As many people with Diabetes may know there are MANY Diabetes myths! Once others discover that you have diabetes, you will receive a LOT of conflicting information. In fact, many websites may also provide you with plenty of ‘useful’ information, which is actually more harmful than beneficial.
In order to separate truth from fiction and therefore help you manage your diabetes more effectively, I have compiled a list of some of the more common diabetes myths and the ‘real story’ behind them.
Diabetes Myths #1: Type 2 diabetes is a mild form of diabetes
The fact that it is Type 2, rather than Type 1 Diabetes, does not make it any more ‘mild’. All diabetes is serious and can lead to serious complications if not well-controlled. The good news is that if you control your blood glucose levels well, you should not go on to develop any complications.
Diabetes Myths #2: People with diabetes cannot have sugar
Having diabetes does not mean you have to have a sugar-free diet. The idea is to limit any free- sugars and follow a healthy balanced diet.
Diabetes Myths #3: People with Diabetes should avoid grapes
This is advice from many years ago, when fruit restriction was common in Diabetes treatment. Many fruits such as grapes received bad press, but this was actually more to do with the fact that we eat certain fruits in much larger quantities, hence the total sugar intake is higher.
Current advice is that all fruit is fine to consume – and the more variety, the better. Fruit is high in fibre, low in fat and full of vitamins and minerals. It helps to protect against heart disease, cancer and certain stomach problems.
However, portion size of all fruit is key to good control.
Diabetes Myths #4: People with diabetes should eat ‘diabetic’ foods
There is a common perception that to replace the cakes and biscuits that we know to be full of sugar, the ‘diabetic’ options are a healthier alternative.
However, when the sugar in these foods is replaced by sweetener, the texture changes as a result. In order to restore the creaminess of the product, more fat is often added. Those with diabetes should also be limiting their intake of saturated fat. Therefore, this does not make it a healthier option.
It is also worth bearing in mind that even if the sugar is reduced or removed, any product that contains flour (cakes and biscuits) will still have an impact on your blood glucose levels as flour will turn to glucose during digestion.
If you feel like a ‘treat’, I would recommend a SMALL amount of the real thing!
Diabetes Myths #5: People with diabetes will end up having a foot/leg amputated
Although diabetes can cause amputations to be necessary, it is vital to remember that it is only POORLY-CONTROLLED Diabetes that will lead to amputations. If you keep your blood glucose levels within the advisable range, you will reduce your chances of developing diabetes complications. Try to ensure that you control your blood pressure, glucose, and blood fat levels as well as reducing your weight, if necessary.
If you would like more information on how to control or prevent diabetes through your diet – get in touch!