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MYTH BUSTING:Type 2 Diabetes

This November, during National Diabetes Awareness Month, we want to do a little MYTH BUSTING!! 

To start us off, we’re reposting this article from SELF/Nutrition Data.

6 Myths about Type 2 Diabetes

Monday, November 8, 2010 at 9:24 AM

diabetes.jpgNovember is Diabetes Awareness Month and with the number of adults and children with Type 2 Diabetes growing every year, I think we’ve all become more aware of this condition than we used to be.  Nonetheless, myths and misunderstandings about this largely preventable condition abound.

Myth #1   If I’m diabetic, I shouldn’t eat fruit.

It’s true that fruit contains carbohydrates and can affect blood sugar. But fruit can be a very healthy part of your diet, even if you are diabetic. Fruit contains valuable nutrients and fiber and has a milder effect on blood sugar than other types of sweets.  A healthy diabetic meal plan should contain two or three servings of whole fruit each day. Whole fruit is a better choice than processed fruits like applesauce, fruit cocktail, dried fruits, or fruit juice.

Myth #2  I only need to pay attention to carbohydrates, not protein or fat.Limiting carbohydrates will help keep your blood sugar levels in check but it’s also important to be sure that your total calorie intake is appropriate.  Eating too much protein or fat can lead to weight gain, which can accelerate diabetes.  Diabetics also have an increased risk of heart disease, so watching your saturated fat intake is also important. Find out how many calories you need.

Myth #3   Diabetics should eat a low carbohydrate diet.

Up until 1994, the American Diabetes Association recommended a diet of about 60% carbohydrates for all Type 2 diabetics. Some diabetics can achieve good blood sugar control on this type of diet. However, many studies have shown that low-carbohydrate and/or low-glycemic diets can be very effective in helping diabetics lose (or maintain) weight and improving insulin sensitivity.  The ADA now acknowledges that lower carbohydrate diets may be helpful in some patients and recommends that diets be individualized.  Read more about the glycemic index.

Myth #4   All Type 2 diabetics need to take insulin or other anti-diabetic drugs for life.

Not so!  Even if you are currently using insulin or anti-diabetic medications to manage your Type 2 diabetes, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate your need for drugs by losing weight, exercising, and sticking to your diet plan. (No-one should discontinue any medications without consulting their physician).

Myth #5  If I’m using insulin or antidiabetic medications, I can eat what I want.

Taking medications is not a substitute for eating right, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.  Do everything you can to manage your diabetes with healthy lifestyle habits–even if you are taking diabetes medication. The medications will work better, you’ll need to take less of them, and you’ll stay healthier in the long run.

Myth #6  People with “prediabetes” (or a family history of Type 2 diabetes) always eventually end up with full-blown Type 2 diabetes.

Not at all. If your doctor has told you that your blood sugar levels are “borderline” or that you have “prediabetes,” this is a wake-up call!  Get serious about losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising and you can very likely avoid developing diabetes.  Having a family history of Type 2 diabetes also doesn’t mean that you will also get the disease. You’re in control!


If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes and are interested in preventing the developing of type 2 diabetes, a member of our nutrition team would like to speak with you! Click here for a free session!

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