Pros and Cons of Low-Carb Diets for Children and Teens with Type 1 Diabetes
All nutrients are needed in balance for their specific “jobs” in our body. How you choose what percentage of your whole diet is made up from each type of food, can roughly be defined from recent nutrition papers as follows:
45-65% of total calories
Moderate carbohydrate restriction
26-44% of total calories
<26% of total calories
Very Low Carbohydrate or Ketogenic
5-10% of total calories 20-50 grams of carbohydrate per day
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a CLINICAL REPORT on Low-Carbohydrate Diets in Children and Adolescents with or at Risk for Diabetes outlining the benefits and risks of low carbohydrate diets in children.
So how did carbohydrate restriction become such a focus of some current diabetes management options?
Carbohydrate restriction is often endorsed by celebrities, in popular diets, and in weight loss programs with testimonials on websites and social media.
Low carbohydrate diets have been used for decades to improve metabolic health and treat Type 2 diabetes in adults.
Carbohydrate-restricted diets in children have been associated with negative health effects such as poor linear growth, inadequate bone mineralization, nutritional deficiency, anemia, liver and kidney dysfunction, hyperlipidemia, hypertriglyceridemia, increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and an impact on quality of life including time and expense.
Since guidelines for monitoring children and adolescents choosing to follow a carbohydrate-restricted diet were not readily available, The Barbara Davis Center in Denver at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center developed their consensus of management strategies.
Nutrition and diabetes management are personal decisions that all persons involved must at least partially agree on. I personally believe in nutrition moderation so individuals can live as healthily and normally with Type 1 diabetes but we work with every person or family to achieve their goals. Reach out to your healthcare provider for questions or feel free to email me at terri@IntegratedDiabetes.com.
After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 33, Terri left her career as a chef and caterer to help other people with diabetes live life as healthy and normal as possible. She earned a bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and completed her internship at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas. She then relocated to Kona, Hawaii where she built a successful private practice as a Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist. As she puts it, “When you live on an island, you become a specialist in everything.” She provided comprehensive diabetes care for every type of person with diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) at every stage of their diabetes experience, including new diagnoses, pregnant women, kids, young adults and the elderly.