Common Diabetes Myths vs. Facts
There is a serious lack of education regarding Diabetes that can needlessly cause someone like you or someone you love their health or even life; and it simply does not have to be that way. Diabetes is one of the most preventable, controllable, but misunderstood diseases in existence today, yet people every day continue to suffer needlessly and experience complications such as heart attacks, strokes, amputations, blindness, kidney failure, and much more. It is our hope by helping to educate and inform you, that diabetes will not affect you or you will not develop diabetes in the first place or you will be able to better to manage and control it.
Be part of this change and help stop the cycle of ignorance and misinformation by speaking with your doctor and dietician or nutritionist. Get informed though our website or sources of information, and gain the realization that only YOU have full control of your health and your life. Below are a few more notable myths that can impact your life.
Here are some of the more popular myths to debunk, demystify, and discredit regarding Diabetes:
1. Myth: Diabetes is not really a serious or deadly disease; it can’t be as bad as other diseases
Fact: Many people underestimate diabetes and belief that it really won’t hurt or even kill you. Some people say “You just have to go on some kind of a hard diet”, but diabetes causes more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined!
In Los Angeles County alone, there are at least 650,000 diagnosed diabetics and 20,000 persons with AIDS! These diabetes numbers are from 2007, which shows that there is a dire need for prevention and that diabetes is drastically underrated in our community.
In fact, out of the 650,000 diagnosed diabetics in L.A. County, 303,000 are Latino; almost half of all diabetics! These are diagnosed numbers, but there are many more that are borderline or already have diabetes and just don’t know it yet!
Many of the complications that cause the deaths of diabetics are not reported as diabetes-related, so diabetes deaths are vastly underreported. For example, 2 out of every 3 persons with diabetes dies from heart disease or a stroke, but most of these deaths are commonly not reported as diabetes related but instead the death is reported simply as heart disease, a heart attack or stroke. This has a direct impact on funding for awareness and prevention. We are definitely not exaggerating by using the word “epidemic”.
The LDA is focused on diabetes prevention for Latinos and all other high risk groups which is why this website and literature is available in bilingual English/Spanish and other major languages. We realize that this information needs to be accessible to other high risk groups so we included a drop down menu and included other languages including Asian languages (Chinese simplified Korean, Tagalog, Hindi, etc.), Arabic, Armenian, Russian, Farsi, and English for English speaking Latinos, African-Americans (a very high-risk group), Anglos, and others of European decent.
2. Diabetes is an “American problem”. People from Mexico and other “Latin” countries and around the world don’t get it.
Fact: We have been “exporting diabetes” around the world in places where obesity and diabetes were not in their vocabulary before, but healthy home cooking and walking and exercise was the custom. Mexico for example is now the #1 obese country in the entire world. Mexico ranks #11 in world economies ahead of even Canada and South Korea; and as any other industrialized nation, overconsumes and is struggling to deal with the consequences of this lifestyle.
Globalization and the marketing of everything “American” has now resulted in the manufactured craving for fast and over-processed food and a sedentary lifestyle. The mainstream American palate used to mean dishes like homemade grilled chicken, baked potatoes, and veggies but now has morphed into distasteful, wasteful, and unhealthy convenience “food products”. We have now colonized fast food empires to places like China, India, and much smaller world economies that are not equipped to handle the downside of American style super sizing and have a lack of public health infrastructure and preventive interventions; much as we do. A “Diabesity” diabetes-obesity pandemic due to unhealthy food overconsumption may be the next world-wide and avoidable social, economic, and public health disaster in the coming years.
3. Diabetics are all fat, so they deserve to have diabetes
While obesity is a major factor of diabetes, there are also other root causes such as poverty and race as well as other factors such as health and social disparities in family history, genetics, access to healthcare, and preventive education. One question to ask is why is fast food so cheap and readily available, especially in low-income marginalized communities? An ironic item to consider is that many who have the least are suffering or even dying from overconsumption and eating too much. Persons with higher incomes and education tend not to have as many diseases, but have better access to quality healthcare, more expendable time for recreation and leisure, are more knowledge of their risk factors, as well as the means for quality health interventions.
