Type 1 diabetes used to be called insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes. Over the years this has become confusing as many people with type 2 diabetes eventually need insulin to manage their diabetes and as well, adults can also get type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes never turns into type 1 diabetes – they are very different diseases.
It used to be that when you got type 1 diabetes sugar was the “bad guy”. Foods were restricted and even “forbidden”. For a child, this equated to all the “good” foods. It also included being unable to eat foods which could lead to feeling isolated and left out.
Many people we talk to say that it just made them want these foods even more. The really down side many years ago was that non carbohydrate, fatty foods – such as meats, cheeses and so on were called “free” foods – foods that you could eat as much as you liked!
We know now that fat and salt are just as important in a healthy diet and management of any type of diabetes and in fact for any person.We have moved on from this thankfully and we now know a lot more about food and how it works in the body in conjunction with insulin and a range of other systems. We know that people with diabetes CAN eat sugar, in moderate amounts and can eat really any foods, in a healthy and measured way. It is important to avoid fatty, salty, high sugar, high processed foods – but this is the case for EVERYONE – regardless of whether they have diabetes or not.
However there is still a lot of misunderstanding in the community and many people find others asking them “Can you eat that”? “Doesn’t that have sugar in it?” ” You are being very naughty eating that”! Like they know more than the person with diabetes does! This can be a very frustrating situation and sometimes people call this the “Food Police’!