There are many myths and misconceptions when it comes to this chronic disease. But, do you know what is a myth and what is true when it comes to diabetes?
It is time to find out and eliminate these myths once and for all.
1. Myth -People with Diabetes Should Eat Special Diabetic Foods
Fact – Everyone no matter diabetic or not should have a healthy meal plan, and it is the same for everyone fruits, low in trans and saturated fat, non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats, moderation with sugar and salt, whole grains, and meals based on lean protein.
The so-called diabetic food actually offers no specific special benefits. In fact, most diabetic foods can raise blood glucose levels. Also if they contain sugar alcohols, they can have a laxative effect, and in addition, they are more expensive.
2. Myth – If You Are Obese or Overweight, You Will Develop Type 2 Diabetes
Fact – Although being obese or overweight is a risk to develop diabetes there are also other risk factors like age, ethnicity, and family history. Many people are not aware of the other above-mentioned factors and think that their weight is a risk when it comes to type 2 diabetes.
Weight is not the only factor, bear in mind that there are people that have type 2 diabetes and have a healthy weight and also people that are obese and overweight and that do not have type 2 diabetes.
3. Myth- Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes
Fact- OK, this answer is not so simple. Unknown factors trigger the start of type 1 diabetes along with genetics. On the other hand, lifestyle factors and genetics contribute to type 2 diabetes.
According to research what is linked to type 2 diabetes are sugary drinks.
There is a recommendation from the American Diabetes Association that people should bear in mind to avoid sugar-sweet beverages in order to prevent diabetes.
Beverages that are sugar-sweetened are:
- Sweet tea;
- Regular soda;
- Sports drinks;
- Fruit punch;
- Energy drinks;
- Fruit drinks.
These drinks not only have a hundred calories per serving but can also raise your blood glucose.
One regular soda – 12 ounces can have around 40 grams of carbohydrate as well as 150 calories. You can find the exact same amount of carbohydrates in ten teaspoons of sugar.
Sugary fruit drinks like one cup fruit punch have around 30 grams of carbohydrates and 100 calories.
4. Myth – If You are a Diabetic, You Should Only Eat Small Amounts of Pasta, Bread, Potatoes, and Starchy Foods
Fact – You can consume starchy foods, but bear in mind that what is more important is the amount you eat. You can include in your diet starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, peas, and yams and also whole-grain bread-like rice, cereals, and pasta.
Also to yogurt, starchy foods, beans, milk, sweets, and fruits remember that they are also carbohydrates that you can add to your meal plan.
There are no specific amount of carbohydrates you can include in your diet because the amount you need to add can vary based on different factors.
You need to consult your doctor about the amount you should add; it is individual. After you know what your proper amount is all you need to do next is to choose the appropriate size of portion and food as well.
5. Myth- You Can Catch Diabetes from Someone Else
Fact- Diabetes is not contagious. You cannot catch it. It isn’t like flu or cold. We do not know exactly why some people have diabetes, but we do know that there is some genetic link when it comes to diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes.
As we mentioned, lifestyle factors are also important.
6. Myth – People With Diabetes Cannot Eat Chocolate and Sweets
Fact – If you eat sugar in the form of chocolate and sweets as part of your meal plan and combine it with exercise, it is alright if you are a diabetic.
It is the same for people with diabetes and for those that do not have diabetes. The important part is to have a small amount and to focus more on healthy choices.
7. Myth- If You Have Type 2 Diabetes and Your Doctor Says You Need to Start Using Insulin, You are Not Taking Proper Care
Fact – Type 2 Diabetes for many people is a progressive disease. When people get diagnosed, they control their blood glucose with oral drugs at a level that is healthy.
But with time, the body produces less of its own insulin. Thus oral drugs will not be enough to keep your normal blood glucose levels. Remember it is a good thing to use insulin in order to have healthy glucose levels.
8. Myth- People With Diabetes are More Likely to Get Colds and Other Illnesses
Fact – It doesn’t mean that because you are diabetic that you will be prone to illnesses and colds. But, people that have diabetes often get the advice to get flu shots. Why?
Because any other illness can make your diabetes difficult to manage and control. And if you are diabetic and get the flu, it is more likely to develop complications that might be severe.
That is why you only need to be cautious and get a flu shot.
9. Myth- Eat as Much Fruit as You Want, It is a Healthy Food
Fact – Fruit contains vitamins, minerals, and a lot of fiber. Fruit also contains carbohydrates. It is known that carbohydrates raise blood sugar i.e. blood glucose and they need to be part of your meal plan.
Consult your doctor for the amount and type of fruits you are allowed to eat or avoid.
10. Myth – Diabetes is Not a Serious Disease
Fact – diabetes actually causes more deaths per year than AIDS and breast cancer combined. The chances of getting a heart attack are almost double if you are a diabetic.
The bright side to all this is that if you take good care and have good control over your diabetes you can reduce the risk to get complications.