I am wondering what diet has to do with causing, treating and even preventing diabetes? I'm 14; my great-grandmother and my grandmother both have it, and I would like to know how I may be able to stay away from it!
There are really 2 types of diabetes. Insulin dependent (Type 1) diabetes is a condition where the body can't make insulin. Insulin is necessary to keep the blood sugar normal. Type 1 diabetes isn't caused by being overweight. In fact, many individuals are underweight when they find out they have diabetes. "Diet" is important in treating this type of diabetes, not to lose weight, but to try to balance the amount of food you eat with the amount of insulin you inject to maintain a normal weight and try to control the blood sugar.
The problem in noninsulin-dependent (Type 2) diabetes, which is more common in adults and older individuals, is somewhat different. People with this type of diabetes are often overweight. When you are overweight, the insulin doesn't work as well as it should. Many of these people can control their diabetes just by losing weight and don't need to take insulin. If this type of diabetes runs in your family, you can greatly decrease the chance of developing diabetes by keeping your weight normal.
Whether or not your relatives have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes (or no diabetes at all), you will be healthier by exercising, eating a healthy well balanced diet, and keeping your weight normal.
Original posting 28 Oct 96
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