All recommendations regarding nutrition are the same for type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Diabetes adapted nutrition is one of the columns in the treatment of diabetes. Therapy including nutrition can help to improve health condition and quality of life of diabetics.
Many type 1 diabetics are slim whereas the majority of type 2 diabetics are overweighed. Especially these people have to care more intensively for a calorie-reduced, low-fat nutrition in combination with increased activity of the body.
Diabetics on insulin have to consider the intake of carbohydrates (bread units, BE) to adapt intake of food with the insulin dose. It is recommended to split the portions of carbohydrates continuously over the day and also depends from the type of insulin therapy.
People with diabetes should take care for varied, balanced mixed food like non-diabetic individuals. It is a goal to combine taste with the correct choice, amount and consistence of food to increase wellness and to optimize blood glucose control.
The pyramide of nutrition helps to figure out which food in what amounts should be eaten.
These are the recommendations regarding optimal distribution of nutrients following the newest European Guideline for Nutrition at diabetes:

  • High content of carbohydrates (45 – 60% of daily intake of energy)
  • High content of dietetic fibres (40g per day)
  • Low content of fat (30% of daily intake of energy – 35% at normal weight)
  • Normal content of proteins (10 – 20% of daily intake of energy)

Many diabetics avoid eating carbohydrates following former, today obsolete, instructions. Instead of carbohydrates they eat too much fat and proteins to save insulin as these nutrients do not increase blood glucose.
This kind of food leads not only to overweigh, increased blood fats and ureic acid but also increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Heart attacks or a stroke could be the result.
Diabetics should not try to save carbohydrates but should learn to count them and also to take into consideration the effect on blood glucose levels (glycemic index).

Pyramide of nutrition:  (© Bundesministerium für Gesundheit)
Pyramide of nutrition
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