The Best Diet for Type 1 Diabetics Who Want to Gain Weight

Do you have Type 1 Diabetes but struggle to gain weight? Find out what diet is best for you to ensure healthy weight gain and optimal blood sugar control. You deserve to feel your best, and this article will show you how!

Quick facts: Best Diet For Type 1 Diabetes To Gain Weight

  • ✅ One study showed that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil was effective in improving glycemic control in individuals with type 1 diabetes, and it also promoted weight gain. (The New England Journal of Medicine)
  • ✅ A systematic review of studies showed that a low-carbohydrates diet improved glycemic control, but it also led to significant weight loss. (JAMA Network Open)
  • ✅ Results from a study concluded that a low-fat, high-fiber diet improved glycemic control, as well as body composition in people with type 1 diabetes. (Diabetes Care)
  • ✅ A high-protein, high-fiber diet was found to be effective for people with type 1 diabetes, leading to improved blood sugar control and weight loss. (Journal of the American Dietetic Association)
  • ✅ A study involving adolescents with type 1 diabetes showed that a low-calorie diet, supplemented with meal replacements, improved glycemic control, as well as body weight. (The Diabetes Educator)


Gaining weight can be difficult for individuals with type 1 diabetes due to the nature of the disease and its treatments. People with type 1 diabetes often have difficulty absorbing and metabolizing nutrients, which can lead to a lack of energy and difficulty gaining weight. Fortunately, there are specific dietary strategies that can help type 1 diabetics gain weight in a healthy manner.

This guide will provide an overview of the best diet for type 1 diabetics who want to gain weight, including tips on what foods to eat and how to create a sustainable meal plan. By following these guidelines, type 1 diabetics should be able to gain and maintain a healthy weight.

Types of Foods

Gaining weight as a type 1 diabetic can be a tricky task and it is important to understand which types of food should be included in one’s diet. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, as well as protein-rich foods, should be included in any weight gain plan. In addition, foods that are high in fiber or that contain certain vitamins and minerals can also be beneficial.

Let’s delve deeper into the specific types of foods that should be a part of a type 1 diabetic’s diet:

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are an important part of a Type 1 Diabetic’s diet to gain weight. Healthy fats provide energy, help maintain blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and fill the body up with more energy than simple carbohydrates do. As such, it can be beneficial for Type 1 Diabetics who want to gain weight to include a good balance of healthy fats in their diets.

Good sources of healthy fat for Type 1 Diabetics include:

  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds (such as walnuts or sunflower seeds)
  • Fatty fish (such as salmon or tuna)

Additionally, consuming dairy products – like milk or yogurt – which are high in saturated fat may be beneficial for diabetics who struggle to maintain their sugar levels or gain weight.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, also known as starchy foods, are an essential part of any diet for type 1 diabetics who want to gain weight. Examples of complex carbohydrates include potatoes, corn, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice and breads made with whole grains.

Complex carbohydrates provide the body with a slow-burning fuel source and can help balance blood sugar levels. They also provide B vitamins and minerals such as manganese and copper. When selecting foods that are high in complex carbohydrates make sure to look for items that list “whole grain” or “whole wheat” in the ingredient list as this indicates that they are made from the entire grain kernel.


Protein plays an important role in gaining weight for anyone, especially type 1 diabetics. Consuming protein serves as a nutrient-dense way to increase caloric intake without consuming excess calories from carbohydrates. This is because protein is referred to as a “macronutrient” which means that it contains 4 calories per gram, versus carbohydrates which contain just 4 calories per gram. This makes it easier for type 1 diabetics who want to gain weight since they don’t need to consume as much in order to add more calories into their diet.

Furthermore, consuming adequate amounts of protein helps build lean muscle tissue, which provides a metabolic advantage when it comes to regulating blood sugar levels. Studies have found that individuals who eat higher-protein diets tend to better control their blood glucose levels and even lose more fat than those who eat lower-protein diets.

Protein sources such as dairy products (yogurt, cottage cheese, milk), chicken or turkey breast, fish (salmon or tuna), eggs and plant proteins like legumes (chickpeas and lentils) are all great options for type 1 diabetics who are looking to increase their daily calorie intake while also keeping their blood sugar under control.

Meal Plan

Meal planning is a great way to make sure that your diet is well balanced and meets the needs of your health condition. For type 1 diabetics, especially those looking to gain weight, it’s important to create a meal plan that is tailored to their specific needs. Here, we will discuss the best diet for type 1 diabetics who want to gain weight in order to manage their condition successfully.


Breakfast is an important meal for all diabetics, but especially type 1 diabetics. A healthy breakfast should include complex carbohydrates to help manage blood sugar levels, as well as proteins and healthy fats to promote weight gain.

Some examples of complex carbohydrates are oatmeal, quinoa and sweet potatoes. For proteins, eggs, cottage cheese and nuts are excellent sources. Healthy fats can be found in foods like avocados, nut butter and olive oil. Additionally, incorporating fresh fruits into breakfast will provide essential vitamins and minerals for overall health. Eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up is also important for controlling blood sugar levels throughout the day.