4. Myth: Diabetes is an “old person’s disease”
Fact: Type 2 Diabetes is the focus of the Latino Diabetes Association and accounts for at least 93% of all diabetes cases. While persons over the age of 40 are more prone to developing Type 2 diabetes, unfortunately a sad fact is that more children are also developing Type 2 diabetes at a much faster rate than Type 1 Diabetes is. Today, children as young as 5 years old are developing Type 2 diabetes, which was unheard of just a generation ago. In fact as little as 15 years ago, many doctors still insisted that children with diabetes were all Type 1. One researcher, Dr. Naomi Neufeld, a collaborator of the Latino Diabetes Association was a leading researcher and advocate over 20 years ago to show that children were actually developing Type 2 diabetes, long before many in the medical establishment concurred.
Type 2 in children is mainly attributed to childhood obesity resulting from a sedentary lifestyle in children, poor nutrition, a lack of prevention education and resources for parents and schools, as well as a lack of quality preventive healthcare, a quick readiness to overprescribe medications rather than educating or referring young patients to a nutritionist or fun and practical exercise programs, and a lack of physical education programs in our schools. Other factors are outside environmental factors such as a lack of quality and natural healthy foods, little access to free or low-cost exercise programs, and a proliferation of instant, over processed, modified, and fast foods increasing diseases and poor quality of life in our society. (Dr. Neufeld conducts a free “Kidshape” diabetes and clinical study for children and young people that includes healthcare, medications, and compensation to parents. Her office can be reached at (310) 652-3976 http://doctorneufeld.com/)
Unpreventable family history and genetics is another contributor to Type 2 diabetes but is too often overlooked or downplayed. One thing that is very important to know and remember is that even if you are “genetically predisposed” to Type 2 diabetes, it does not mean you will automatically get diabetes, or will have it for life if you do! Diabetes can be prevented, controlled, or even reversed by good old-fashioned diet and exercise. That is the only “cure” for diabetes.
5. Myth: I checked my sugar with “a machine” and it said I was okay, so that means I don’t have diabetes
Fact: That “machine” is called a glucometer and it checks your blood sugar (glucose) in the body but it is limited as to what it can do. Your blood sugar it measures can be high or low depending on what you ate, what you didn’t eat, the time of day, your stress level, medications you are taking, and other factors. Daily glucometer checking is extremely important for all diabetics or pre-diabetics to check their glucose, but there is a test diabetics and anyone at risk should get at least once a year.
It is called an “A1C” test. This test is a blood laboratory test and is available from your doctor and tells you what your average glucose level is for the last 90 days, so it is far more accurate than a glucometer reading. The numeric value is also very different as well. Basically, a glucometer reading should be between 70 and 140, while an A1C should be between 4 and 8. See our “Get Tested” section of our website for more information on the A1C test.
6. Myth: Diabetics should never eat any sugar, candy, sweets, or chocolate
Fact: If eaten in small portions in moderation as part of a healthy meal plan, and combined with exercise; sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. They are no more “off limits” to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes. The key for diabetics in eating sweets is to have a very small portion and save them for special occasions so you focus your meal on more healthful foods. Diabetics should eat like everyone else; healthy with moderation on the side of health.
7. Myth: All obese or overweight people will eventually develop type 2 diabetes
Fact: If you are overweight, you are definitely at a much higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, but there are other obvious risks, the other main factors are your family history of diabetes, your ethnicity, and your age (although younger people are getting diabetes these days). Obesity and being overweight is just ONE risk factor, but many people who are a normal weight have the mistaken belief that they are immune to diabetes and simply won’t get it.
