20 Things You Didn’t Know About Diabetes and Diet

There's a lot of confusion and lack of good information about this increasingly common disease

In general, sweets are not the enemy when it comes to diabetes.

Those who aren’t directly affected by diabetes may not know what it actually is, and if they don’t know the basics then they certainly won’t know the nuances between its forms. Even amongst those who are educated on the disease, opinions tend to vary. While some experts argue for a specific diet for diabetics, others are shifting focus to an overall healthier approach to living. The diabetic diets of yesterday seem to be losing popularity, and this may stem from the overall restrictive mode of eating they prescribe.

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Thus, in order to better understand what one should be eating if she or he is suffering from a diabetic diagnosis — or in danger of developing the disease — it’s important to identify the type of diabetes we're talking about. You probably knew this already, but understanding terms associated with diabetes is a good first step to understanding the disease. Identifying the type leads to more knowledge of the manner in which a person with diabetes should eat. While type 2 diabetics should eat one way, type 1 may operate under different rules. Additionally, pregnant women may be affected by gestational diabetes, a disease that affected 9.2 percent of women in 2014. It’s important to know not only the differences in the various forms of diabetes but also the ways in which you can combat each disease.

As diabetes rates continue to rise in the United States, more and more research is being done on the disease, its history, and ramifications for future Americans. We recruited Angela Ginn, RD, LDN, CDE, the Senior Education Coordinator at the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, and Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, CDE, Diabetes Lifestyle Expert at Livongo Health and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to call to attention some pertinent facts about diabetes that you might not have known. Read on to hear what they had to say.

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