Web Talk

Diagnosis, Diet and Daily Life:

Diabetes Information on the Internet

by Laura Emery, Field Editor


Looks like you have diabetes,” the doctor says slowly, peering over the blood-test results in his hand.

If you’re among the more than 29 million Americans who have heard these life-changing words and are living with some form of diabetes, you know there’s nothing sweet about this diagnosis.


In fact, doctors estimate that there are up to a million people suffering from diabetes, who are ignorant of their condition. As obesity rises in this country, so do the cases of diabetes.


Diabetes can affect the kidneys, the eyes and the heart. Type 1 diabetes, often called children’s or juvenile diabetes, occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin, the hormone that converts sugar, starch and other foods into energy for the body. Type 2 diabetes, often referred to as adult-onset diabetes, occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin available in the body.


The most important way to manage diabetes, along with many other health conditions, is to overhaul your diet and eat properly. It’s not about going on a temporary diet; it means making permanent healthy changes in the way you eat. For example, having spaghetti squash in place of carb-rich pasta, cauliflower rice in place of regular rice and lettuce-wrapped turkey tacos instead of diet-destroying drive-through variations are all simple choices you can make to better your health.


Whether or not you or a loved one have been diagnosed with diabetes, it shouldn’t take a diagnosis to get you making healthier food choices. Check out the following websites for diabetes-centered cooking, as well as healthy cooking, up-to-date nutrition information, and more.



The American Diabetes Association (ADA) website is consistently ranked as one of the most popular disease-specific healthcare websites on the internet. The ADA website is a great resource for all things related to diabetes, including diabetes meal plans. A diabetes meal plan will help you improve your blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol numbers and keep your weight on track. The guide will tell you how much and what kinds of foods you can choose to eat at meals and snack times. The site features several helpful meal-planning tools that include the plate method, carb counting and use of the glycemic index. Other great finds on this site are the sections “Diabetes Basics” and “Living with Diabetes.” Throughout the site, there are helpful articles meant to answer the most-asked questions about this disease. Also helpful for those interested in understanding diabetes is a section dedicated to “Understanding Carbs.”



Health-food hacks are the newest trend. Experts say most people eat poorly because it’s inconvenient and complicated (or overwhelming) to eat healthy. So, head on over to Cosmopolitan.com for some (47, to be exact) simple health-food hacks worth trying.



The website’s intro says it all: “As more research reveals the not-so-sweet side effects of too much sugar — including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease — more of us are trying to cut back. And luckily that doesn’t have to mean a tearful farewell to pancakes, brownies, ice cream and finger-licking barbecue chicken forever. We searched high and low for some of the best treats that pass the delicious (and healthy!) test without including any added sugars (other than natural ones from fruit) or artificial sweeteners.” Recipes include whole-wheat, sugar-free banana pancakes, sugar-free breakfast cherry muffins, and even sugar-free peanut butter cookies.


Now that’s a sweet deal. Also featured on this website is an article on (greatist.com/ health/30-sugar-substitutes-any-and-every-possible-situation) the 30 sugar substitutes for any and every possible situation. Check it out and satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your health. 



Cooking Light has a whole section on diabetes-friendly recipes. Again, whether you’re battling diabetes or just trying to make better health choices, these recipes are worth checking out.




You can’t believe everything you read. When it comes to diabetes, and even healthy eating in general, there is a lot of misinformation out there … myths, if you will. WebMD.com seeks to dispel these myths in an easy-to-understand way. For example, the biggest myth is that eating too much sugar can cause diabetes. Wrong! Diabetes begins when something disrupts your body’s ability to turn the food you eat into energy.



This website contains diabetes news and trends written by two contributors in an easy-to-read conversational format. Latest posts feature tips on how to travel safely with diabetes, snack ideas to keep your diabetes under control, ways to manage diabetes in dogs and avoiding diabetes.



For a personal perspective — with a healthy dose of humor — on the good, the bad and the ugly side of diabetes, check out this personal blog “Six Until Me” written by Kerri Sparling. Her writing style is a mix of candor and humor that is informative, comforting and entertaining at the same time. And, when it comes to life with diabetes, she doesn’t sugarcoat it. “My blog started back in May of 2005, admittedly mostly because I was lonely with diabetes. I had lots of friends and community outside of my busted pancreas, but no one in my life who ‘got it,’ ” she writes. “I want to have a proper life after diagnosis, not one that’s dominated by fear. Give me some hope! Which brought me to the blogosphere over a decade ago, and that desire to connect with people who intimately understand diabetes is what drives me to stay here.”


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