What kind of foods do you all eat?

Hey guys,
I was wondering what kind of foods you all eat and if a certain type of diet is beneficial or not for a diabetic?
I've had T1 for about 19 years now. Since I was 3, my mom included fruits and vegetables before I knew they were a health food. So I naturally have a tendency to eat fruits and vegetables without thinking about it . However, as I'm growing up, I notice a lot of people my age are becoming health conscious and adapting to diets, like vegan or paleo-which I have no personal problem with except the tendency for them to and show a little bit of this healthier-than-thou attitude. It does have me genuinely wondering if any of these diets are better-taking diabetes into mind. I know that is a relative question, but but I am always experimenting with meal plans, etc. In my diet now, I mostly eat fruits, vegetables, cheese, nuts, grains (bulgar, quinoa, etc.), eggs, beans, flax, fish and poultry etc. I drink cow's milk + saltine crackers if my overnight blood sugar is most likely hitting a low. Occasionally, I will have a pizza, desert, wheat breads and pasta, whatever. Overall, I don't strictly restrict myself from anything. I am a student and I take in a ton of stress, so my insulin is dosed a little higher and my A1C controls fluctuate in the 7s.

I've been researching veganism and heard some Type 1s do eat solely vegan. I am wondering if this is necessarily worth it to give up lean meat, egg whites, greek yogurt,and cheese-which all make it into my daily meal plan. I don't know where else I would get calories from + maintain a blood sugar that is not high nor low, but a few testimonies seem to show that vegan diets can be very healthy. I also worry about the deficiencies-I do eat a multivitamin (sometimes), but I have had vitamin D and hypothyroid before, which have been since normal or near normal.

I am really just curious. As of now, I don't see it practical for me to adapt a certain diet plan but instead to eat what a general consensus can call "healthy". But I am wondering if removing foods which I assume are not bad, namely dairy, eggs, fish + poultry, is better than keeping these foods in or not.

I eat:

Protein, fat, fiber, and a small amount of carbs including fruit <20%...I only consume wheat and whole gran products on special occasions, I do not consider them to be unhealthy except for the fact that they spike my BG and that is bad for my health. My A1c is consistently under 5.8, and can be as low as 5.0. My doctors have always considered me to have well controlled BG for a PWD but at 59 years of age I still have some diabetes related issues including insulin resistance that are starting to show up.

My diet is the most significant factor controlling my BG....Eat what is friendly to your BG and you will be eating healthy.

I believe a persons diet can only use general guidelines and no absolute rule exists.

For me, I have become very carb sensitive. I do best when eating low to moderate, or as I prefer to call it, controlled carb. I get most of my carbs from non-starchy veggies, some fruit but avoid citrus and bananas. Very little dairy typically only in the form of cheese.

I only have one gym acquaintance that is a vegan and it seems to work for him.

However, my friend who has been type 1 for 15 years eats with no apparent restrictions. She has very good control and no weight issues eating a standard western diet.

The best way to determine what works for you is to try different meal plans for a week or two and monitor how they impact you.

I haven't ever stuck to "a" diet of any sort. I didn't eat meat for a couple of years a few years ago but kind of drifted back to it as I found myself eating lots of chips, fries, etc. That was a long time ago though. I have found myself trying to eat what I consider "healthy" most of the time during the day and then splurging at night, eating larger meals. At the same time, I kind of keep an eye on what I'm eating and try to have options, nuts instead of chips, meat instead of bread, things like that. Our go-to weekend lunch has become diced avocado, (canned) tuna and sriracha sauce. It's quick, easy and tasty and c. 20-25 carbs, counting the protein. During the week, the avocados may get a bit funky so I just have 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich and some veggies.

I restrict myself from bananas because I ***loathe*** them.

I haven't really followed a diet since I got my first pump. However, there are certain foods I avoid, as they really affect my glucose readings. I do eat low carb, about 40-50 on a normal day. Those are usually in the form of bread, potato, beans. My A1C remains steady at 5.1.

