Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board certified physicians and healthcare professionals. Our medical reviewers make sure that all articles are thorough and correct, reflecting the latest evidence based analysis.
Diabetes occurs when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or when the insulin you do produce doesn’t work properly. Insulin is a hormone that converts sugar from your blood into vitality.
A person with diabetes needs to monitor his or her blood sugar several times a day and regulate the amount of insulin that is taken. Some diabetics need to do this manually, but others use insulin pumps that mimic the body’s natural insulin secretion. However, not all diabetics are motivated or able to keep up with such strict vigilance.
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, eating foods that are low in sodium (salt) can help prevent or delay the progression of the disease. Choose a diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish, and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, and avocados. It’s also important to get regular physical activity and maintain a healthy weight. For most people, a glycemic index of 55 or lower is recommended to help control diabetes. The glycemic index is a number that tells how much impact a particular food will have on your blood sugar level. A higher glycemic index means that a food will raise your blood sugar more quickly than one with a lower glycemic index.