JUST THE BASICS: Tips for Healthy Eating, Diabetes Prevention and Management

Diabetes occurs when your body cannot properly use and store food for energy. The fuel that your body needs is called glucose, a form of sugar. Glucose comes from foods that contain carbohydrate, such as fruit, milk, starchy foods, sugar, and some vegetables. In diabetes, the level of glucose in the blood becomes too high.

There are different types of diabetes. This chart shows how they are managed to control blood glucose (blood sugar).

Type of Diabetes How this type is managed
Type 1 diabetes
The pancreas does not make insulin. Glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.
  • Healthy eating
  • Insulin
  • Physical activity
Type 2 diabetes
The pancreas does not make enough insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes.
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Pills or insulin (in some cases both)
Pre-diabetes
Blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2.
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
Gestational diabetes
High blood glucose starts during pregnancy or first gets noticed at that point.
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Insulin may be used.

Learn more about diabetes