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University of Illinois Extension

General Overview of Diabetes and Food


What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the glucose in the blood is higher than normal. High blood glucose is called hyperglycemia.Glucose is a type of sugar that comes from foods containing carbohydrates and is found in everyone’s blood. Glucose is transport... more »

Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats all Contain Calories

To understand and manage diabetes well, you must know what happens to food when you eat. Food is made of Carbohydrates Proteins Fats Vitamins Minerals Water Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats all contain calories, and can all be used fo... more »

Is Glucose Bad for People with Diabetes?

No, glucose is not bad for people with diabetes. Everyone, including people with diabetes, needs glucose for energy. We need energy to play, exercise, and work, but we also need it for everyday body functions, like breathing, digesting, and making blood ce... more »

Why do Some People have High Blood Glucose Levels?

Glucose primarily comes from the food we eat. Mainly foods containing carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and used for energy. Once food is broken down into glucose, it enters the blood and is carried to all the cells of the body. However, in order ... more »

Are there Different Types of Diabetes?

Diabetes is not one single condition. Researchers are discovering many different reasons for diabetes to develop in one person rather than another. Some of these newer types of diabetes include maturity onset of the young diabetes, latent autoimmune diabet... more »

Type 1 Diabetes

Glucose can't get into the cell, because no insulin is produced by the body. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but is most often diagnosed early in life. Type 1 diabetes is called an autoimmune disease, because the immune system attacks the per... more »

Type 2 Diabetes

Cell receptors are not working to let insulin-glucose enter the cell. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Ninety-five percent of the people who have diabetes have type 2. Although it was once thought that type 2 diabetes occurred only ... more »

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. When a woman becomes pregnant there are many hormonal changes that take place. These changes, especially in the later stages of pregnancy, can affect the mother’s sensitivity to... more »

How is Diabetes Diagnosed?

There are several types of tests that can be used to diagnose diabetes or pre-diabetes: a Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG), an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), a random non-fasting plasma glucose test, and a hemoglobin A1c test. Any test should be repe... more »

What is Pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but lower than levels used to diagnose diabetes. Other phrases sometimes used to describe pre-diabetes include “borderline diabetes” or “blood sugar a little high.&rdqu... more »

Can People with Diabetes Prevent the Complications of this Disease?

Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect the heart, circulation, eyes, feet, kidneys, nervous system, teeth, and gums. Diabetes affects so many organs and systems, because blood travels throughout the whole body. When blood glucose becomes too high, i... more »

Treatment Goals

There are certain goals set by the American Diabetes Association concerning the treatment of diabetes. They are: Maintain a near-normal level of blood glucose. This can only be achieved by balancing the amount of food eaten with the amount exercise p... more »

Meal Planning

The purpose of meal planning is to help you reach your personal blood glucose or weight goals. These goals should be discussed with your health care provider. How these goals are achieved will be different for everyone. Some may reach their goals by spacin... more »

Managing your Diabetes

How does someone with diabetes make sure they get the right amount of glucose, carbohydrate, or energy without their blood glucose getting too high? Remember that the food you eat is the energy that has to be balanced with exercise, which uses energy. The ... more »

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Everyone has different needs, and should have individual treatment plans. The approach to a healthy diet for those who have diabetes is the same for everyone else. Following is a shortened version of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans developed by t... more »

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This site was last updated June, 2014.
This is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.