Myth #1: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
FALSE. Diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas completely stops making any insulin, a hormone that helps the body to use glucose (sugar) found in foods for energy. What is known is that eating too many sweets doesn’t cause diabetes!
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, results when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly. This form of diabetes usually occurs in people who are overweight, and have a family history of diabetes, although today it is increasingly occurring in younger people as well.
Myth #2: A diabetes diagnosis means you automatically need insulin.
PARTIALLY CORRECT That’s the case with type 1 diabetes but not with type 2 diabetes. In some cases, proper diet, exercise, and oral medications, if needed, can keep type 2 diabetes under control for some time before insulin becomes necessary. The key is to make a lifestyle change. That means no smoking, more healthful eating habits, and regular exercise.
Myth #3: A Diabetic can’t eat carbohydrates; it will make blood sugars go high.
NOT REALLY Of course they do — even people who don’t have diabetes will see an elevation in their blood glucose after eating. Carbohydrates should be approximately 50 percent of your daily food intake each day. Carbohydrates are your fuel, without them you will have little energy.
Myth #4: People with Diabetes cannot play sports
FALSE People with diabetes are encouraged and advised to exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. Staying active can help avoid complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease.
Upcoming tennis player for India, Kyra Shroff and Wasim Akram, former Pakistan cricket captain are examples of people who continued to play their sport at the highest competitive level even after being diagnosed with diabetes and performed as well as any other team member without diabetes.
A similar myth is that children with diabetes cannot exercise – just the opposite is true. In fact, food intake, insulin, and physical activity are the basis for treatment of Type 1 diabetes. Exercise lowers the amount of blood sugar, which results in a person feeling better, helps avoid becoming overweight, and reduces the chances of developing long-term complications associated with diabetes.
Myth #5: Diabetes only affects old people.
FALSE In reality, diabetes affects all age groups. Currently, an estimated 246 million people between the ages of 20 and 79 have diabetes. And, due largely to increasing obesity rates, more children are now being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.
Myth #6: Fruit isn’t good for you.
FALSE Don’t fear fruit’s natural sugars. Your body needs all types of produce for good health.Learning how much carbohydrate is in all food groups — including fruits and vegetables — and what the portion size is for a single serving helps avoid carbohydrate excesses.
Myth #7: Sugar-free is OK to eat.
FALSE Sugar-free pies and cakes are popular, but they aren’t necessarily low calorie, low fat or even low carbohydrate. One should read the labels or make substitutions to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you have sugar cravings Instead, use your favorite fruits in a crisp. By doing this you will eat fewer carbs and get more nutrition than from most other desserts.
Myth #8: Eat as much as you want as long as it’s good for you.
FALSE Too much of a good thing is bad for you. Start trimming your portions by 10% or 20% at each meal.
Myth #9: It’s OK to eat sweets if your blood sugar is too low.
FALSE Candy, cookies and brownies will have more calories (and often unhealthy saturated fats too) than the recommended treatment, and it may take longer to raise your blood glucose. It’s best to use pure glucose in tablets, gel or liquid.
Myth #10: People with diabetes can’t drink alcohol
The truth is most people with diabetes can, but only in moderation. One rule of thumb is to always stick to beer, dry wines or straight liquor, and steer clear of sugary mixed drinks and cocktails. While alcohol won’t raise blood sugar levels, insulin and other medications can mix with alcohol to lower your blood sugar. These unexpected drops can be dangerous, and sometimes won’t be felt until the next day. In addition, alcohol is loaded with empty calories, and can cause unwanted weight gain. Women should have no more than 1 drink per day. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day.