It is very important to remember the major risk factors for Type 2 diabetes:
a) Being Obese or Overweight. Many studies agree that being obese or overweight is the most prevalent risk factor in developing Type 2 Diabetes. Obesity and diabetes are both epidemics in the U.S. among high risk ethnicities. The most common way to measure obesity is called a Body Mass Index or BMI for short. BMI is a ratio comparing standard tables of height and weight. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 or higher defines obesity. To the right is a BMI chart, check it by matching your weight with your height and seeing what category you fall in.
b) Being Prediabetic. (sometimes called Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose). Prediabetes is a milder form of diabetes and can be diagnosed quickly with an A1C or other diabetes screening test.
c) Having Insulin Resistance. Type 2 diabetes often starts with cells that are resistant to insulin. That means they are unable to take in insulin as it moves glucose from the blood into cells. With insulin resistance, the pancreas has to work overly hard to produce enough insulin so cells have to keep up to get the energy they need. This involves a complex process in the body that can eventually leads to type 2 diabetes.
d) Your Ethnicity. Type 2 Diabetes is most prevalent among Hispanic/Latino Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Alaska natives. Whites and Caucasians are also at risk and should get tested and diet and exercise like everyone else.
e) Having High Blood Pressure. This is also called hypertension. High Blood Pressure/Hypertension s usually defined as 140/90 mm Hg or higher. Low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and high triglyceride levels also put you at risk.
f) Having Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). This is a type of diabetes developed during pregnancy but it usually goes away after the birth of the baby. Having gestational diabetes or in the past puts you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes at a later time.
g) Little to No Exercise. Living a sedentary lifestyle and being inactive, meaning exercising less than three times a week makes you more likely to develop diabetes.
h) A Family History of Diabetes. Having a direct blood family history of diabetes such as one or both of your parents or siblings can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
i) Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are also at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
j) Your Age. Persons with one or more of the risk factors above are at a higher risk of contracting diabetes, but if you are over 40, you should especially get screened for diabetes by having an A1C or other similar test. Older age puts you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially if you are also overweight or have symptoms of diabetes.
Again, a very good preventive tool is the A1C test to diagnose diabetes, or it can tell you if you are close to developing it, or it can show your how your diabetes has been doing. Get this test!
8. Myth: Diabetics should never eat any sugar, candy, sweets, or chocolate
Fact: If eaten in small portions in moderation as part of a healthy meal plan, and combined with exercise; sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. They are no more “off limits” to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes. The key for diabetics in eating sweets is to have a very small portion and save them for special occasions so you focus your meal on more healthful foods. Diabetics should eat like everyone else; healthy with moderation but on the side of health.
9. Myth: Eating too much sugar will cause Diabetes
Fact: No…“not exactly”. Obesity is far more responsible in developing diabetes than simply eating sugar. If the sugary foods you eat also contain fats and cause you to gain weight than yes, your chances of developing diabetes are greatly increased. You will probably get a mouthful of cavities before developing diabetes if you are just talking about sugar or chocolate but that is definitely not a green light to eat all the sugar you want.
Type 1 Diabetes, which accounts for about 7% of all diabetes cases, is mainly caused by unavoidable genetics factors, although some lifestyle influences are also a factor.
Being overweight increases your risk for developing type 2 diabetes and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. Research has shown that drinking sugary drinks like soda is linked to type 2 diabetes.
10. Myth: I just read a myth buster that said if I’m diabetic, I can continue to eat anything sweet I want
Fact: NO, that’s not what you just read and what we just wrote and telling a diabetic they may eat some sweets does give them the green light to go crazy. While obesity can be a factor in developing diabetes and not simply eating sugary foods or drinks, remember that if you’re eating a lot of sweets that will eventually lead to obesity, it is the obesity that can lead to diabetes!
11. Myth: Insulin cures diabetes
Fact: There is no “cure” for diabetes but injecting insulin does what your body should do naturally, which is regulate your blood sugar. Taking insulin helps control your glucose levels to help manage your diabetes, but insulin is not a cure! Insulin is really a type of “band-aid”, but does not get rid of diabetes. Insulin is a natural hormone your body makes but diabetes causes your body to either produce very little or no insulin at all (Type 1) or creates insulin resistance and does not allow our natural insulin to distribute well in our body so some diabetics must take insulin injections or may control it with diet and exercise (Type 2).
