There is no doubt that when you receive a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes that the way you think and engage with food will be different. From the moment you were diagnosed, you were likely bombarded with information about the “best” and worst” or “foods to eat” and “foods to avoid” for your blood sugars. Even when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in 2012, I was discharged from the hospital with booklets, worksheets, and meal plans galore that all demonized the all same food groups. When you are diagnosed with diabetes that you have to be conscious of what you are eating, but that doesn’t mean cutting out whole food groups forever. Now as a registered dietitian looking back, these generic worksheets and meal plans don’t take into account your food preferences, cultural traditions, ethnicity, and access to food. Instead of following outdated nutrition advice, I want to provide you with a list of 3 foods that you should truly never eat when living with type 1 diabetes.
Never Eat Food You’re Allergic or Have an Intolerance To
Eating foods that you are allergic or have an intolerance to won’t end well. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms of an allergic reaction or intolerance could involve the skin, digestive tract, or cardiovascular system. Some symptom examples include: vomiting, stomach cramps, hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, hoarse throat, dizziness, swelling of tongue, or even anaphylaxis. So yeah, the best thing to do is avoid consuming these foods so you don’t end up with an allergic reaction!
Never Eat Food That is Expired
No one wants to deal with the aftermath of a food borne illness. If you eat expired food, it may contain dangerous amounts of harmful bacteria that can result in abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or even fever. Always toss out food that have passed their expiration date or have been in the fridge past their prime.
Never Eat Food That You Dislike
Sorry, but you won’t ever see me eating seafood. Literally ever, ever. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t do it. So this is your reminder that it is okay to have personal food preferences and tolerance of different foods. Sometimes you may get lucky and find that with increased exposure you may end up tolerating different types of food and may even come to enjoy them. But, there are just some foods that, no matter how hard you try, really just give you the ick. Your personal food preferences are important and being able to honor them is a form of self-care.
Does This Mean I Can Eat Anything You Want with Type 1 Diabetes?
Yes and no- while I am incredibly passionate about teaching people with type 1 diabetes to eat foods that they love, we can’t ignore eating for your overall health as well. While managing your blood sugars are important, you also want to eat in a way that will help support your body’s overall health. This means consuming a diet that has a variety of nutrients that are rich in fiber, whole grains, and lean protein.
If you’d like to learn more about how to optimize your intake for your overall health, check out my nutrition course called Eating Essentials for Type 1 Diabetes. This course will help you master your understanding of nutrition and how different foods impact your blood sugar so you have less overwhelm and more predictability during mealtimes.