8 Common Myths About Type 2 Diabetes
Being diagnosed with an illness such as type 2 diabetes can be harrowing and stressful, especially when you start to think about all the diet and lifestyle changes you are going to have to make for the rest of your life. And having a bunch of myths and misconceptions thrown at you is certainly not going to be helpful!
That’s why we’ve gathered this list of common myths about type 2 diabetes, and debunked them for you:
1. Excess Sugar Causes Diabetes
People often think that you get diabetes if you eat too much sugar. While being overweight does increase your likelihood of diabetes, actual consumption of sugar (apart from it’s contribution to your waistline) has nothing to do with it.
In fact, type 2 diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to produce a hormone in the pancreas that is responsible for regulating the level of glucose in the blood. Due to this inefficiency, the body is unable to properly break down food into energy required by the cells.
2. Diabetes Diets Are Extremely Limiting
One of the most overwhelming things about being diagnosed by diabetes is thinking about what you can and cannot eat anymore. But fear not, you can still enjoy most, if not all, of your favorite foods. You’ll just have to be a bit more careful about portion control, managing your meals, and taking your medication religiously. Other things you will need to consider are things like always having a snack on hand in case your blood sugar levels drop and carrying your medication with you at all times.
3. You’ll Have To Give Up Desserts
Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up on desserts completely! But you will have to make healthier choices more consciously, which we can all benefit from – diabetic or otherwise – to be honest. For instance, you might have to go for smaller portion choice, or pick a dessert that relies on natural sweeteners, and of course, plenty of fruit is always a plus!
Substituting regular dessert ingredients like yogurt in place of whipping cream or natural sweeteners like honey in place of sugar can yield a product that is just as delicious, only a lot healthier and guilt-free.
4. Diabetics Have To Eliminate Carbohydrates
Just as with desserts, you do not have to shun carbohydrates from your life completely. In actuality, complex carbohydrates are extremely healthy, full of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber – all important for maintaining a balanced diet. We’re talking about whole grains, brown rice, fresh fruits and vegetables – yes, these are all sources of good carbs!
5. Eat What You Want As Long As You Manage Blood Sugar Levels
While we’ve said that diabetes doesn’t mean you have to have a lifestyle overhaul, we have also stressed that making healthy choices is key in managing your condition. That’s why it can be dangerous to assume that you can eat whatever you want, however high in sugar or carbs, as long as you take medicines to stabilize your blood sugar. Overuse of diabetic medicines can cause a severe deterioration of the organs in your body in the long run, so you should never go beyond your doctor’s orders.
6. Diabetics Can Only Eat Low Fat/Calorie Foods
While its obviously a good thing to eat foods that are low in fat and calorie, you don’t have to always stick with them. In fact, being knowledgeable about the food you eat is far more important. This is because many of the foods we buy at the supermarket labeled “low fat” or “zero calories” are in fact hiding many other unpleasant ingredients. Always read the full list of ingredients in any food items you buy, and talk to a nutritionist about how you can make better choices for meals at home and outside.
7. Diabetics Are Only Permitted Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are designed to impact much more sweetness in a littler quantity than natural sweeteners like honey or agave. While artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, acesufame potassium, and stevia, are approved for use by the American Diabetes Association and make a diabetics life a lot easier, it’s better to stick to natural sweeteners. Getting used to foods that are less sweeter can be good for all of us, and natural sweeteners like honey come with a whole load of added benefits. You can even still use sugar in your diet, you’ll just have to be very careful about portion control.
8. The Entire Family Has To Eat A Diabetic’s Diet
While your family might be worried that they’ll too have to eat like diabetics now, that isn’t always a bad thing and it is definitely not as bad as it sounds. This is because a “diabetic diet” only emphasizes on making healthy choices such as eating more fresh foods and cutting down on foods high in refined fats, processed foods, and making sure you have portion control. All of this beneficial for not just people with type 2 diabetes, but every single human being!