Is There a Best Diet to Control Type 1 Diabetes?
There are so many people on the internet promoting the one diet that helped them fix their blood sugar control with Type 1 diabetes. It is so easy to get carried away listening to them and start believing that those diets will do the same for you, but it is important to remember that we are all unique, and what works for one will not work for another person.
I want to emphasise that I will be using the word “diet” to express a way of eating throughout this blog post. I do not mean “diet” as a method to lose or manage weight, but rather a dietary pattern that includes/excludes certain foods to help T1D management.
Both ketogenic and high-carb low-fat vegan diets (and the whole spectrum in-between) have scientific reasons why they should work. Multiple studies have been conducted on those diets, but a lot of them are conflicting! This just goes to say: each body will react in its own way to any dietary change. So, copying others that say they have found “the solution to Type 1 diabetes” is not a smart idea.
There are several things worth considering when choosing to embark on any given diet:
· Do you know and understand how to manage the foods in the diet with insulin?
· Do you know the timing of the insulin required for those foods?
· Does the food in that diet make you feel like you can eat like that long-term?
· Do you feel excited about the meals you can eat following that dietary pattern or do they feel restrictive?
· How active are you? Will the diet provide you with the nutrients you need individually?
· How easy and accessible to you are the foods that are required to eat balanced on the chosen diet?
Making any dietary modification, requires understanding of food components in order to avoid vitamin, mineral and macronutrient deficiencies. It is also crucial to ensure that you are not cutting your calories and are giving your body sufficient energy for your lifestyle. It is highly recommended to consult a nutritionist or dietician before you try a certain way of eating. I would also look at your history of relationships with food and decide if you are mentally ready for your chosen dietary change.
There are plenty of things to consider, but there is no harm in trying out a certain way of eating to see how it works out for you. You never know if it may be The One. However, the one most important thing to control you Type 1 is not the food you eat, but your ability to use and time insulin correctly for different foods. If you do not know how to do this, it does not matter what diet you eat, you will not be able to keep your blood sugars in range.
How and what you eat is important for blood sugar control. However, rather than spending time looking for the perfect diet, put your time and energy into learning how insulin works in your body and how you can time and dose it correctly to avoid BG spikes and keep yourself in range.
The information in this article is not intended as medical advice and comes from personal experience. Please, consult your care team or a medical professional before making changes to your diet or your care.