Our resource hub is home to a wealth of articles, stories and videos about managing and living with type 1 diabetes.
Place your order for our free information packs that support adults and children who have been recently diagnosed.
Our researchers are working on different ways to develop a cure for type 1 diabetes - from growing insulin-producing beta cells in labs to hacking the immune system.
Learn about the technologies that can deliver insulin automatically when needed. And discover the next generation of insulins that are currently being developed.
We have a wide range of fun and festive designs to choose from. Fund life changing research while spreading joy this Christmas!
This Christmas, your gift can bring us closer to a cure for type 1 diabetes – and every pound you give to our Christmas Appeal will be doubled.
The announcement is the biggest treatment breakthrough for type 1 diabetes since the discovery of insulin.
This event is designed for anyone living with type 1 diabetes who would like to learn more about managing their wellbeing across a variety of contexts.
We provide a wealth of information and free resources to help you support and empower your patients or students.
Take our free course for schools to learn more about supporting pupils with type 1 diabetes in educational settings.
Home > About JDRF & our impact > About JDRF > Position statements > JDRF position statement on low-carb diets and type 1 diabetes
At the moment, there is simply not enough evidence to say whether or not low carb diets have an overall positive or negative long term impact on health outcomes for adults with type 1 diabetes. Very small studies (10 participants or less) have indicated that:
A further Swedish study retrospectively tracked 48 people with type 1 who had decided to adopt a low carb diet, and had attended a course to do so. 23 people stuck to the diet over four years. They appeared to have reduced risk of complications and better HbA1c, but the study also indicates that eating low carb can be tough to stick to over a prolonged period of time.
The effect of reducing carb intake to very low levels and following a ketogenic diet may result in lower blood glucose levels. Although the brain can use ketones for a fuel in place of glucose the implications from a legal perspective in relation to driving and DVLA recommendations is not known.
The effect of exposure to ketones on unborn babies is unknown, there has been an association between high levels of ketones and adverse pregnancy outcomes. It is not clear if this is an effect of poor diabetes control or the ketones.
Growing clinical evidence in this area shows that low carbs may have a significantly detrimental effect on children with type 1 diabetes, as both carbohydrates and insulin are essential for growth. Standard dietitian advice is that low carb diets are not appropriate for children and young adults who are still growing.
A review of six cases of children on low carb, high protein diets showed that the children experienced low energy levels, very high blood pressure for their age, high cholesterol, weight loss or gain that was slow for their age and increased hypoglycaemia. The authors conclude that these cases support the current clinical guidelines that children with type 1 diabetes should be eating a diet that balances proteins, fats, carbohydrates and is high in fruit and vegetables.
If adults are considering a low carb diet it is very important that they discuss it, and all of the potential health consequences, with their diabetes team first. This is so that their wider nutritional and health needs can be considered in order to support them in developing a sustainable way to manage their diabetes.
Download the JDRF Position Statement on low-carb diets and type 1 diabetes as a PDF.