Type One Diabetic

I'm a type one diabetic who's not ready to plunge in keto but I'm looking for a healthier sort of diet. What nutrients do you guys find the most important to hit? I see so many nutrients but they are all greek to me. I'm 26, female, 170 lbs, 5'3", and looking to lose 20 lbs for health. Mostly I'm just trying to be healthy but I have some ED behavior that I can sometimes avoid food if I get too stressed. Any ideas / information appreciated.


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    So, I presume you are on insulin. Is that the case?

    Either way, your major concerns are macronutrients: carbs and protein.

    I presume you realize that if you manipulate your intake of carbs and protein, you will need to adjust your insulin dosages. Obviously, if you have eating disorders, it might be best to work with a professional.

    But, assuming you have found someone you can work with, I would suggest you try to get a diet that allows you to function at a high level yet still lose weight. If you lose weight, that alone will reduce your insulin needs.

    I would try to avoid high-carb foods and get my carbs from vegetables that grow above the ground (not grains like corn, wheat, etc.) I would try to get 15-20% of my total calories from protein, with the higher end of the range being preferable (i.e., 18-20%). If I am still hungry, I would top the diet off with healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil (if you can stand it), and butter.

    To get started, don't sweat the details (vitamins, minerals, different amino acids, etc.) Just get your protein at 15-20% of total calories and eliminate those high-density carb foods that require lots of insulin (endogenous or exogenous). The rest will sort itself out.

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    Thanks for your question!

    I strongly suggest working with a Registered Dietitian who is skilled in both Type 1 diabetes and disordered eating. In Type 1 diabetes, you are at risk for ketoacidosis, which can be life-threatening. Your medications will need to be closely monitored and adjusted based on on-going monitoring. An insulin pump is ideal for this as it constantly monitors sugars and helps to prevent low and highs.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
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