I feel the most important thing is understanding the food you eat. For example, there is a large difference between a ripe fig and an equal size piece of watermelon. Tools such as Calorie King and various apps are extremely helpful. With these you can bolus correctly for the food you eat, no matter what it is.

Thanks for the responses! I notice a lot of you eat pretty low carb. Wondering how long you all have been doing that. I eat about 90-120 carbs-my endo was concerned with me going below 90. I know this I a common complaint, but my clinic is typically friendly to diet options of all sorts, including low-carb, vegan etc. except I’m 22 and see a pediatric endo (who I really like so don’t wanna switch now to adult). Wondering if age is a factor to some clinicians. Can some of you all share an example meal plan just for me to get an idea? I often find myself stuck in food choices so eating more carbs to compensate for my daily calories. But I am comfortable with my current carb amount and might only lower if I feel better on other foods. Thanks again!

Here is what I ate yesterday:

Egg Scramble, 1 whole egg, two egg whites, broccoli, onions, bell peppers
½ cup mixed black, blue, and raspberries
Shredded chicken, mushroom soup, green beans
½ cup nuts
Grilled chicken Caesar salad

Today – I have a bit more activities so I have a bit more carbs planned today

Egg Scramble, 1 whole egg, two egg whites, broccoli, onions, bell peppers
½ cup mixed black, blue, and raspberries
Baked pork cube steak, broccoli, ½ sweet potatoe
½ cup mixed black, blue, and raspberries
Grilled Chicken, spinach, greenbeans


Plain chobani yogurt with vanilla and Equal added (7g carb)

homemade Greek salad (tomato, cucumber, onion, Feta, olive oil)
1/2 cup of long grain white rice



Chex mix (this isn't normal, but I was craving what was in the cabinet)

Bedtime snack
toast with peanut butter

I normally eat a little bit better than this but not tons. Yogurt with fresh berries is a staple for breakfast. Dinner usually includes protein and carbs. I'd say that I typically take about 20 units of insulin daily at a 1:15 calculation; my most recent A1C was 6.1 (Monday).

Samia: regarding the Endo: I was diagnosed at 19, and referred to the Pediatrician Endo. at Kaiser. I was a little old but he was the best in his Department. I stayed with him for about 15 years before he finally referred me to a good adult Endo. who had just started, and I'm still with him 15 years later. So sticking with a Pediatric Endo. as long as you're comfortable with him--Type 1 is Type 1 no matter your age!

I'm T2. I've learned (from my meter) to stay away from carbs. I will eat veggies that have some, but never eat anything with grain, rice, or sugar in it, they just don't work for me and seem to screw up my system for days afterward. I eat nuts for snacks and a "treat" for me would be a slice of apple. It sounds ascetic, but I have plenty to eat and I'm never hungry. My A1Cs have stayed below 5.4. My older son lives with me and has all the things he likes in the fridge and in the kitchen. The only thing that ever tempts me is Honeycrisp apples when they're in season which, thankfully, isn't very long. At this point I see no benefit to eating most carbs. 90 a day would be very bad for me.

I have had diabetes for nearly 20 years now. If I have learned anything at all -- if I can share any advice whatever -- it's this: YDMV (Your Diabetes May Vary). Every case is different, every physiology is different, every body responds in its own indvidual way. With diabetes, one size never, ever fits all. So I can only describe what is effective for me.

Some people are much more (or less) sensitive to carbs than others. I am extremely sensitive. Consequently I avoid starches almost entirely. Rice, bread, potatoes, pasta -- any sort of concentrated carb and my BG goes ballistic. So I pretty much live on veggies and protein, except for the occasional treat, for which I bolus carefully. And I really do mean "occasional."

I basically follow Bernstein. Some people swear by his methods, some want nothing to do with them. I just know what works for me -- and this works. My A1c is the lowest it has ever been. That's good enough for me.

