What can I eat? I am 14 and I like heath foods, but also sweet types of food.
It’s great that you enjoy eating healthy foods! Many people have a sweet tooth – including people with diabetes. You don’t necessarily have to stop eating sweets because you have diabetes, but it’s important to know when and how to fit them into your eating plan. A lot of people with diabetes use a meal planning approach called carbohydrate (carb) counting. If you carb count, you may be given a carb goal (in grams) to aim for at each of your meals, such as 60 grams of carb. Or, if you take pre-meal insulin, you might be taught how to adjust your insulin dose for the amount of carb that you want to eat. The key is knowing how much carb to aim for (or how much insulin to take for a specific amount of carb). To give you an example: a small, 1 ¼-inch brownie contains about 15 grams of carb. That’s the amount of carb in one slice of bread or one small apple. So, instead of eating, say, a piece of fruit at your meal, you could eat that small brownie. You could also learn how much insulin you’d need to take to “cover” that brownie. But keep these things in mind: sweet foods tend to be high in calories and fat, and low in important nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber, so taking more insulin to “cover” sweets can lead to weight gain unless you’re cutting back somewhere else or doing more physical activity. Save the sweets for an occasional treat. And if you need guidance on how to best fit sweets into your eating plan, ask your parents or your doctor to refer you to a dietitian.