What is the basic difference between the Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes? Do both have the same eating instructions?

In Type 1 diabetes, the body has destroyed the beta cells in the pancreas. The beta cells are responsible for producing insulin, which is a hormone that transports blood glucose into the cells to give the body energy. So, one with Type 1 diabetes does not produce insulin and he would need to take insulin to stay alive. The majority of the cases of Type 1 diabetes occur in people less than 40 years old. Type 1 diabetes is not preventable. A person with Type 2 diabetes may have one of two issues. Either not enough insulin is being produced or the insulin is not working properly (insulin resistance). In insulin resistance, the body still produces insulin but cells do not respond to the insulin like they used to. Many people with Type 2 diabetes tend to be obese and live an unfit lifestyle. Type 2 diabetes tends to occur later in life and may be the result of one being overweight and unfit for some time.

Those with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin each day. Those with Type 2 diabetes may only need to take oral medications to manage blood sugar levels (but may also need insulin). Eating and nutritional plans are similar with both Type 1 and 2 diabetes. Generally those with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, so I would focus on trying to safely and healthfully reduce weight. But, both meal plans are balanced and contain healthy food sources of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The goals are to keep blood sugar levels at a close to normal level. Key points involved with the diabetic meal plan (from the American Diabetes Association): choose whole grain products over white/processed products and select lots of servings of fruits and vegetables. Choose lean meats and low fat dairy products. Choose water and low calorie drinks over regular soda and sugary drinks and limit intake of simple sugars like cookies, candy, cake, chocolate, and doughnuts. Beware of products that say “sugar free”, as they still contain carbohydrates and one still needs to limit portion sizes. Too much of any food can lead to weight gain so monitor/limit portion sizes as needed. I advise people to check out an expert website (http://www.diabetes.org).

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