All Type 1 diabetics must take insulin for life but only some Type 2 diabetics may or may not take it. Insulin helps get glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells, where it can be used for energy. This helps keep blood sugar levels under control, but taking insulin alone cannot “fix” any root cause of diabetes. If you must start on insulin therapy per your doctor’s request, start on insulin with the ultimate goal of working hard at eventually getting off of insulin by diet, exercise, and other similar natural remedies. Keep hope alive and do not give up in your head that this will be your fate for the rest of your life. Work at slowly getting off of insulin if possible in conjunction with your doctor and nutritionist through diet and exercise. If you wait a long time to take care of yourself, it can make it harder or impossible to get off of insulin and may increase your chance of developing serious or life threatening complications.
12. Myth: Diabetics can eat as much fruits as they want
Fact: While natural fruit is a healthy for you and you should eat often, overeating fruit, especially fruit high in natural sugar can be bad for you. Diabetics need to control the amount of fruit they eat since fruit contains natural sugars that can raise blood glucose levels. Fruits with higher amounts of concentrated natural sugar include bananas, grapes, cherries, pomegranates, and dates.
Some lower sugar fruit alternatives include watermelon, melon, cantaloupe, and a variety of berries; especially strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and blackberries. These fruits are all also high in antioxidants and vitamins. Lemons and limes are also low in sugar and are an excellent source of vitamin C. Fruits also contain fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals.
See our upcoming LDA cookbook and health drink recipes for delicious and healthy recipes!
Dried fruits like raisins usually have a higher concentration of natural sugars than fresh fruits because most of the water has been removed by dehydration making the fruit highly concentrated with natural sugar.
13. Myth: People with diabetes should eat only special diabetic foods
Fact: A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is generally the same as a healthy diet for anyone else: Food that is low in fat (especially saturated and trans fats), low to moderate in sea salt and sugars, whole grains, green leafy and colorful vegetables and fruits, seeds, and legumes, and “pseudocereals” such as quinoa, chia, buckwheat, and others.
“Special” diabetic and dietetic foods don’t have any special advantage but higher prices. Many of them still raise blood glucose levels, are usually more expensive, and can even have a laxative effect on your digestive system if they contain sugar alcohols.
14. Myth: All Carbohydrates are bad for diabetics and everyone in general
Fact: No, not exactly and in fact, some carbohydrates are actually good for diabetes. You might have heard that all carbohydrates (carbs for short), are bad for you, but this is a very simple and broad statement to make and it is not always true. Good carbs form the foundation of a healthy diabetes diet; or of any healthy diet, but too many bad carbohydrates can be very unhealthy, especially for diabetics. Bad carbohydrates have the greatest effect on blood sugar levels, which is why diabetics are asked to monitor how much carbohydrates they eat when following a diabetes diet by a dietician or nutritionist. Many good carbohydrate foods contain many essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So one diabetes diet tip is to choose good carbohydrates have the most nutrients, like whole-grain breads, as well as high-fiber fruits and vegetables. You may find it easier to select the best carbohydrates you like if you meet with a dietician or nutritionist.
All carbohydrates (carbs) are divided into three groups: 1. Simple carbohydrates, 2. Complex carbohydrates and 3. Fiber. It is these three different types of carbohydrates that are different in their nutritional value and the way they are broken down during digestion. Knowing about good and bad carbs can help you make better informed food choices to stay healthy.
