Diabetes Myths

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If you have diabetes, it can seem like everyone has advice for you. But how do you know what is true? Here are 4 myths about managing your diabetes.

Myth #1: You Can’t Eat Fruit

While it’s true that fruit contains carbohydrates, and carbs raise blood sugar, it’s not true that carbs or fruit are bad for people with diabetes. Even know they contain natural sugars they also provide phytochemicals, fiber and antioxidants and vitamins.

What can you do?

Enjoy a variety of fruits in reasonable portions. Learn the carb counts of your favorite ones and count them in your total allotment for your meal or snack. A certified nutritionist or diabetic educator can help create a meal plan that incorporates your favorites.

Myth #2: Sugar-Free

Sugar-free cookies, cakes and ice cream are popular, but they aren’t necessarily low in calories or even low in carbohydrates. They can have a big impact on your diabetes management! Carbs other than sugar — such as the flour and sugar alcohols in sugar-free desserts — affect your blood sugar levels, too.

What to do?

Carefully look at the nutrition facts on the label. Pay close attention to carb count.

 

Myth #3: Snacks

Eating snacks when you aren’t hungry might be one of the reasons you’re not slimming down and seeing healthier blood sugar numbers. In the past diabetic medications were not available which meant that you needed snacks to keep your blood sugar level. New medications don’t tend to cause hypoglycemia.

What to do?

Ask your nutritionist and medical doctor to learn if the medications you are taking require you to have a snack and what the best choice is. Nuts, cheese and low fat yogurt are good choices.

 

 

Myth #4: Big dinner, eat light during the day

The amount you eat , especially the amount of carbohydrates you eat matters at every meal! Shifting all your carbs and calories to one big meal can really affect your blood sugar.

What to do?

Instead of adding extra carbohydrates to your meal, which will just raise your blood sugar, swap one carb-rich food for another. I even tell my clients with diabetes forgo fruits, whole grains and other healthful carb-rich foods so they can enjoy a small slice of birthday cake. The key here is this should not be done often, but for a special occasion where you really want to enjoy this can be permissible as long as your medical doctor says ok!

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Keep a Well-Stocked Pantry

When your pantry is full of staples, you’ll find you won’t need to run to the store in the middle of cooking dinner to get a bottle of soy sauce. Plus it makes it easier to improvise a dinner on the fly when you don’t already have something planned. Ingredients like pasta, canned beans and canned fish can be the basis of spur-of-the-moment meals.

Eat What You Love

Eating well is not about deprivation—it’s about that good feeling you get when you eat something that is flavorful, wholesome and satisfying. No food should be off limits. Studies show that depriving yourself of the foods you love, especially in the name of dieting, may cause you to overeat later. Embrace a delicious and healthy way of eating that you can sustain for your whole life. When you bake, limit added sugars. (Added sugars of any kind—whether it’s corn syrup, white sugar, maple syrup or agave—all add calories and don’t offer any nutritional value.) Savor desserts so you really enjoy it without feeling guilty. Bottom line is that maintaining a healthy weight comes down to balancing the amount of calories you eat with the amount you expend during the day.
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