by Sarika Rana
Diabetes has become a very common disease in recent times and is turning out to be a threat in the world. If you are a diabetic, you’d be aware of the ‘health’ advices you get on a daily basis. “Avoid sugar,” “Don’t eat too many potatoes,” “Lose some weight,” and “Use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar,” are some common advices that every diabetic must have listened to. Too much information has led to a lot of myths that surround this health condition. Therefore, it is important to know and understand these myths and try to not believe them unless they are being scientifically proven or being confirmed by a certified expert.
We debunk some myths that have long been doing rounds around diabetes.
Myth 1: People with diabetes shouldn’t eat sugar
One of the most common advices you will hear from every person around is that you should not eat sugar at all. However, the truth is, diabetics should have a diet that is balanced, which can include some sugar in moderation. In fact, diabetics should have healthier alternatives to refined sugar, like jaggery, palm sugar, coconut sugar, raw honey, et al. Remember, moderation is the key.
Myth 2: Only obese suffer from diabetes
Obesity is a risk factor for developing diabetes, but there are other risk factors too. Diabetes is a lifestyle condition, and in more recent times, social and psychological factors like stress, sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, et al may up the risk of developing diabetes. Basically, people with normal weight may also have diabetes.
While genes may be one of the factors for developing diabetes, there are other factors too. In recent times, diabetes can be triggered by viruses, hereditary, stress, poor eating habits and other external factors.
Myth 4: Fruits are healthy, so one can eat as many fruits
Fruits have natural sugars; however, they contain carbohydrates and tend to raise blood sugar levels no matter how healthy they are. It is important to check your portion size even when you are eating fruits. Fruits have fibre content along with vitamins and minerals, all of which are said to manage diabetes well.
Myth 5: Having diabetes means you have to remain on a specific diabetic diet
There are certain ‘off-limits’ for diabetics; only how you plan your meals and how you choose the right foods. Eating a healthy diet is the key to maintaining blood sugar levels. Most health experts recommend eating five small meals instead of three big meals through the day. A simple diet with all essential nutrients, fats, carbohydrates, fibre and proteins can easily help manage diabetes. Make sure you consult your doctor before starting a particular diet.
Myth 6: Carbohydrates are a big no-no
Carbohydrates are not your enemy; it is the quantity of carbs that can complicate the disease. Those foods that are low in glycaemic index, a measure of how quickly foods with carbohydrates may impact blood sugar levels, are known to be better choices as compared to those with high GI. So, do not skip carbohydrates, rather pick the healthier ones.
Myth 7: You can have sugar-free products
We all are lured into buying ‘healthy’ foods from the grocery store, but what we fail to do is to read the nutrition labels. Remember, these foods may label themselves as healthy, but they are laden with calories, carbs, sugar and fats. Homemade food is the best choice when it comes to eating healthy.
Myth 8: Switch to artificial sweeteners and avoid sugar
Artificial sweeteners do no good to your body. The difference between the two is that artificial sweeteners do not add any carbs to your body. However, excessive use of these sweeteners can ruin your overall health. So it is best to stick to healthy alternatives of sugar.
Don’t believe everything you hear; instead, you should always consult your doctor if ever in doubt. Manage diabetes with a healthy diet, engage in exercises and lead a fit lifestyle.