Here are the three main types of carbohydrates and their nutritional values and how they behave in your body:
a) Simple Carbohydrates (sometimes called simple sugars)
Avoid these as much as possible. Simple carbohydrates are also called simple sugars, mainly because they contain either natural or added sugar. Dairy products and some fruits and vegetables are also classified as simple carbohydrates because they contain natural sugars. White flour used in many foods also fall into this category. The refinement process or overprocessing of white flour removes most or all the fiber, vitamins, and nutrients, usually called “enriched flour or wheat” in breads and other related foods. White “bleached” bread is actually bleached, then they attempt to put some of the vitamins back into it after taking them out during this process which is called “enriched”. Also avoid other products like flour tortillas, masa harina, churros, hamburger/hot dog buns, cookies, pastries, raw dough, English and other types of muffins, pizza crust, and bagels that are made with refined and bleached white flour.
b) Complex Carbohydrates (sometimes simply called Starches)
These can be eaten in moderation. Complex carbohydrates, most often called Starches, are another carb that is made from several composite strings or chains of sugars. Complex carbs are often healthier than simple carbs because in addition to being starchy, they also provide you with some of your dietary fiber and vitamins. Starchy foods are often recommended by doctors for diabetic patients. One serving of a starchy food contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates, three grams of protein and one gram of fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is best for those who have been told to increase consumption of starchy foods to choose low-fat starches and whole-grain starches as often as possible. Examples of healthier complex carbs are corn, dark leafy and colorful vegetables, whole grain wheat bread, cereal, and pasta, brown rice, potatoes, yams, and peas.
When trying to figure out what is a good and bad carb that’s not on the short list above, just ask yourself a simple question: Does this food come from a box, can, or bag or is “natural” but loaded with butter, salt, sugar, and fat? The answer can be more difficult than that, but that is a quick tip in choosing some foods. Complex carbs should be eaten in moderation as they are converted into glucose during digestion like simple carbs are. Eating too much complex carbs can cause an increase in your blood glucose levels that for some people can lead to insulin resistance; and continued insulin resistance can lead to diabetes.
c) Fiber (the third type of carbohydrate)
It is advisable to eat more fiber in your everyday diet. Even though Fiber is categorized as a complex carbohydrate, it acts very different in your body than the other two forms of carbs. Your body can’t completely digest fiber, so it cannot be broken down into sugars in your blood. In fact, fiber can help regulate blood glucose levels, as well as lower your cholesterol levels and promote regular digestion to induce bowel movements (going to the toilet). It is very important to choose foods high in fiber, at least 3 grams per serving.
Whole grains contain fiber and can be found in many fruits and vegetables, which surprises many people. Some examples in produce include vegetables like potatoes (leave the skin on), peppers, green peas, carrots, broccoli, eggplant, mushroom, cabbage, kale, asparagus, spinach, canned pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, rhubarb, black-eyes peas, collard greens, turnip greens, and sweet potatoes.
Examples of fruits high in fiber include blackberries, cranberries, lemons, bananas, strawberries, apples, blueberries, avocados, tomatoes, and olives (yes, avocados, tomatoes, and olives are all actually fruits).
Main examples of high fiber foods are whole grain wheat breads and tortillas, oatmeal, cereals, pasta, rice, (preferable brown rice).
Healthy high fiber beans and legumes include black beans, pinto beans, lima beans, lentils, and chickpeas (garbanzo beans); commonly used to make hummus. Boil your dried beans in a pot (de la olla style) and not fried or refried style or piled on cheese or you will lose any nutritional value.
Other foods high in fiber are bran cereals, “pseudocereals” such as chia, quinoa, or buckwheat; and nuts such as raw and unsalted walnuts, cashews, dry roasted peanuts, almonds, pistachios, chestnuts, and Brazil nuts.
Lastly, seeds high in fiber include flaxseed and unsalted sesame and sunflower seeds. Try any of these on any salad or ingredients in your favorite dishes.
Portion size/Type of Starches and Carbs: What is important is the type of carb you eat and the portion size. Try to eat more fiber and complex carbs with vitamins, minerals, and less of the unhealthy simple carbs. For most people with diabetes, having 3 to 4 servings of carbohydrate-containing foods per meal is about right.
