Make it compulsory for restaurants to calculate the carbohydrate content in its food

Make it compulsory for restaurants to calculate the carbohydrate content in its food

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H K started this petition to UK Parliament

When you have Type 1 diabetes, your body attacks the cells in your pancreas that make insulin, so you can't produce any insulin at all.

And we all need insulin to live. It does an essential job. It allows the glucose in our blood to enter our cells and fuel our bodies.

When you have Type 1 diabetes, your body still breaks down the carbohydrate from food and drink and turns it into glucose (sugar). But when the glucose enters your bloodstream, there's no insulin to allow it into your body's cells. More and more glucose then builds up in your bloodstream.

So what does all of this mean?

If you’ve got Type 1 diabetes, you get insulin into your body by injecting it, or using an insulin pump, which delivers a constant supply into you.

The next big question: how much insulin should someone with Type 1 diabetes inject into their body? This depends on how much carbohydrate they consume. Easy you say! Most food will have labels setting this information out, but what about when eating out?

How many carbohydrates would be in a large pizza or a bag of chips or a cheesecake (yes those with Type 1 diabetes can eat ALL of these things). Well unless an individual knows for certain, it's basically a guessing game.

If that guess is too high, blood sugar levels may drop and be too low (Hypoglycemia). On the flipside if that guess is too low, blood sugar levels may become too high (Ketoacidosis). Over a long period of time, high glucose levels can seriously damage the heat, eyes, feet and kidneys; an unnecessary strain on individuals, their families and the NHS.

So what can we do to address this? If every restaurant set out the carbohydrate content of the food on its menu, those with Type 1 diabetes would not have to worry about the same. Eating out should be a fun experience not a stressful one where the worry is whether or not blood sugar levels will rise or dip.

Gusto have done a fantastic job in taking this step; many of the big chains also have this information available (for example, McDonald's, Greggs and Pret a Manger). However it's time that other restaurants followed suit.

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