Type 2 Diabetes: Quick Facts and Diet Recommendations

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body’s failure to properly utilize insulin, which is a hormone produced by special cells in the pancreas and is needed for the utilization of sugar in the blood by the cells. In other words, the cells of someone who has type 2 diabetes cannot use sugar in the bloodstream as fuel.

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In the past, type 2 diabetes was known as “adult-onset” diabetes. However, medical experts these days no longer use that name. It is for the fact that more and more children are also suffering from type 2 diabetes today.

Unlike in the case of type 1 diabetes in which the body does not get enough insulin, the body of a person who suffers from type 2 diabetes actually gets good amounts of inulin. However, the cells do not respond to it in the normal way. Due to this, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas attempt to produce more insulin, but to no avail. In time, the amount of insulin those special cells produce may decline.

Because of such reason, it’s possible for someone who has type 2 diabetes to eventually require insulin, just like in the case of a person who is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which is also known as “insulin-dependent” diabetes”.

Of all the people who are diagnosed with diabetes, up to 90% of them have type 2 diabetes. In other words, type 2 diabetes is way more common than type 1 diabetes.

It’s of utmost importance for someone with type 2 diabetes to keep the levels of sugar or glucose in the blood from going through the roof. That’s because unmanaged levels of sugar in the bloodstream can lead to a host of problems. For instance, the blood pressure may increase as well as one’s risk of heart disease. Various organs of the body may end up damaged such as the kidneys and eyes. The nerves may be affected, too, causing pain and sometimes numbness in the extremities. Skin problems may also be encountered, at times requiring leg amputations.

Many of those who have type 2 diabetes may not be given medications by their respective doctors, but they may need such in the long run as the disease progresses. However, a lot of people are capable of managing their diabetes simply by staying active, losing excess pounds and opting for the right diet.

Speaking of diet, it is very important for those who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes to mind what they put in their mouths in order to have their blood sugar levels stabilized. Some vital matters to remember diet-wise are:

  • Adding protein in the diet. Since protein can help provide energy without affecting blood sugar levels, it’s inclusion in the diet is a wonderful idea. There are numerous animal and plant sources of protein. However, those with type 2 diabetes should avoid unhealthy cuts of meat and processed ones.
  • Including grains in the diet also helps provide energy while at the same time keep the levels of sugar in the blood from fluctuating. Those with type 2 diabetes, however, should stay away from those that are out of refined or processed grains, such as white bread and pasta.
  • Vegetables should also be incorporated in the diet. Although starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas should be minimized as the starch they contain are converted by the body into sugar.
  • Good fats such as nuts, seeds and olive oil is welcome in the regular diet. Unhealthy ones, however, should be avoided because they can contribute to problems that are associated with type 2 diabetes, like high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease.
  • Fruits need not be avoided altogether, but their consumption should be kept to a minimum. Definitely anyone with type 2 diabetes should stay away from anything that is loaded with sugar.
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