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November 22, 1999

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Oregon, USA:

My 7 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four months ago. She is "honeymooning" and we would like to help keep her in this state for as long as possible. I have been reading the Glucose Revolution, and I understand the premise that feeding my daughter many low GI (glycemic index-intensity) foods could help control her blood sugars. Is there any reason why I would not want to focus on these low GI foods (other than if her blood sugar was low)? She is currently receiving 5.5 units of Ultralente, though at dinner her blood sugar is sometimes over 180 so we add 1/2 unit of Humalog to her U. She will often have high blood sugar prior to bed particularly if we don't add the H and she was high prior to dinner. I'm hoping serving lots of low GI foods at dinner will help this, but will too many low GI foods cause a surge of higher blood sugar later in the night?


Serving low GI foods may help, however the total carbohydrate and the consistent amount of carbohydrate at meals from day to day may also be important. If your daughter likes the foods you serve, things should be just fine; however, sometimes it is important to have some sweets just to make life more normal.

Sometimes when sweets are only used when blood sugars are low, children decide they must get low to have a favorite food or sweet. Withholding foods also can create a magnified desire to attain them and can create dishonesty and guilt when high GI foods are eaten.

Food is not the only issue when considering blood sugar levels. Growth, stress and activity also affect blood sugars, so don’t forget to look at the whole picture. I believe that there is a lot of truth that lower GI foods probably extend the honeymoon period, however having a more normal eating pattern may have a positive psychological effect.