Globally, approximately 463 million people are living with diabetes in 2019, with 4.2 million deaths directly caused by diabetes. Diabetes remains to be one of the world’s leading causes of death and has been a major cause of kidney failure, stroke, blindness, lower limb amputation, and heart attacks. This chronic disease happens either when there is insufficient insulin production by the pancreas, or the body is unable to effectively utilize the insulin it produces. While a change in diet is necessary to prevent the risk of diabetes, however, certain myths circulate that needs to be debunked. Here are some of these myths:
Myth # 1: Consumption of sugar can cause diabetes
The truth is eating sugar alone cannot cause diabetes. Sugar is often linked to diabetes since sugar is converted to glucose. Insulin transports glucose from the blood to the cells. In diabetes, when there is insufficient insulin production or the body ineffectively uses insulin, blood glucose level elevates. Again, while consumption of sugar cannot cause diabetes, it is advisable to cut back on eating sweets and consuming sugary beverages. Eating sugars and consuming sugary beverages cause people to become overweight, which is also considered as a risk factor for diabetes.
Myth # 2: Desserts are off-limits
While sweets like cakes and cookies are filled with simple sugars that raise your blood glucose level, sweets are not off-limits to people with diabetes. Moderation and portion control is necessary, though. It is recommended to consume fewer servings of sweets on a particular occasion and create a safe balance by limiting other carbohydrates in your meal.
Myth # 3: Sugarless products are healthy
It is a common notion that sugar-free products found in supermarkets and grocery stores are healthy. However, these products still carry a large number of carbohydrates, fats, and calories. Therefore, it is important to check the nutritional label found in these products for the total carbohydrate content.
Myth # 4: People with diabetes should not engage in physical activities
One of the myths circulating is that people with diabetes are not advisable to engage in physical activities like sports. However, that is not true. It is recommended for people with diabetes; exercising regularly is an important aspect of managing diabetes. Also, exercise improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin. It is necessary to consult a physician regarding the recommended diet and exercise you have to follow, as well as a fitness instructor to ensure that the fitness programs you will adhere are safe.
Myth # 5: You can splurge with anything that you want as long as you’re on medication.
It is a big myth that you can consume whatever you desire as long as you are taking your medication for diabetes. Contrary to what this myth is about, taking medication on diabetes doesn’t give them the power to consume whatever food or drinks they desire. It is necessary to take diabetes medication as prescribed by your physician and follow your diabetes eating plan to manage your diabetes. Consistent consumption of unhealthy foods and/or eating large volumes may block your prescribed drug to act.
Myth 6: Fats are unimportant
It is important to monitor fat consumption as well. This is to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, especially for people with type 2 diabetes who are also overweight. Keep away from trans-fat and restrict saturated fat in your diet. Consuming foods that are abundant in saturated fats like deep-fried foods can cause weight gain and elevate bad cholesterol levels, thus increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Myth # 7: Diabetes is communicable
Diabetes is not contagious and is being categorized as a non-communicable illness. Therefore, it cannot be passed from one person to another through blood, by sneezing or any other mode of transmission. However, Diabetes can be hereditary, and children can acquire diabetes because of the gene and by following an unhealthy dietary regimen.
Discerning from fact and fiction regarding diabetes is important to prevent misconceptions and avoid following improper habits. It is fundamental to not only browse for information with regard to diabetes but most importantly to also have a regular check-up and consult your healthcare provider if you are suspecting to have the disease.