How to organize nutrition for type 1 diabetes?

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The nutritional model of a diabetic patient is suitable for any other person seeking a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition for type 1 diabetes is practically no different from a diet that does not experience problems with human health.  

The basics of a therapeutic diet are to draw up a balanced menu, the optimal amount of physical activity, taking into account existing diseases and other physiological characteristics of a particular person. In this case, it is necessary that the patient’s insulin therapy regimen be properly organized. Eating diabetic patients is primarily aimed at protecting the body from “excess” sugar.

The main rules of nutrition

Organization of nutrition in diabetes mellitus type 1 is based on the common rules for the use of food for diabetics. These rules include:  

– division of nutrients into fats, proteins and carbohydrates;

– the separation of carbohydrates into digestible and non-digestible;

– further classification of carbohydrates;

– methods of counting bread units (XE) and glycemic index (GI) of products.

For this type of diabetes, there are principles for organizing food intake. So, the amount of insulin and carbohydrates in the food eaten should be in balance. This means that after determining the amount of carbohydrates in XE, the dose of insulin is adjusted.

Imbalance in both directions can lead to unpleasant consequences. An excess dose of insulin in the blood will lack glucose and hypoglycemia may develop – a life-threatening condition. With a small dose of insulin, the glucose level will be significantly higher, which is also bad.

The periods allotted for a meal should be observed in accordance with the time, dose and number of injections of insulin. This means that the meal should coincide with the duration of the injection. Moreover, this schedule should take into account the rhythm of the patient’s life. The main thing is the correct correspondence between the amount of carbohydrates, the dose and the time of insulin injection.

Insulin has a different period of action: short and long. The first type of insulin is administered three times a day, after each thorough meal. The second type of insulin is once, in the morning or in the evening. This distribution of insulin injections requires an appropriate distribution of nutrition so that the balance between the number of carbohydrates received in the body and the volume of insulin is not disturbed.

What carbohydrates count?

In the diet for type 1 diabetes, there is a division of products containing carbohydrates. They must be taken into account when determining the amount of XE. In total, four groups of such products are distinguished:  

– products with starch (bread and other unsweetened pastries, pasta, cereals, potatoes);

– fruits (apples, pears, different berries, bananas);

– vegetables without starch (cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cabbage);

– dairy products (milk, sour cream, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese).

Carbohydrates of the listed product groups are recalculated in XE. Moreover, when preparing the menu, preference should be given to dishes with the lowest glycemic index, for example, pasta from durum wheat, buckwheat and pearl barley, boiled potatoes.

Among vegetables, it is better to choose those that are high in fiber. Sugar and sweets should be eaten only as a special need to prevent hypoglycemia.

Limitations in fried and spicy foods certainly exist, but they are more addressed to those patients who experience digestive problems due to diabetes.

Thus, the nutrition of a person with type 1 diabetes is determined by the number of carbohydrates in a particular product and the calculation of XE. Constant m

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