My 15 year old daughter is realy pushing to go all Vegatarian I’ve been reading up on it and it seems like a good choice for diabetics but I realy want to wait untill our first check in with our team before we start drastically changing things. Any one have any experience with this.
@Eric31 - Without raining on your thought process, I would strongly suggest you do not do this - at least not at this time.
The entire learning curve of T1 is huge. My recommendation is do NOT add a serious diet change such as completely Vegetarian. It is entirely possible that contrary to what you have read that an all Vegetarian diet could turn out to be quite challenging.
I am Vegan and am Type 1. I have found that glucose management - beyond any doubt - has been much easier since I became vegan.
@Eric31 – I have a lot of vegetarian/ vegan friends. I do think that ultimately it can be diabetes-friendly, but not without a lot of work and learning.
Why? As a human you have an eating palette of dense carbs, veggies/fruits, and animal proteins. When you become diabetic, your choice of carb colors becomes narrower. If you also take the animal protein choice away at the same time you have a harder task in front of you.
So I agree with @Tim35: if you are early in the process, I would suggest adapting to the diabetes lifestyle first before looking at the vegetarian transition. It is very hard to do the D transition on its own. My advice – don’t make it even harder on you.
I have never viewed it as a great fit for diabetes, but I was vegetarian (age 7) before I was diabetic (age 11), so it wasn’t part of my consideration at the time. The heart wants what the heart wants. She’s old enough to eat what she wants, but be aware that fat and protein are GREAT alternatives to carb in regulating blood sugar. I believe that long term, she will take more insulin, which may not be fantastic for her heart and other things.
Thanks for the input. This was kind of my thinking as well that is what I told her let’s not jump into anything just yet since this is all new. This just may be a phase for her as well as she is still struggling sometimes it’s a battle to get her to eat anything at all. I’m getting her into counseling to help her through this.
If she’s new to diabetes, deciding to become a vegetarian may also be a way to try to have more personal agency and control over her diet during a time when suddenly a lot of her control over things, including food, has been taken away from her. I do agree with folks that there are ways that changing things further can be hard; however, I also think making this one more thing her diabetes limits her from doing could be tough too. Having conversations about what being a vegetarian means to her and how she’s adjusting to all of this may be helpful—it might be that gradually doing it or doing it partway wouldn’t be too hard (for example, if she’s thinking vegetarian and not vegan, lots of ways to have lower carb vegetarian breakfasts and snacks between eggs, cheese, nuts, etc), and even taking some conscious initial steps toward eating vegetarian more of the time might be meaningful. Bringing in a counselor also sounds like a very good call—I think that’s the case for many folks adjusting to diabetes if they can access one.
When dealing with diabetes, whether a new case or not, making one change at a time usually works best. If you’re changing several things at once, it’s impossible to know for certain which change produced what result. As a general rule, it’s best to change things serially, not in parallel. There’s no rush—“diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Vegetarian diets can definitely work with Type 1. I think it would prove to be a little more difficult, not impossible, but more difficult if you wanted to start looking at carbohydrate reduction as well. However, there are still plenty of good low-carbohydrate vegetarian friendly options.
I don’t know a lot about your daughters personality type, but what I do know of teenagers is that if she is looking to change her diet, to something that is actually proven in a lot of cases to be beneficial to your overall health, then that can only be a good thing. I could easily perceive denying her this opportunity backfiring and then causing her to not pay attention to her diabetes overall.
Perhaps it would be a good way, particularly if she’s newly diagnosed, for her to learn about the impact of food on your diabetes control.
There are also quite a few longer term benefits with things like improving Lipid profiles.
So, it might be worth discussing with her some “halfway” alternatives. I have flirted with vegetarianism my entire life (even as a child) due to ethical and environmental concerns. I’m currently full-carnivore due to BG and weight control issues.
The issue of carb-density and protein sources can be really quite challenging for many vegetarians and vegans, and can make BG and weight control difficult. I can’t imagine, for example, keeping my carbs as low as they are (I eat around 50-100g a day) while simultaneously keeping my protein intake (160-190g per day) and caloric needs (>3,000 calories per day) as high as necessary on a vegan or strict vegetarian diet. I a sure it’s possible, but I haven’t been able to figure a way to do it reasonably and affordably. Meat, cheese, and eggs are staples of my daily eating regimen to keep calories and protein high and carbs low.
That being said, things like “flexitarian” and “pescetarian” are becoming quite popular these days. I think that a vegetarian diet with eggs, cheese, and milk or vegetarian plus fish might be doable for many people.
Having a 13 year old daughter that was diagnosed when she was 9years and had just embarked on a veggie diet I would say the same as most above, wait for things to settle a while, a year or slightly more. There are so many food restrictions and I found that my daughter was so hungry in the first year but snacking was an issue and isn’t the best think for type 1’s to do regularly so sometimes when she’s running on the high side and hungry cheese and cold meats we’re and are the only option, of course unless they’re happy to eat carbless vegetables which are limited. Counting carbs is essential to get the correct amount of insulin and therefore having balanced blood sugar levels. There are 2 websites I really like and are very inspiring paleowithmrsp.com and ditchthecarbs.com. I have found my daughter has lent more towards the veggie alternative but she loves eggs, cheese and enjoys a good steak too