Nutrition/Dietary Assignment Paper on Diabetes


Diabetes, also known as Diabetes Mellitus, is an illness that occurs when your blood sugar level is too high. Blood sugar, or as some people call it blood glucose, is the main source of energy and comes from the food one eats ( Anstee, 2013). The pancreas in the body produces insulin hormone, which helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. The pancreas may make little or no insulin at times, or may even fail to use the insulin well, all which contributes to diabetes. Diabetes is classified as a chronic condition. This means, although it can be controlled, it lasts a lifetime. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from defects in insulin secretion, its action or both. General symptoms include:

Relationship of Nutrients to Organs in Diabetes

Generally, the food one eats is closely connected to the amount of sugar in their blood. Therefore, the right food choices help one to control their blood sugar levels. Diabetes patients are advised to work with a meal plan which tells you what kinds of food to eat during meal time and even snack time. A meal plan even tells you how much to eat.

A good diet should be low in cholesterol levels, low in salt and low in added sugar. This applies for both those diagnosed with diabetes and even those without. Recent research by doctors indicates that eating sugar does is not problematic for diabetes patients as long as it is the balanced diet. However, diabetes patients should refrain from intake of too much sugar or even adding sugar to foods as this puts their health at a risk.

For each meal that one takes, one may have two choices of carbohydrates, one choice of proteins and some amount of fat. Carbohydrates are found in dairy foods, starchy foods such as bread, and in some fruits and vegetables. These fruits should however preferably be fresh rather than canned. Carbohydrates could also be found in non-fat mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup.

Proteins and fats are also very important in one’s diet. Proteins are found in meat, poultry, and fish. White meat is however preferred over red meat. Fats, on the other hand, are found in many dairy and meat should avoid fried foods as they contain too many fats.

Types of Diabetes and Risks Associated

The most common types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

This type of diabetes occurs when the body does not produce insulin. Although appearing at any age, it mostly occurs in children and young adults. The pancreas is destroyed by alcohol, disease or even removal by surgery, thus no production of insulin. People with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin treatment to sustain their life.

Type 2 Diabetes

In this type, the pancreas does not produce insulin nor make good use of it. It is however common in middle aged and older people after 45 years old. Control is through weight loss or oral medication.

Gestational Diabetes

This occurs among pregnant women in their second half of their pregnancy. It is however resolved upon the birth of the child. Women who have this form of diabetes are likely to develop Type 2 diabetes later in life.



Anstee, Q. M., Targher, G., & Day, C. P. (2013). Progression of NAFLD to diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease or cirrhosis. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology10(6), 330-344.