What adjustments to my diet? (Type 1 diabetic + limited animal products)

Hello everyone, new user. I am a type 1 diabetic eating mostly plant-based (fully on my own, with fish/seafood and occasionally cheese with bf) and looking to lose some weight.

I started entering my food into the app a few days ago but was baffled as to how my diet contained so much fat. I had assumed that my eating of vegan greek yoghurt, nuts and seeds were providing plenty of protein, but they seem to provide twice as much fat! Then again, I was also looking at regulating carbs rather than fats, because fats do help regulate my blood sugar very efficiently - and as mentioned above, nearly all the fat comes from plants, seeds, olive oil... But it turns out that I end up over the target calorie limit very easily, even though I feel like I'm eating like a little bird. (Snacked the other day on 50g of roasted pumpkin seeds, +300 calories?!?! 😱)

So I've been thinking of what substitutions I can make that would limit the amount of fat and increase protein, and I'm coming up short - sure, I could snack on tofu and healthy vegan meat substitutes, but I'd most likely fry or roast them, y'know? I imagine I'll have to cut on the mayo and replace it with tahini sauce, but even that might not make much of a difference? Anyone has good tips, or could say if it worked better for them to substitute ingredients or make more radical changes?

On the other hand, my weight has been stable with this diet (and more takeout food) in the past years, with a BMI only a little over 25 and excellent cholesterol levels. (But very little exercise and according a little doughy appearance). So I'm thinking, does it really matter if I go over the calorie limit (I've set it to lose weight at a -200g a week) while eating healthy fats and keeping a low blood sugar, if this would make it still possible to lose weight, f.ex. by adding some exercise? I mean, is it possible to have a higher calorie diet but with limited carbs and lose weight without exercising like crazy?

Unfortunately my diabetes doctor did not feel it would be necessary or beneficial for me to see a dietician, and recommended this app instead, but now I have this info and no idea what to do with it...


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    I'm a quite surprised that your MD didn't recommend a dietitian as we have entire classification of dietitians specialized in treating diabetes.

    I highly recommend that you work with a dietitian diabetes expert in your area. I happen to know this dietitian has Type 1 diabetes herself and follows a plant-based diet, so she would be an excellent resource: https://www.lpnutritionconsulting.com/

    To address your question globally, most vegan diets will contain at least 20% to 30%+ of calories from fat since tofu, nuts, seeds, flax, chia, avocado are all rich sources of fat. That said, fat, when added from whole-food sources, shouldn't interfere with your body's ability to use insulin, especially if you are active and at a healthy weight for your body.

    Hope this helps!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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    I would get a new doctor. Vegan diets are actually quite tricky to get right, and and even harder if you are watching your carbs, because most vegan protein comes with a whole heap of carbs. An exception is soy, but I don't think anyone should be eating too much soy as the phytoeostrogens and lectins could become an issue. You need to see a dietician to put together a healthy and nutritious diet that you can enjoy. And changing your diet while on insulin needs careful management; it's crazy they expect you to do this on your own.

    But I bet your diet isn't as high in fat (or calories) as you believe. A lot of those seeds will pass through you pretty unchanged. You won't be consuming nearly as much fat as you think you are, unless those seeds are all ground to a powder - and probably not even then.

    Despite what everyone says, exercise is pretty irrelevant to weight loss. Exercise burns some calories, but also increases appetite. If you exercise and eat the same, then you will be calorie deficit, but it's one your body will be fighting against, just as if you didn't exercise and just cut the calories but that amount.

    But sadly, I can't give you advice on what will work for you. I changed my diet to reduce insulin, but I am not diabetic so you can't just follow that. Even my beloved diet doctor thinks you need to work with your diabetes team to follow that approach, and that doesn't sound like an option for you.


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    I'm not diabetic but at risk for prediabetes, so I'm trying to reduce my carb intake. I am also lactose intolerant so dairy isn't fun to eat (although I take lactaid pills.) I'm also allergic to shellfish (again I sometimes indulge) and am trying to reduce my red meat intake. So, in short, in a similar position diet wise.

    I've found, I feel better and can eat more faux/fake cheese calories-wise and fat-wise than low-fat dairy. Although the calories add up. Supposedly, healthy fats are good for you anyway! It's the sugar and carbs that are killer. Keep in mind, too, that the more fiber you eat the less carbs effect you. I'd suggest taking a fiber supplement and eating high fiber foods.

    Low-Fat & Low-Carb High Protein Foods (The fat content and other nutrients varies obviously)

    1)Eggs or Egg Substitutes
    2)Beans & Lentils
    3)Light or Low Sugar Yogurt
    6)Brussel Sprouts

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