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From Okinawa, Japan:

I am 36 year old female, mother of four sons. I take 48 units of insulin a day. One of the doctors here wants me to try this new low carb diet. This goes against everything I have been told since being told I had Type 1.


Over the years there have been many fads and theories regarding the ideal diet for someone with Type 1 diabetes. If there was one perfect diet, there would be no controversy.

The theory behind the low carbohydrate diet is that it is hard to make the insulin work fast enough to prevent high blood sugars after eating carbohydrates (for the same number of calories, carbohydrates raise the blood sugar the fastest and require the most insulin to keep the blood sugar normal).

Very low carbohydrate diets can be confusing in people with diabetes as the body may need to break down its own fat to get glucose and ketones may spill into the urine unrelated to the diabetes, even if the blood sugar is not elevated. For pregnant women, this may actually be harmful to the developing fetus.

In my opinion, the best diet for someone with diabetes is the one closest to his/her own eating patterns, that maintains normal weight, and that spreads the calories and carbohydrates throughout the day and avoids long periods without eating. One then should try to match the insulin to the meal plan. (Humalog may help prevent the blood sugar from increasing too much after eating carbohydrates.) If you are unable to match the insulin to the meal plan, then you can try to alter the amount or type of food eaten to try and improve the blood sugar. Day-to-day to consistency in both food and exercise patterns will help establish the ideal meal plan and insulin dose which then you can try to modify for changes in schedule.


Original posting 30 Mar 97


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