacks between meals. Fibre also cleans the system by giving a smooth bowel movement.

The other vegetables that are part of the Type 1 diabetes diet are cucumber, asparagus, beets, celery, onions, peppers, and all rainbow vegetables. The diabetic should always prefer fresh or frozen vegetables without added salt or sauces.

  • Protein, and fat category

Non -vegetarians have no restriction of eating lean meat, poultry( chicken /turkey ), eggs, moderate red meat, fish, tuna, seafood, and soy foods. Type 1 diabetic with moderate blood sugar levels should be moderate in consumption of red meat. Higher blood sugar levels should avoid red meat consumption.

Avoid processed meat, packed meat, sauces, fatty meat, etc. that have high components of sodium, and other harmful chemicals like preservatives.

Food that is to be avoided For Diabetic Patients

  • Avoid desserts and soft drinks

Soft drinks, aerated drinks, flavored drinks, smoothies with added sugar, cookies, dessert with sugar, packed juices are totally out of the diet plan for a type 1 diabetic. Prefer fresh juice made at home from fresh fruits. Avoid fresh fruit juice from the market as they may add a lot of ice and taste or color enhancer.

  • High-fat meats

Avoid beef, chicken skin of chicken, ribs, bacon, processed meat, grilled meat, salami, and hot dogs. High fat adds to cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart diseases.

  • Saturated fat items

Desserts, butter, palm oil, coconut oil, ice creams, flavored coffee from famous brand café shops that add a lot of sugar and fat to make coffee-flavored.

  • Salty snacks

Fresh chips, packed snacks, potato chips, pickles, canned soups, spreads, table salt, etc.

Control blood sugar through small portions

A Diet plan also includes the diet portions and timing of diet throughout the day. Keeping food portions small helps to keep the rise in blood sugar in control. In between meals, food snacks like small pieces of apples, peach, or orange will help to control hunger and manage blood sugar levels.

Keep track of blood sugar level with diet change

It is essential to keep track of foods and fruits and see how they impact blood sugar levels. There will be a pattern, which will help you to eat within a portion without worry about the increase in blood sugar levels.

With daily tracking of food intake for the first few days; type 1 diabetic will get a fair idea of how much carbohydrate you take every day.   

Along with a diet plan type 1 diabetic needs insulin. That is an essential part of the control over type 1 diabetes. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetic cannot live without insulin.

Become aware of nutrition labels

These days every food item from grocery shops comes with nutrition labels and charts. Type 1 diabetes needs to read the label carefully before buying food items.  Never take food items that are high in calories, fats, and have added flavors and salt. Consultation with the doctor also adds to the knowledge about different food items.

Role of exercises

type 1 diabetes diet

Whether one likes to exercise, diet plans to control type 1 diabetes include some physical activities to complement the diet. Exercise, even a simple walk, reduces blood glucose levels. Doctors suggest some type of physical activity along with Glucobay Acarbose 100 mg to prevent a sudden rise in blood sugar levels after dieting. The medicine slows down the digestion of the food to check the rise in blood sugar levels.

Monitor blood glucose levels

Type 1 diabetes needs to monitor blood glucose levels regularly. This helps to check the progress and see the impact of diet change on the blood sugar level. It helps to know the role diet plays in lowering the sugar level. Any fluctuation is managed through diet change, the addition of a few more items, or avoiding certain food items. 

Doctors also prescribe Trajenta 5mg to increase insulin production after every meal to prevent a sudden rise in blood sugar levels. This dose is prescribed when other medicines or diet changes fail to bring the desired result.   

Need for diet and medication in type 1 diabetes

Unlike type 2 diabetes which is curable and reversible with diet change and medication, type 1 diabetes needs constant care. Diet plans and medication are the support system for a type 1 diabetic. In almost all cases, insulin injections and strict diet control are the only means to control type 1 diabetes.


Diet plan and insulin injections are the only two pillars on which the entire control management of type 1 diabetes depends. The importance of a diet plan also increases since it can be the plan which a type 1 diabetic has to maintain for the rest of their life.

Also Read:- 7 Immunity boosting foods: Nuts, Berries & More in 2021











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Dr Marcus Harris is a Senior Doctor and Consultant with 2 decades of experience in male urology and prostate issues.

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