I can’t tell you how many questions I get about diabetes – I could write a book! It can be so disheartening to see folks follow erroneous information that undermines their goals or progress. My passion is to empower you with credible, evidenced-based knowledge so your efforts won’t be in vain. To that end, I focused last week’s newsletter on pre-diabetes and diabetes 101. This week I’ll focus on busting some diabetes myths.
Diabetes Myths You Might Have Heard
1. Diabetes is caused by eating sugar
Type 2 diabetes is not caused by eating sugar. It is caused by:
- being obese
- eating a high calorie diet
- having a family history of diabetes
- unhealthy lifestyle factors
Eating a high calorie diet from any food can cause weight gain and gaining weight can lead to type 2 diabetes.
2. You will get diabetes if you’re overweight
Being overweight is a factor but not the only factor. People at normal weight or slightly overweight do get diabetes. This has to do with your activity level, age, family history and ethnicity. It is good to know your body mass index (BMI) because medical professionals use this number to assess your risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes.
3. Fruit is healthy, so I can eat as much as I want
Fruits are a healthy source of nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals. However, fruits are carbohydrates, so eating too much fruit can raise blood glucose (sugar) levels. Consume fruits in moderation and adhere to the serving size. I incorporate fruits into all my clients’ food plans, even if they have diabetes.
Want help creating a healthy meal plan that will help you prevent or get control of diabetes? Call me at (855) 958-9958 or email me at email@example.com to find out more.
4. People with diabetes must eat a special diet
People managing diabetes don’t need special foods or diet. Just like most folks, they need to follow a daily meal plan that:
- is low in saturated fat, salt and refined sugars
- includes lean protein sources like chicken, fish or beans
- has as a main feature non-starchy vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats
- includes 1-3 servings of fruits
Foods that are marketed as healthier for people with diabetes most times offer no special benefit and can still raise blood glucose levels. The key here is moderation, so watch your portion sizes.
5. “I have a little diabetes”
I hear this statement a lot from some folks. It’s their way of saying that they don’t have diabetes or it’s not that serious. The reality is – IT IS! Pre-diabetes, if left untreated, can progress to diabetes. Untreated diabetes can cause a host of other problems such as blindness, nerve damage, high blood pressure and heart disease.
6. Protein is better than carbohydrates
They are both critical for your body to function properly, but you need to choose the sources and amounts of both wisely. Protein with high levels of saturated fat is not good for the heart. Excessive carbohydrate intake can spike blood sugar levels quickly so take care to watch your portion sizes. If you eat too much protein or carbohydrate, your body will convert the excess amount to fat which can increase your risk of developing diabetes.
I hope I dispelled some myths you may have believed about diabetes. Please feel free to let me know if this article has been helpful or if you would like support developing a food and wellness plan to help you achieve your goals.
I specialize in helping people get control of their pre-diabetes, diabetes and weight. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (855) 958-9958 to find out how I can help you achieve optimum health.
God Bless and have a lovely and healthy Thanksgiving holiday!