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


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.