What is diabetes?
Glucose, a type of sugar found in your blood, is an important source of energy for the body. Your body can store some glucose to use for energy when you need it. Diabetes means that your blood glucose (or blood “sugar”) is not being completely stored. The hormone that stores glucose in the blood is insulin. We make insulin in the pancreas. Insulin is released into the bloodstream when the amount of glucose in the blood is increasing, like after a meal. The insulin then works to remove the glucose from your blood and get it into the cells where it is used for energy or stored.
Diabetes means that your blood sugar (glucose) is not being completely stored. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes means that the insulin being made is not working as well as it should so not all of the blood glucose is stored. Someone with type 2 diabetes has too much glucose in their blood.
“Fasting blood glucose” (FBG) is the amount of glucose in the blood when a person has not had any foods or drinks with calories for at least 8 hours. A healthy level of fasting blood glucose is less than 100 mg/dl.
The healthiest diet to treat type 2 diabetes is a diet moderate in healthy fats and moderate in carbohydrate. When foods that contain carbohydrate are digested and absorbed, they enter the body as glucose. So food that contains mostly carbohydrate is the most important food for a diabetic to know what they are eating.
Food groups that contain carbohydrate:
|Food||Serving size||Carbohydrate in a serving|
|Fruits||½ cup = ½ piece of fruit
1 cup of berries or melons
|Starch||1 oz. pasta, uncooked
½ cup rice or raw potatoes
1 slice of bread
1 cup milk or plain yogurt
There is also carbohydrate in white and brown sugar and other sweeteners so any food that contains sweeteners also has carbohydrate. You would need to read the ingredient label to find out if a food contained sugar. Some words for sugar are: fructose, high fructose corn syrup.
The amount of carbohydrate you can eat each day is based on your total calories and is typically about half of your total calories per day