Three are main forms of diabetes — Type 1, Type 2 and gestational — which can happen during pregnancy and go away once the baby is born. Those with Type 1 diabetes don't produce enough insulin and may need to take insulin daily. Most people with diabetes have Type 2.
Diabetes affects certain racial groups more than others. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than half of Hispanic adults in the U.S. are expected to develop Type 2 diabetes.
With lifestyle changes, there are ways to help manage this disease and perhaps prevent it, says Mayo Clinic Dietitian Lori Heath.
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"Diabetes is essentially when someone's blood sugar is too high," says Heath.
Excess sugar in the blood can lead to serious health problems. Eating a balanced diet may help.
"It's balanced in terms of nutrition. It has good fiber in there. It has the right types of healthy fats in there, has protein and complex carbohydrates," she says.
Complex carbs include whole grains like brown rice and oats, and they should be included in your meal plan.
It's not like you can eliminate them, and you shouldn't eliminate them. They're your body's energy source," says Heath.
Energy — that's where exercise comes in.
"When you exercise, your body takes the glucose that's too high in your blood, moves it into the cells where it's used for energy, and helps regulate your blood sugar," Heath says.
Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured but it can be managed. And possibly prevented with diet and exercise.
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