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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | May 2015

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Understanding the relationship between type 1 diabetes and diet

Understanding the relationship between type 1 diabetes and diet

Article topics: Carbohydrate counting, Diabetes, Diabetes care, Glycaemic index, Nutrition

This articles looks at the dietary advice that should be provided for people with type 1 diabetes. As well as focusing on healthy eating generally, blood sugar control can be optimised if both the type and amount of carbohydrate is considered. Low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates, where glucose is released slowly into the blood stream, may help to lower the individual’s glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels (HbA1c is a form of haemoglobin that is measured to identify the average plasma glucose concentration over a prolonged time period). Carbohydrate (‘carb’) counting should be considered as it can improve glycaemic control and promote independence in regard to food choice and management of the condition. Gestational diabetes (that which develops during pregnancy) is also considered, as this can affect birth outcome, the baby’s future health and the health of the mother after the birth.