Understanding Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes

For those with diabetes, there is probably no confusion about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, to an outsider (especially the general public) there is a lot of confusion about the differences. What causes diabetes? How does it affect a person’s everyday life? Is it fatal? These are some of the questions that many people don’t have the answers to. So, our goal today is to clear up the confusion on these questions and provide a resource for those who are looking to learn more about diabetes.

The first thing that is important to understand is that Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. Symptoms typically appear in childhood or young adulthood. Diagnosis comes because the bodies immune system destroys the cells that release insulin, meaning that the body cannot absorb sugar to produce energy. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, can typically can be prevented, or at least delayed with a healthy lifestyle including a proper diet and exercise. The signs of Type 2 Diabetes typically appear in adulthood. However, there have been more and more cases of childhood type 2 diabetes in recent years. Diagnosis for Type 2 Diabetes occurs because the body doesn’t use insulin properly, resulting in its inability to absorb sugar to produce energy.

Treatment for Type 1 vs Type 2 diabetes can also look very different. In Type 1 Diabetes, because the body doesn’t produce its own insulin, a patient must inject insulin to regulate their body’s sugar absorption. Many cases of Type 2 Diabetes can be treated with a lifestyle change. Getting appropriate physical activity and eating a well-balanced diet can reverse the affects of Type 2 Diabetes for many. However, many patients with Type 2 Diabetes may end up taking Insulin at some point in their life as well.

Because Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and can be prevented, there are many diabetes educators, nutritionists and dietitians working to educate our society on the dangers of diabetes and preventative measures they can take now to avoid living with diabetes.

To aid in this, NCES has selected and created a robust line of diabetes education tools, books and other resources designed specifically for the diabetes educator and patient. If you’re a person living with diabetes and looking for resources, please browse our diabetes selection to see what’s available to help you. If you’re a diabetes educator, there are a lot of resources that can help you spread your message. Plus, you can share this blog to help others around you understand Type 1 versus Type 2 Diabetes. Simply use the links in the blog or click Diabetes in the header to start browsing NCES diabetes products.

Here are just a few of the many great products you’ll find when you visit us!

Right-Sized Diabetes Plate

diabetes plate





Diabetes Food Models

NCES Diabetes Food Model Kit


Glucose Wands

Glucose Wands


Are you diabetic? If so, you’ve probably been told that carb counting is one of the single most important things you can do to help control your diabetes. Obviously, exercise is important as well. But, counting your carbs is your lifeline to successfully managing your diabetes! Right? Or… is that right? There is currently a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of carb counting to manage diabetes.

On one side, you have the traditional thinkers who argue that counting carbs is the only way to control your diabetes. It’s simple logic! When you consume carbohydrates, whether simple or complex, your body breaks them down in to sugar. This sugar is then absorbed in to your blood stream causing your blood sugar to rise. In response to this rise in blood sugar, your body releases the hormone insulin. Insulin is used to take the sugar from your blood and move it to your cells. Once in the cells, it can be used as energy to fuel your body. Diabetes is an insulin deficiency in your body. So, it makes sense that if your body struggles to produce insulin, it cannot appropriately manage the sugar in your blood caused by consuming carbohydrates. So, in order to control your diabetes, you must manage the amount of carbs you consume so that your body can manage the blood sugar levels.

On the other side, you have the radical thinkers who say that counting carbs is not a vital part of successfully managing diabetes. Instead, they argue that it is more a combination of the foods you eat and the amount of daily exercise you get that keeps your blood sugar in control.

But, we want to know what you think! How do you find that your diabetes is best controlled? Are you traditional or radical? Please share your thoughts with us… Facebook, Twitter, Email or even comment right here on this blog!


Six Picks: The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Smart Carbs

1. Know your simple carbs. Sucrose, fructose, and lactose are all simple carbohydrates, and are comprised mostly of simple sugars. It’s generally not essential to have a large amount of simple carbs in your diet.
2. Know your complex carbs. Made of starch and fibers, they’re often referred to as whole grains. They can be found in whole wheat flour, rolled oats, barley, rye, and brown rice among other foods. These can help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
3. Smart Carbs are essential for exercise and function. The majority of energy you use on a daily basis comes from the carbohydrates you consume. Not just for running, biking and swimming, carbs also give your body the energy for essential functions like your heartbeat, breathing, and digestion.
4. Smart carbs provide a way for you to consume fewer calories. Put simply, most foods that have not been processed are going to
contain fewer calories. So, when looking at carbs, try to find the least processed sources. For example, eating cooked oatmeal rather than an oatmeal cookie is always a good idea.
5. Simple carbs mean more than simplicity. When fiber is removed from food, with fat and sugar being added, the calories skyrocket while nutrition values plummet. Plus, the low nutrient density means that you’ll be eating more, just to feel full.
6. Incorporate Smart Carbs into meals and snacks. Try adding complex carbs to your regular meals and snacks. Instead of chips, try whole grain crackers, or whole grain versions of breads and cereals. Carrot sticks and fruit also contain smart carbs, and provide a much better choice than other carb-filled foods.

For more tips on eating ‘Smart Carbs”, check out Item # 2939 (ADA Complete Guide to Carb Counting) in our catalog or online at www.ncescatalog.com.


Six Picks: The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Restaurant Eating

  1. You get more than what you pay for. When eating in a restaurant, you’ll tend to get full faster. This is because restaurant foods typically have more fat and calories, which will keep you full for longer.
  2. Eat what you want.  Whichever part of the meal you’re looking forward to the most, eat that dish. Don’t force yourself through an appetizer if the main dish is what you really want, or vice versa.   
  3. You don’t have to clean your plate. It’s a fact that people will usually eat more when given more. Restaurants can serve up to six times the recommended serving size. Only eat as much as your stomach says it can handle.  
  4. Start with a “to-go” box. At the beginning of the meal, ask for a box and put part of your meal away to enjoy on another day. This will prevent you from overeating, and it will also provide you with a meal on another day, stretching the dollars you’re spending on the meal.  
  5. Keep dessert in mind. If you know beforehand that you’re going to get a dessert, eat a lighter meal, or set more aside to take home. Consider splitting the dessert if you know you only need a few bites to be satisfied.
  6. Know the sales language. Certain words are used to make things more appealing (and are usually unhealthy). Watch out for: fried, breaded, battered, crispy, creamed, Au gratin, buttered sauce, stuffed with cheese, or in its own gravy.

For many more tips about restaurant eating, check out “Carb Counting in Restaurants”, item # 4524 at www.ncescatalog.com or in our catalog.