Diabetes costs $327 billion dollars in the United States, $237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in reduced productivity. With all the information available on Type 2 diabetes as with all diseases, myths still exist. So today, we are going to crush five myths about Diabetes that I have heard in just the last week. My friends, it is essential to stay up to date about this disease, especially if your goal is to manage, prevent, or delay type 2 diabetes.
Five Myths about Diabetes:
- Eating too much sugar causes Diabetes.
- Carbohydrates are bad for Diabetics.
- Sugary don’t drinks cause Diabetes
- People who are Diabetic need to eat special food
- People with Diabetes cannot have desserts
- MYTH: Eating too much sugar causes Diabetes: Sugar consumption does not directly cause Diabetes. But, eating too much can cause weight gain. Obesity is a risk factor for type 2 Diabetes.
- MYTH: Carbohydrates are bad for diabetics: Carbs are one of the foundations of a healthy diet, whether you have Diabetes or not. Something to remember, they do affect blood sugar levels, so you will need to keep track of how much you eat each day. Carbs give you energy and provide many of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients necessary. Be sure to choose whole grains, fruits, and vegetables instead of starchy, sugary carbs which offer fewer vitamins, so they are not a great choice.
- MYTH: Sugary drinks don’t really cause Diabetes: Sugary beverages are not the best choice for anyone and can increase the chances of Diabetes by 26%. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people avoid drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and switch to water whenever possible to help prevent type 2 diabetes. Sugary drinks also raise blood sugar and can provide several hundred calories in just one serving. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda has about 150 calories and 40 grams of sugar, a type of carbohydrate (carb). This is the same as 10 teaspoons of sugar.
- MYTH: People who are diabetic need to eat special food: No, you do not need to eat special food. Beware of packaged foods with claim to be “diabetes-friendly” , they may still raise blood glucose levels, be more expensive, and/or contain sugar alcohols that can have a laxative effect. A healthy meal plan for people with Diabetes is generally the same as healthy eating for anyone. In fact, there are a lot of different eating plans that can help you manage your Diabetes. In general, a healthy eating plan for Diabetes will include lots of non-starchy vegetables, limit added sugars, swap refined grains for whole grains, and prioritize whole foods over highly processed foods when possible.
5. MYTH: People with Diabetes cannot have dessert: you do not need to give up sweets. When we tell ourselves that we are never getting something again it gains power over us, instead of trying to ignore your sugar cravings, take a moment, and ask yourself are you trying to soothe yourself. Sometimes we want something sweet because we have had a bad day. Sometimes you just want something sweet, “it is best to enjoy sweets in small portions as an occasional treat.” The best thing to do is to simply be mindful of your diet, eat what you love.
The more information you know, the better tools you must protect yourself and keep yourself safe.
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