Type 1 Diabetes – Healthier Swaps for a Low-Carb Diet


If you have diabetes, one of the best ways to achieve and maintain stable blood sugar levels is to follow a low-carb diet. Generally, people with diabetes do not make enough insulin or are insulin resistant, so when they eat carbohydrates, their blood sugar levels rise to potentially harmful levels and the only way to control that is through medication.

Food for diabetics is nothing different from the food what people without diabetes eat. A type 1 diabetes diet means eating everything in control and moderation, but eating low-carbs instead of all carbs, which will help in improving long-term control on their blood sugar levels.

Usually, in a typical diabetes diet the carb intake can be about 25-85 grams per day for effective and improved blood sugar control. Although, it is necessary to test your blood sugar before and after each meal to understand your carb limit.

The aim is to swap high-carb foods with high-quality whole foods and low-carb options to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Reducing carbs automatically lowers insulin levels which helps your kidneys to release water and sodium.

Low-carb foods for diabetics

Below are the list of foods you can eat; they are low-carb and high-protein.

  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Poultry
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, butter
  • Cream, sour cream and cream cheese
  • Non-starchy vegetables

Here’s a list of foods you can eat in moderation

Depending on your carb tolerance, you can eat from the foods mentioned below in smaller quantities.

  • Berries – ½ or 1 cup
  • Greek yogurt, plain – ½ or 1 cup
  • Cottage cheese – ½ or 1 cup
  • Peanuts and nuts – handful
  • Chia seeds and flax seeds – 2 tablespoons
  • Dark chocolate with at least 85% cocoa – less than 35 grams
  • Pumpkin, hubbard, acorn, butternut, winter squash – less than 2 cups
  • White or dry red wine – 120 grams
  • Liquor – 50 grams

Foods to avoid        

The following foods are high in carbs and can be dangerous for people with diabetes as they tend to raise blood sugar levels

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Cereal, corn and other grains
  • Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, taro and yams
  • Milk or full fat dairy
  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Sweetened teas
  • Beer
  • Baked items
  • Desserts
  • Candy
  • Ice cream

You will experience a dramatic change in your blood sugar levels when carbs are restricted in your diabetes diet. And because of such a change with some healthier swaps in your diet, diabetes medication and insulin need to be adjusted accordingly. Your diabetes doctor will suggest you the best course of action.

While following a low-carb diet, it is also advisable for you to be physically active, get quality sleep, meditate, and stay stress-free. Visit your nearest Apollo Sugar Clinics for a comprehensive diabetes check-up, with our team of experts – doctors, educators, and dieticians.