I believe the best advice is to "eat to your meter". If your meter shows that you are spiking out of your target range then you need to re-assess your meal and likely reduce carbs.

Many here seem to agree on a few broad statements. Eating less carbs leads to less spiking in BGs, less use of insulin, and thus (hopefully) less errors and more stable BGs.

Glycemic Index. I am a huge follower of this. For examaple. A banana is approximately 25 carbs and higher on the glycemic index. From my CGM I know that a banana effects my BG in 20-30 minutes while my insulin peaks at 2 hours. I simply cannot get my insulin to match how the banana is digested leading to a BG spike. Therefore, I dont eat bananas.

With the above said, I also believe in moderation. White rice is very high GI, but I have found that if I only eat 15-20 carbs (1/2 cup at most) of white rice with a meal that my BG spike is small enough that I am OK with it. The same would be true with a banana, but I know that I will not want to waste it and eat the whole thing.

I also find a repetitive diet to be very helpful. For example, I eat the same meal for breakfast and lunch almost every workday. This eliminates one huge variable in my workday and allows my BG to be more predictable.

I eat about 120 carbs/day (not counting corrections). I find that I supplement the lack of carbs on my plate with (hopefully) lean meat. I would suggest that you eat however you want as long as you can stay in your BG target range.

Lots of good points, Capin. The repetitive diet idea is very powerful. I do this too -- same amount of protein and carb for a given meal, every day. It helps greatly to keep BG behavior consistent. (Notice I didn't use the word "predictable" -- this crazy disease is many things but never that. YDMV!)

And you also point out that foods digest at different rates, making it tricky to match the insulin curve with digestion. That's really important. My own solution is to split the insulin dose in two so as to spread out the action and cover the entire meal. Hey, what works, works. :)

Great post!

Very nicely done...

I eat similar stuff at the moment, may I ask how you have found this diet for weightloss, body fat etc?

Here's what I eat:

Veggies, all kinds. Though of course I have favorites and things I don't care for much.

Very occasionally, a bit of fruit, as a tiny treat.

Protein, all kinds. And I do mean ALL kinds. Red meat, fish, chicken, you name it.

Here's what I don't eat:

Rice. Potatoes. Pasta. Bread products of any kind. Any grain. Sweets (unless correcting a low).

I generally eat 30 to 40 carbs a day. I'm not prescribing anything here; each person's physiology is different and you have to find out what works for you. This is what works for me. I dropped 35 lbs and have kept it off, my lipids plunged back into the low-normal range, and my A1c is in the 5s for the first time ever. I'll take that.

- David

Hi Samia. I've had type 1 diabetes for about 32 years. I started eating a low-fat (<10% of total calories), whole foods, carbohydrate rich (~300g/day), vegan diet approximately 7 months ago. It's helping me to get my A1c back down.

I didn't try this way of eating for treating my diabetes. I opted to eat this way to get my cholesterol down and to avoid the typical American ailments such as heart disease, hypertension, etc. I realized the way I was eating (low carb) wasn't helping me to control my glucose and that I needed to get out of my type 1 diabetes tunnel vision; I needed to look out for my overall health.

So anyway, I gave it a try and it turned out to be good for my glucose levels, my insulin sensitivity has increased, I've dropped weight, my cholesterol is dropping, and I've been performing better in the gym.

As for concerns about deficiencies, my understanding is that typically those eating the standard American diet are deficient in more vitamins and minerals than those who eat a plant-centered diet. But those consuming a vegan diet are more likely to be deficient in B-12 and vitamin D is a concern for all, especially if you are in a latitude that doesn't give you enough exposure to the sun. So, if one opts to eat that way, one should supplement B-12 and keep an eye on vitamin D levels.

I agree the "holy-than-thou" attitude some people have about their diets or lifestyle can be very off-putting. I prefer to simply share information and ideas; hopefully we can all get something out of it.