Debunking The 5 Lesser-Known Dietary Myths Around Diabetes

Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava

Did you know?

    • There are three types of diabetes. Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational
    • Most people suffer from Type 2 Diabetes
    • Most young people are affected by Type 1 Diabetes
    • Diabetes is manageable
    • Regular screening can help diagnose diabetes early
    • India is home to approximately 77 million diabetics
    • Being overweight is the most common risk factor of diabetes in India

Introduction

Diabetes is a condition that develops when the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin is compromised.

Insulin is a hormone responsible for carrying glucose from the bloodstream to every cell for energy. 

It is a chronic condition and requires continuous management. The symptoms of diabetes include:

    • Frequent urination
    • Always feeling thirsty
    • Unintentional weight loss
    • Blurry vision
    • Numb or tingling hands or feet
    • Extreme tiredness
    • Dry skin
    • Slow healing of wounds

Several factors are responsible for the onset of this condition, including:

One of the best measures to manage diabetes is by making dietary changes.

But there are certain myths and facts you should be aware of to make the process smooth. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the five common myths that may obstruct diabetes management and facts that can help avoid them.

Myth #1: Excessive sugar intake is the biggest cause of diabetes

Fact:

Although excessive sugar intake is harmful, it is not directly responsible for diabetes. 

Diabetes mainly occurs as a result of a prolonged sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Some causes of obesity include:

    • Excessive sugar intake
    • Physical inactivity
    • Overeating 
    • Hypothyroidism

Obesity can influence blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and leptin resistance – a condition in which the brain’s ability to recognize hormone signals gets compromised and makes it think that you’re hungry, even though you’re not. 

 This condition can also increase the risk of the following conditions:

Myth 2: Managing diabetes involves removing carbohydrates

Fact:

Carbohydrate foods are essential for the body’s functioning.

They are converted into glucose for energy and provide vitamins, minerals, and fibre to improve overall health.

In the case of diabetes management, food choices and the amount consumed is responsible for changes in blood sugar levels. 

A diabetic can have the following foods in moderate amounts to maintain their blood sugar levels:

    • Opt for whole grains and cereals
    • Have raw fruits instead of juice
    • Opt for quinoa instead of regular pasta
    • Consume milk & yoghurt without sweeteners

Myth 3: Diabetic meal is only for diabetes patients

Fact:

Watching the calorie, protein, fat, and carbohydrate intake is crucial for managing diabetes.

These measures also help in improving the health of non-diabetic people. 

The following foods can help enhance your overall health and even aid in managing diabetes:

    • Leafy greens
    • Chia seeds
    • Beans
    • Eggs
    • Nuts
    • Flaxseeds
    • Yoghurt
    • Broccoli

Myth 4: Diabetes management requires giving up on favourite foods

Fact:

Giving up on your favourite foods can be avoided if you follow these tips:

    • Don’t overeat. Have meals in moderation
    • Opt for baked instead of fried
    • Avoid sticking to a specific meal. Try different healthier options

Myth 5: Substituting carbs with protein is healthy

Fact:

Since carbohydrates impact the blood sugar levels, a diabetes patient should strongly consider substituting them with protein.

While carbs provide energy, protein aids in the functioning of every cell and maintaining a healthy body weight. Therefore, you need both macronutrients to manage diabetes. 

Keep an eye on the amount of protein intake and ask the healthcare provider to prepare a diet chart for you. 

Final thoughts

There are several myths related to diabetes management that can affect your health and the most common ones are related to the diet. 

The above-mentioned are five dietary myths and facts that you should be aware of while taking measures to manage the condition.

Moreover, you should also frequently opt for diabetes screening. This health check can provide you with vital insights to prevent the onset of this disease. 

In case you are already afflicted, it can help you to take necessary preventive measures to control the aggravation.

Get Tested For Diabetes Today

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Source: HEALTHIANS

By AlJazeera