Posted by: Glaudi Skog | 2019/04/03

May a type 1 diabetes eat starch?

My father is 84 years old. He has type 1 diabetes and inject himself 2x a day with insulin. He is in an old age home and they are giving him starch such as bread, rice and potatoes 3x a day.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageThe Dietitians
- 2019/04/19

Thank you for your question.  Individuals with Type 1 diabetes can include starch in their diet and, in fact, avoiding starch completely or over-restricting starch can lead to blood sugar levels dropping dangerously low, especially if the dose of insulin is not adjusted appropriately.

That said, it is generally healthier, and better for management of blood glucose levels, to give preference to portion controlled amounts of higher fibre starches (such as high fibre breads, brown rice, baby potatoes with skin on, high fibre porridges, for example oats or maltabella, and high fibre, low sugar cereals. 

I understand this may not always be easy in an old age home as the variety available may be limited.

It is also important to note that the dietary advice for managing Type 1 diabetes is best provided on a one-on-one basis by a dietitian and blood glucose levels should be monitored closely when making dietary adjustments.  This is hopefully being done at the facility where your father is living.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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