Do You Know All About Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by the body's impossibility to produce enough or efficient insulin, a hormone needed to transfer glucose from the food to the blood, where it is transformed into energy. Without insulin the tissues and muscles do not have the necessary energy to function properly.
People can live with diabetes if they are careful to keep their blood glucose levels under 140 mg/dl at two hours after eating and near the normal range of 70 to 120 mg/dl before eating.
Nutrition experts and dietitians have busted 10 of the most common myths about Diabetes. Check it out:
1. White foods are bad
Not all white food is sugary, starchy and lacking nutrition. Take for example apples, potatoes, cauliflower, milk and cottage cheese which are rich in important nutrients. Another think to be taken into consideration is the size of the portions. Instead of avoiding white foods you'd better begin to use your measuring cups.
2. Lose weight to cure diabetes
If you starve yourself hoping that by losing weight you will cure diabetes, you only do worse. Yes, lose some weight is good for your health, but it's almost impossible to cure a disease which probably has been developing for years by weight loss. But, it is true that losing weight may slow the progression of the disease.
3. Fruits are not good for you
You don't need to avoid natural sugars from fruits. The only thing you have to do is to carefully measure which would be the ideal portion size to avoid carbohydrate excesses. Believe it or not, experts recommend 5 servings of fruits/vegetables each day!
4. You must have snacks
This might have been available in the past when only few diabetes medications were available and snacks helped in preventing blood glucose from dropping. Nutrition experts say that with today's wide variety of treatment options you should snack only if this helps you eat less and healthier.
5. You have to give up all sweets
Indeed, sugar makes blood glucose go high, but so do starches and other carbohydrates. Again, the quantity is the one that matters. Learn how to read food labels, measure the amount of carbohydrates and the size of the serving and everything will be ok.
6. Sugar-free is good for you
Sugar-free foods are good indeed, but if they do not have sugar this does not mean they do not have fats, calories or carbohydrates. Again, read labels carefully!
7. If it's good for you, eat as much as you want
No, it is not. Only because you can eat salmon or whole-wheat pasta this does not mean you have to eat giant portions. As we said above, losing weight can slow the progression of the disease. So why not begin trimming your portions by 10%-15%?
8. If your blood sugar is low it's ok to eat sweets
High blood sugar is not good. Low blood sugar is not good either. But this is no excuse to shovel in brownies, cookies and candies to avoid hypoglycemia. Just keep with you glucose tablets and you'll be just fine. They are pre-portioned and contain a small amount of calories. You can also carry with you several sugar cubes or hard candies.
9. You can eat a big dinner if you eat light the rest of the day
Unfortunately, this was available when you did not have diabetes. Flooding your blood with glucose at dinner, even if you ate light over the day will not be a smart decision.
10. Fat does not matter
You've been told that carbohydrates increase blood sugar but fat doesn't? That is true. But have you been told that fat provides many calories, hinders weight control, increases the risk for heart disease and affects your body's response to insulin?
Having diabetes is not easy. You have to be careful what you eat, when, how much and how often. It's difficult enough, so don't make it more difficult by ignoring the rules, lying to yourself and the ones about you and finding excuses to make excesses. It's your life! It's your fight! Play fair!
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