10 Myths About Diabetes and Food (Slideshow)
November 5, 2013
Diabetes is not about deprivation, but rather moderation
Myth: Beans are proteins so I can eat as many as I want.
Real Deal: In one-half cup of beans, there are 7 grams of protein and 15 grams of carbohydrates. This can add up if you are eating rice and beans!
Myth: I can never eat cake again!
Real Deal: Diabetes is not about deprivation, rather it is about moderation. You can eat all foods when you have diabetes. Adhere to consistent carbohydrate-counting principles and eat your cake with a lean protein and a monounsaturated fat.
Myth: The harder I work out the better. Two cardio classes are better than one!
Real Deal: Nope — when your aerobic exercise becomes anaerobic from working out too hard, you raise your blood sugar. Wear a heart rate monitor to help stay in your target heart range and be sure you can talk to your neighbor to help stay in your aerobic zone.
Myth: You can eat sugar-free cookies, cakes, and ice creams without worrying!
Real Deal: NO. NO. Just because something is sugar-free, it doesn't mean it is carb-free. Carbohydrates raise our blood sugar because they are sugar!
Myth: Fruit is nature's gift. I can eat as much as I want.
Real Deal: Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, beans, and grains are all carbohydrates and thus affect our blood sugar.
Myth: I don't need to watch my diet if I am on medication.
Real Deal: Eating large meals high in carbohydrates and not exercising still affects the body. If you take insulin, you may gain excess weight if you start eating more carbs now that you can control your blood sugar with insulin. Insulin is not a free pass to eat more than your body needs or more carbohydrates per meal. Keep in mind, insulin lowers your blood sugar but it does not lower your calories. Also, if you are taking oral hypoglycemic agents that help to make your body more sensitive to insulin, recognize your pancreas is still working hard! The more weight you gain, the more muscle you lose, and the more resistant the body becomes to insulin. You must change the way you eat and start moving.
Myth: If you have prediabetes, you will most certainly develop diabetes.
Real Deal: You can reverse insulin resistance and prevent diabetes through diet and lifestyle activities such as exercising for 90 to 150 minutes a week.
Myth: If I can't lose 50 pounds, I might as well give up. I am destined to have diabetes just like my father.
Real Deal: Losing just 7 percent of your current body weight decreases your risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. Set small achievable goals!
Myth: It's better to eat diet food like diet soda and diet bread.
Real Deal: Diet soda and diet foods confuse the body and our hunger fullness signal. Instead, eat the real thing and just adhere to your allotted carbohydrates.
Myth: If you have diabetes, you should use an artificial sweetener.
Real Deal: Say no to artificial sugars. They upset your stomach and make you crave more sugar! How could that be helpful? It's not!