Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsDiabetes · 1 decade ago

Type 1 Diabetes Advice?

Hi, I live in the UK, and shop regularly at Tesco. My partner has recently been diagnosed as having Type 1 diabetes, and we're having some difficulty getting our heads round his new diet plan (I'm following it to to be supportive). Firstly he doesn't feel hungry as often as they say he should eat, and also it says like "4 slices of toast" at lunchtime, and he hates eating that much toast, as he's full after 2 slices! They have also said that he can have a yogurt/ fruit for a snack mid-morning and late afternoon, but I can't find any yogurts with low carbs/ sugar. Any advice would be much appreciated :)


The diet info was provided by his "diabetic dietician"... and I should have mentioned, he has also been told to loose some weight also, but he was told the extra carbs etc was definitely re: diabetes and not weight loss. I don't know if it makes any difference, but we live in the UK (northern ireland), and possibly the info is a bit behind here?

Update 2:

Having now met with his dietician myself, it would seem that the overall "carb content" is more important than "of which sugars" which was confusing to me. They have agreed now that he shouldn't have to eat more to compensate for the high insulin he was taking, and instead they will be reducing the dosage of insulin at certain times of day, which I think makes more sense, especially as he's supposed to be losing weight.

27 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Before I start, I apologise for the length of this response. Please bear with me for a while.

    You don't say how long ago it's been since your partner was diagnosed, but I'm going to assume that it is really recently. If this is the case, I'm afraid you're going to have to be guided by your partner's doctor for a while. When s/he is sure that your partner understands the relationship between carbohydrate intake and insulin usage. (it's a sort of balancing act. You need to be able to work out what a given amount of carbohydrate will call for in the way of insulin to ensure that the sugar (glucose) that's produced, from the breakdown of that food, will be utilised by the body's cells to make energy, rather than be converted into unused calories that will simply be converted to fat and stored for when the body thinks there's a famine.) When the doctor is sure that your partner understands this, he will be guided into how to make insulin adjustments for himself.

    Because insulin can prove very dangerous ... lethal, even, it's quite normal for a doctor not to trust that a diabetic patient understands fully the implications of overdosing or underdosing. Obviously, underdosing will lead to permanently high blood sugar levels, which can lead to the onset of a multitude of complications ... some of them quite serious ones, and overdosing can lead to loss of consciousness, or even death. It's not something to be toyed with.

    I'm not sure what guidance/advice your partner's dietitian has given but, generally, it would be better for your partner not to eat so much in one go, but rather spread out the same amount of carbohydrate over several smaller meals. This would normally avoid spikes in blood glucose levels. Of course, this depends entirely on what types and doses of insulin your partner is taking.

    If your partner feels that eating 4 slices of toast in one sitting is too much, then he needs to speak with his doctor for further advice.

    Please do NOT make adjustments to his eating regime, as I've suggested, without first checking it out with his doctor.

    As some other respondents have stated, the counting of carbohydrate values went out of vogue for some years, but it seems to be making a comeback again. Many dietitians, at least on this side of the Atlantic ocean, are using the glycemic index of foods (this gives an indication of how readily available, or otherwise, the sugar content of foods will be utilised in the body) in an attempt to enable diabetic patients to gain better glucose control. (It's also used to encourage overweight patients to use food in a way that will help them lose extra weight that they may be carrying.)

    I appreciate how difficult you may be finding it to allow for mid-morning snacks with yogurt and fruit, but diet yogurts are, generally, the way to go. They tend to be lower in sugar than 'normal' ones, but you'll have to read the labels closely. Some of the alternative names that you may see on them are sugar, glucose, dextrose, and fructose. These are all types of sugar. Whatever you do, don't get so hung up on counting carbohydrates that it's going to cause you undue worry. As I said earlier, once your partner is able to show that he can see the relationship between carbohydrate intake and insulin dose/usage he'll be well away, and you'll wonder what the heck you were worrying over. Please believe me, it will come.

    Fruits contain fructose, which is a simple sugar. It's like glucose, in that that is also a simple sugar. These types of sugar are readily available, and if eaten in quantity can cause blood sugar 'spikes', meaning that they'll push your partner's blood sugar levels up rapidly. The downside is that simple sugars tend not to hold blood sugar levels high for vary long before they come down again, particularly if insulin is being used. They are used rapidly to convert to energy.

    I hope I've explained it a little, but if you're not sure of what I'm saying, do feel free to click on my avatar/photograph and send me an email, and I'll do my best to reword it.

