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Nutritional considerations in type 1 diabetes mellitus

Linda M Delahanty, MS, RD
David K McCulloch, MD
Section Editor
Irl B Hirsch, MD
Deputy Editor
Jean E Mulder, MD


Diet and physical activity are critically important in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Basic principles of nutritional management, however, are often poorly understood, by both clinicians and their patients.

The nutrition prescription for patients with type 1 diabetes should aim to optimally manage the "ABCs" of diabetes control: glycated hemoglobin (A1C), blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol. The prescription must also be tailored for the individual patient to address diabetes complications and other concomitant conditions. The nutritional goals for people with type 1 diabetes are to:

Maintain as near-normal blood glucose levels as possible, by integrating insulin therapy into each individual's diet and physical activity patterns.

Achieve optimal blood pressure and lipid levels.

Provide adequate calories for achieving and maintaining a reasonable body weight, normal growth, and development.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Mar 20, 2017.
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