Good Starchy Foods: Natural sources of good starchy foods include beans, rice, potatoes, carrots, peas, wheat, oats, and barley. Choose good starchy foods wisely that are also high in protein, fiber, vitamins such as these examples and watch your portions as with any food. See “b” section above for a short list of good starchy foods.
Bad Starchy Foods: These are usually manufactured and refined “foods: that are fried or overprocessed. Examples include tortilla chips, potato chips, french fries, donuts, platanos (plantains), cornstarch, biscuits, desserts and pastries, fried chicken, and fried starches like breaded and fried meat such as milanesa, chicken fried steak, fish fillets, and chicken nuggets. Also eliminate or at least greatly reduce greasy restaurant appetizers like deep fried mozzarella and zucchini sticks. You should avoid these and other bad starches that have been processed, fried; and are overloaded with fat and sugar that goes straight to your blood, heart, and will eventually cause diabetes and serious health problems for you, your child, or a loved one.
Frying foods adds calories and fats to your diet. Replacing fried starches, such as french fries, potato chips, doughnuts, fried plantains and restaurant appetizers, such as mozzarella sticks and batter-fried peppers, with grilled, baked and steamed foods can keep your cholesterol levels, calories, and heart-health in check. The breading on fried meats, such as milanesa, chicken fried steak, fried chicken, fish fillets and chicken nuggets, is another source of fried starch.
Myth: You can “catch” diabetes from someone else
Fact: No, diabetes is definitely not contagious like a cold or flu! Diabetes is developed over time either through your genetics: your family history or through your lifestyle: obesity in Type 2 diabetes, or a combination of the two.
Type 1 Diabetes: This type is caused by family history (genetics) and
Type 2 Diabetes: This type is “caused” by either obesity and genetics, or a combination of both.
16. Myth: Diabetics are more likely to get sick and catch colds and other illnesses
Fact: This is not true however, people with diabetes are advised to get flu shots since any illness can make the diabetes more hard to control, and people with diabetes who do get the flu are more likely than others to go on to develop serious complications. If you are a diabetic, especially a senior or you have complications, do everything you can to avoid the cold and flu to avoid potential serious complications.
17. Myth: There are way too many rules in a “diabetes diet”
Fact: If you have diabetes, you simply need to be more conscious about what you eat and plan your meals more by making small everyday and realistic healthy choices to what you eat and exercising more. The general principle is simple: following a diabetes friendly diet means choosing foods that will work along with your activities and any medications you take to keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Will you need to make changes to what you eat now? Probably, but these changes don’t have to be drastic, just choose delicious healthy food that you actually like and will eat.
18. Myth: Protein is better than carbohydrates for diabetes
Fact: Because carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels so quickly, if you have diabetes, you may be tempted to eat less carbs and substitute that with more protein, but too much protein may lead to problems for people with diabetes, since many foods that are rich in protein, such as red meat, may also be high in saturated fat. Eating too much of these fats increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. In a ‘diabetes diet’, protein should account for about 15% to 20% of the total calories you eat every day. Eat lean protein veggies such as broccoli, asparagus, spinach, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, healthy raw and unsalted nuts, and lean meats like turkey, chicken breast, lean pork, canned tuna, and other high protein foods like beans, organic soy, egg whites, canned tuna
19. Myth: You can simply change your diabetes medications to adjust to whatever you eat
Fact: Do not do this. If you use insulin for your diabetes, after time you may learn how to adjust the amount and type of medication you take to match the amount of food you eat, or will eat later say at an event or party. However, this doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want by manipulating your medications to stabilize your blood sugar level. Some diabetics try to control their medications in the wrong way or by guessing how much they will eat, then guessing how much slow acting insulin or oral medications to take.
Your diabetes medications work best when they are taken consistently as directed by your doctor and if you are in the habit of manipulating your meds, your glucose levels can fluctuate to dangerous levels unexpectedly.
