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Diet and Nutrition

Diet for diabetes

Food – and good nutrition – is a tricky and essential component of diabetes management.

Eating a healthy diet and staying active are important for everyone. For people with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2), prediabetes, and obesity, food and exercise play an even greater role in managing day-to-day health. Unfortunately, despite all the popular articles and books, the research on nutrition, exercise, and obesity is very complex, and there is still a lot we don’t know.

To start, there are a few key points that are worth noting:

  • Losing weight and building muscle reduces insulin resistance, which is one of the underlying factors that cause type 2 diabetes. Most diabetes drugs reduce blood sugar, which is a symptom of type 2 diabetes and leads to complications. This is good, but diet and exercise work to address the root cause of type 2 diabetes.
  • A healthy diet and exercise can prevent prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes.
  • People with diabetes are advised to eat complex carbs (like green vegetables, whole grains, beans, and more), which take longer to digest and cause less intense spikes in blood sugar. Simple carbs (such as soda and fruit drinks, white bread, and more) are digested rapidly and can cause immediate blood sugar spikes. (If someone with diabetes is hypoglycemic, these simple carbs are often used to increase blood sugar back to safe levels again).