From Indianapolis, Indiana, USA:
My ten year old daughter, who has had typeá1 diabetes for about six months and is on three shots per day, has high sugars most of the time, and her insulin dosage is always being changed in order to have better control. We are doing the "carb counting" system for her diet., since the dietitian said that "a carb is a carb", whether it is something sweet or a carb that is not sweet, my daughter is constantly wanting her snacks to be sweets that stay within the amount of carbs she should have. She seems to be eating more sweets now than before her diagnosis, although we still stay within the diet guidelines. What are your thoughts on this?
This is a very good question and I can understand your confusion. Yes, carbs are the most important factor influencing post prandial blood sugars and a carb is a carb, no matter where it comes from, but there is a place for carbs that have more nutrients and vitamins in them, namely whole grain pasta, breads, fresh fruits, vegetables, etc. Liberalization of the meal plan does not mean that sugar in unlimited amounts is all right, but a little can go a long way in craving your daughter's sweet tooth.
The bottom line is that every food can be worked into a diabetes meal plan. It is portion sizes that are more important than types of carbs, but if your daughter consumes many carbs with little else, she may be missing out on a lot of needed vitamins and minerals needed for a growing child.
[Editor's comment: Even though a carb is a carb in carbohydrate counting, the meal plan for a child with diabetes is based on the Food Guide Pyramid which says that sweets (at the top of the pyramid) should be used sparingly. The Food Guide Pyramid is healthy system of eating for anyone, not just people with diabetes. SS]
Original posting 10 Mar 2002
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:32
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