20. Myth: You’ll need to give up your favorite foods
Fact: There is no reason to give up some of your favorite foods on a diabetes diet. Instead try changing the way your favorite foods are cooked and prepared by using less oil, fat, and salt. Reduce the portion sizes of your favorite foods and eat a small portion of your favorite foods as a reward for following your healthy meal plan. Also, a dietician can help you find ways to include some of your favorites in your diabetes meal plans. Seeing and working with a dietician can be just as important as seeing your doctor.
21. Myth: You have to give up desserts if you have diabetes.
Fact: Not true! You can develop many ways of including desserts in an everyday healthy diabetes diet. Here are some examples:
a) Cut back on the size of your dessert. For example, instead of two scoops of ice cream, have one; or share a dessert with a friend.
b) Buy individual wrapped ice cream popsicles, sorbet or fudge bars, or similar treats instead of a big container like a gallon of ice cream. You are more likely to eat just the one popsicle but may want to eat a large bowl of ice cream.
c) Take your time in eating desserts. Eat it slowly and really savor it and think about all the ingredients and how it was made to appreciate it more.
d) Use desserts as an occasional reward for following your healthy diabetes diet plan.
e) Make desserts more nutritious. For example, use whole grains, fresh fruit, and grape seed or canola oil when preparing, shopping for, or ordering desserts. You can usually use less sugar than a recipe calls for without sacrificing taste.
f) If you like chili or lime on fruit or corn and other vegetables that is fine, but stop there. Do not add salted chili, salt, butter, mayonnaise, and other unhealthy toppings.
g) Expand your dessert horizons. Instead of ice cream, pie or cake, try fruit, a whole-wheat oatmeal-cranberry biscuit, or low-calorie yogurt.
h) Use stevia or other natural sweeteners in your desserts.
i) Use apple sauce instead of oil or butter in baking recipes. The internet is full of healthier versions of cooking food, desserts, and drinks.
22. Myth: Artificial sweeteners are dangerous for people with diabetes
Fact: Well… artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than the same amount of refined white sugar in that it takes less of it to get the same sweetness found in regular sugar. This can result in you eating fewer calories than you would with sugar. However there have been many confusing and conflicting studies, some that have linked some artificial sweeteners to cancer in mice, but this is still a much debated topic. Another problem discussed is that these artificial sweeteners may not fully digest in your body and may stay there for an undetermined time and possible cause unknown health complications. Yet another criticism is that artificial sweeteners give people the false idea that they can overeat, as long as their food or drink is made with “zero calories” artificial sweeteners that trick your body and mind into actually overeating, leading to obesity and diabetes.
More popular artificial sweeteners include sucralose (Splenda). Aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal), saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low), and Acesulfame potassium (Sunett),
To be on a safer side, the LDA would rather prefer you use a fruit source or stevia type of natural type of sugar substitute. Overall it is a good practice that if you can’t pronounce it and your grandmother didn’t grow up with it; reduce your intake or leave it alone altogether.
Myth: You need to eat special diabetic meals
Fact: Although you will find the phrase “diabetic diet” here and in other resources, there really is no such as thing as a “diabetic diet”. A “Diabetic Diet”, at least to the LDA simply means being more conscious of what you’re eating and having a more natural and healthy diet. The foods that are healthy for people with diabetes are also healthy for the rest of your family. Usually, there is no need to prepare special or separate diabetic meals for anyone.
If everyone in your family slowly transitions and gets used to eating a deliciously healthier diet, no one will recent it or recent the diabetic in the family AND your family will reduce or eliminate any more diabetes in your family! Eating the same will motivate everyone. The only big difference between a diabetes diet and your family’s “normal” diet is this: if you have diabetes, regarding your food you just need to watch the healthy foods you eat a little more closely! This includes:
- The total amount of calories you consume and
- The amounts and types of carbohydrates, fats, and protein you eat.
Your doctor or dietician can help you learn how to do this and develop a healthy meal plan that matches you and your tastes. This however goes according to your health; if you have advanced diabetes or complications, you must watch your diet far more carefully.