What is diabetes?

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. It is a chronic disease that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise above what doctors consider the normal level.

Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, which our bodies store for energy. The pancreas, then, produces a hormone called "insulin" that helps the glucose enter the cells of our bodies.

With diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or it can't use its own insulin as well as it should. When this happens, blood-sugar levels rise.

Diabetes prevention

Diabetic studies have shown that moderate weight loss and exercise can help prevent or delay type-2 diabetes among adults who are at high risk of the disease.

Balance is key to following a diabetic diet. Eat the foods you love, but do so in moderation.

Stave off diabetes with healthy choices

Change your eating habits by eating smaller portions and limiting fat. Select fewer high-fat foods and use restraint when cooking with fat.

Identify and limit foods that are high in saturated fats or trans-fats, i.e., artificial fats, some of which are found in:

  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Fried foods
  • Dairy products made from whole milk
  • Cakes, candy, cookies, crackers, and pies
  • Salad dressings

Better options are foods that contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats found in:

  • Avocados
  • Almonds, and
  • Pecans

Adding 30g or more of fiber to your daily diet can improve the volatility of carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Eating more fiber entails consuming whole-grain foods, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as:

  • Breakfast cereals made with 100% whole grains
  • Oatmeal, plain rolled or steel-cut oats
  • Whole-grain wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole-wheat bread, pita bread and tortillas
  • Non-starchy vegetables such as, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and Brussels sprouts
  • Orange, i.e., carotene-rich, vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, and winter squash
  • Fresh – not canned or dried – berries, apples, apricots, and peaches

Most of all, stay away from foods that are high in sugar. Tame your sweet tooth with fresh fruit.

More information about diabetes

Foot.com Professional - Diabetes Section 
American Diabetes Association
National Inst. of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
CDC Diabetes Public Health Resource
Diabetes Monitor - Monitoring Diabetes Happenings
Canadian Diabetes Assoc.