For lunch, type 1 diabetics who are looking to gain weight should focus on foods that are high in carbohydrates and calories. This could include whole-wheat bread, lean proteins such as lean ham or chicken, a side of vegetables, fruit and a small snack like mixed nuts or yogurt. Options could also include pasta, quinoa with vegetable sides, stir fry and rice bowls.

A great way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients is to follow the plate method where half the plate is filled with vegetables (any kind), one-quarter with protein and one-quarter with grains/starches. This can help you add more calories and carbohydrates while still eating a balanced meal. Additionally, adding healthy fats such as avocados can be beneficial to helping you reach your desired weight gain goal.


A dinner plan for type 1 diabetics who want to gain weight should include foods that are rich in healthy carbohydrates and proteins. A typical dinner might consist of a lean, cooked protein like fish or chicken, with a side of vegetables, such as roasted sweet potatoes or steamed broccoli. Healthy carbohydrates are important in order to provide the body with energy and should come from sources such as whole grains, like quinoa or brown rice. The addition of healthy fats, such as avocado or olive oil, will help ensure the body is getting all of the necessary nutrients for proper digestion and absorption.

Lastly, it is important to keep portion sizes manageable so that meals are not too large and lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. Eating frequent small meals throughout the day can help regulate glucose levels throughout the day.

Tips for Increasing Calorie Intake

For someone with type 1 diabetes who wants to gain weight, there are several tips that can help increase calorie intake. Eating nutrient-dense foods such as lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats can help provide more calories without adding too much sugar to the diet. Additionally, it is important to focus on portion sizes and eat more frequently.

Let’s discuss some other tips for increasing calorie intake:

Add Healthy Fats to Meals

Eating healthy fats is important for type 1 diabetics who want to gain weight. Healthy fats provide essential nutrients and energy to support the body’s functions, aid in weight gain, and help to increase calorie intake.

Healthy fats that can be included in meals include:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Full-fat dairy products such as cheese or yogurt
  • Nut butters such as almond butter or tahini

All of these foods are good sources of healthy monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids which can enhance the flavor of a meal while providing energy and important essential fatty acids. Including these healthy fats in meals can be an easy way to increase calorie intake in order to gain weight.

Eat More Frequently

Eating more frequently can be an effective way to add extra calories to your diet and increase calorie intake. Eating every three to four hours can help ensure that you’re consuming enough calories throughout the day. This can also help cut down on cravings, which often lead to overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods.

When choosing snacks, try to opt for nutritious options like high-fiber cereals, fruit, or yogurt with nuts or seeds. Also, incorporate larger meals into your eating plan; adding protein sources such as fatty fish, eggs, and lean meats can help you reach your calorie goal. Additionally eating a healthy breakfast will provide the nutrition and energy needed for the day ahead!

Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foods

When it comes to increasing calorie intake for type 1 diabetics, the focus should be on nutrient-dense foods that provide the body with the essential vitamins and minerals needed for optimum health. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include, but are not limited to:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Nut butters and nut oils
  • Natural nut or seed milk beverages (such as almond milk)
  • Legumes (such as beans, peas, and lentils)
  • Grains (such as quinoa)
  • Grass-fed/free-range animal proteins (such as meat, eggs, fish/seafood)
  • Dairy products such as yogurt

Additionally adding healthy fats to meals can help increase calories without overloading one’s diet with foods full of empty calories. Examples of healthy fats include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Ghee or butter made from grass-fed cows
  • Olive oil


As a Type 1 Diabetic, it is important to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. The best way to achieve this is with a healthy mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in each meal and snack. Additionally, it is important to maintain a regular schedule for meals and snacks in order to prevent extreme highs or lows. Lastly, remember that small steps are just as important as large strides in taking active control of your health.

Gaining weight with Type 1 Diabetes can be tricky and requires careful consideration of all dietary elements discussed above. In addition, paying close attention to your insulin levels and being conscious of how exercise may affect them is essential for a successful outcome. If you are struggling with gaining weight despite following the aforementioned steps, it may be helpful to meet with a registered dietitian who can better assess your individual situation.

FAQs about: Best Diet For Type 1 Diabetes To Gain Weight

Q1. What is the best diet for type 1 diabetes?

A1. The best diet for type 1 diabetes is one that is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, low in fat and sugar, and includes lean proteins. It should also incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This type of diet will help to keep blood sugar levels stable and provide the body with the necessary nutrients.

Q2. How can I gain weight with type 1 diabetes?

A2. In order to gain weight with type 1 diabetes, it is important to focus on eating nutrient-dense foods such as nuts, seeds, and avocados. Additionally, incorporating more healthy fats such as olive oil and coconut oil into your diet can also help to promote weight gain. Finally, increasing your caloric intake and exercising regularly can also help you to put on weight.

Q3. Are there any special tips for managing type 1 diabetes?

A3. Yes, there are some special tips for managing type 1 diabetes. It is important to keep a journal of your food and activity levels in order to track your progress. Additionally, it is important to maintain consistent mealtimes and exercise regularly in order to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Finally, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels and adjust your treatment if needed.

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