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Control Your Condition for Life

What is Diabetes?

You first need to understand the role of insulin in your body to understand what diabetes is.

Diabetes can strike anyone, from any walk of life and it does in numbers that are drastically increasing. So what is diabetes you ask?

Your body turns food into sugars or glucose when you eat. At that point, your pancreas is supposed to release insulin.

Insulin serves as a “key” to open your cells, to allow the glucose to enter and allow you to use the glucose for energy. But with diabetes, this system does not work.

What causes diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is a form of diabetes when the body no longer produces insulin because the body’s own immune system has attacked and destroyed the cells where insulin is made.

The cause of type 2 diabetes is largely unknown, but genetics and lifestyle clearly play roles. Type 2 diabetes has been linked to obesity, genetic risk factors, and inactivity.

Blood sugar control through diet and Exercising Healthy plate format.

The healthy plate format is a visual eating tool to help you manage your calories and carbohydrates while eating a well-balanced meal. Pay attention to your total carbohydrate intake by reading food labels. Aim to eat approximately the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal at about the same time each day.

A standard lunch or dinner plate format:
  • One fourth plate starch
  • One fourth plate meat, fish, or poultry
  • One half plate non-starchy or lowcarbohydrate vegetables, such as:
    • Broccoli
    • Green beans
    • Carrots
    • Mushrooms
    • Tomatoes
    • Cauliflower
    • Spinach
    • Peppers
    • Salad greens
  • 8 fluid ounces of reduced-fat milk
  • One serving of fruit

Know where to look! Food labels can help you make better choices.

  • Aim for low-fat products that have 3 g of fat or less/serving.
  • Shoot for high-fiber food sources that have 5 g of fiber or more/serving.
  • Pay attention to your “total carb” intake by reading food labels: 1 carbohydrate serving equals 15 g of carbohydrates.
  • Follow the “Fat 5, Sugar 10 Rule” when looking at food labels, choosing items with less than 5 g of fat and less than 10 g of sugar.
  • Choose for sugar-free versions, when possible, but remember sugar free does not mean fat free or calorie free.

Weight loss

If you are overweight, losing 5%-10% of your body weight can improve your blood sugar.

If you are trying to lose weight contact a registered dietitian who can help assist you with a personalized meal plan.

Diabetes prevention Tips:

  • Check your risk of diabetes
  • Manage your weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet.
  • Limit takeaway and processed foods.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • See your doctor for regular check-ups.

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