Melissa Benoit

Nutrition and CF related diabetes

A High-Calorie, Healthy Diet

To ensure good health, it is important to maintain a healthy body weight. With other types of diabetes, people are often told to eat a low-fat, low-salt and sometimes low-calorie diet. People living with CF related diabetes still need the normal high-calorie, high-protein, high-fat, high-salt "CF diet" to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Keeping your blood sugar at near-normal levels will help to maintain your weight and ensure good health.

The main change in CF related diabetes for the diet is learning how to measure or count the foods that affect your blood sugars the most and adjusting your medication accordingly. It is still important to eat a well balanced meal including all the food groups and adding in extra fats and sweets for more calories.

Carbohydrates have the most effect on blood sugar levels as they are broken down into sugars that are absorbed into the blood. Protein and fats do not raise blood sugar levels but they are important as they can slow down the absorption of sugars which can decrease levels in the blood. The main way to control your blood sugar is to control the amount of carbohydrates in your meals/snacks. You should not avoid carbohydrates as they are an important component of weight gain. This means that foods that are sweet, including desserts, are all part of a balanced diet, even when you have diabetes. This is very different from people with other types of diabetes and may need to be explained to someone who does not have CF. To learn how to manage your carbohydrates with CF related diabetes your CF dietitian can help develop a plan that works best for your lifestyle.

Click here to learn more about carbohydrate counting

Click here for a handout on Insulin and Snacking