    Do mention things to your partner's doctor, though. Over this side of the Atlantic they get paid whether they see their patients or not. (They get a basic allowance for the number of patients they have on their books.) Make sure your partner's doctor is earning his/her money.

    Best of luck to you both.

  • 4 years ago


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  • 1 decade ago

    There is no real good answer. I have been diabetic, type one, for 20 years, since the age of five. And well, sometimes what docs reccommend is straight out of a text book, and in no way reasonable for daily living.

    First I would suggest finding a doc you can really talk with. Someone who will work with your hubby and his likes and his lifestyle. Not by what the books say.

    I have seen many many many doc concerning nutrician. But nothing worked for me. I during my teen years was a horrible diabetic, but have since learned how to cope with my own ways.

    As a type one diabetic your pancreas is not producing any insulin, thus you are responsible for taking the shots to "reimburse" your body for what you just ate.

    If weight is a concern, then use your brain, and don't eat a lot of things with high fat/carb content, but this does not mean you can't eat what you like.

    I eat what I want, when I am hungry to eat it. I am a rather healthy eater, and my meals are always dealt with one serving of each thing I make.

    depending on how much I ate, and how much excersize I plan on doing, i take my insulin on a sliding scale. Meaning, if one day I am barely hungry, I adjust my dosage so that I am not taking as much insulin as I would if I ate a lot in a day. Or if I ate normal and excersized a lot that day I would take less insulin.

    If your hubby was just newly diagnose it will be hard to come up with your own regimen. See many docs and find one that will work with you, not just tell you what to do.

    Diabetes is not the worst thing in the world, and it can fit into your lifestyle.

    Good Luck.

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  • 4 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    With the newer types of insulin these days, diabetic diets aren't necessarily as restrictive as they used to be. Read here

    As with any medicine or diet change, you should discuss it with your doctor. Fruits, both fresh and dried, have a natural sugar in them that will raise blood sugar levels, so be careful about eating too much. Not sure about the nuts. Moderation is always the key. I've been diabetic for 18 years and just recently changed insulin types. I love it because it gives me more freedom in when and what I eat.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Often times, new type 1 diabetics will be restricted to a certain number of carbs at meal and snacks. Mostly it's to find the balance of insulin that works best for him, and also, there's so much to learn in the beginning of this diagnosis. So much you HAVE to learn, just to be discharged... ketones, injections, BG, highs/lows, definitions, understandings... Mama mia. Carb counting is a big piece of the education. It's sometimes easier to remove that from the plate while the plane takes off. There'll be time later to bring it back in, when your mind doesn't feel so sponge-y anymore!

    Over time he'll probably have the opportunity to carb-count. That is to say he'll take his short acting insulin based on what he ate, and not the other way around.

    While you're doing shots, protein (yogurt for example) is best at night. It's not a great choice for during the day for a couple of reasons. Protein releases slowly. This is important at night time so he doesn't drop, but will mess w/ his BG during the day. Proteins are also loaded with fat. So you dont want to be eating a lot of it when it's not necessary.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That's really odd ... I've never heard of a type 1 diabetic being on that strict of a diet. My 2 year old daughter is a type 1 diabetic, and they have her on something similar ... but we just count the carbs at meals. She's allowed to have a certain amount of carbs at certain times of the day. And she's supposed to have things from the same food groups for each meal every day ... but sometimes I'll vary it a little. If she gets more fruit and veggie I'll give her a touch less insulin, if she has a meal high in fat I'll give her a touch more.

    And from what I've heard, my daughter's diet is only that strict because she's so young. From what I've heard is most type 1's can eat what they want, and just take the amount of insulin they need to cover what they've eaten.

    Maybe you need to find a new doctor ... ?

    I could be completely wrong about all this. So I am going to star your question, and maybe one of my contacts will be able to tell us what's going on :o)


    Shona ... counting carbs is an old fashioned approach ... but it is still commonly used with young children because we're dealing with such small amounts of insulin. As time goes on and when she gets a bit older, if it doesn't change we will change doctors. In the meantime it's the best way to manage my daughter's sugars.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I've never heard of a diet plan like that, when my husband was diagnosed he was told to eat a normal healthy diet (like everyone is supposed to be eating) he has never been told to count his carbs and when he asked about this they said that was an old fashioned approach, the reason he asked was his dad is also type 1 and he grew up watching his dad count them.

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