By Theresa DeLay for DietsInReview.com
Last year, the American Diabetic Association said that, on average, Americans scored about 51 percent when tested on the facts about diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease, and with type 2 diabetes on the rise, it’s important that we all know a little more about it. Here are a few of the most common diabetes myths and the truth behind them.
Myth: Diabetics can’t eat any sweets.
Fact: Sweets are not entirely restricted, as long as they are enjoyed in moderation. A healthy meal plan is important for diabetics, as it is for everyone else. Processed and refined sweets should be limited, as should fruit. While fruit is a health food, it still contains a lot of natural sugar.
An apple with a tablespoon of nut butter, a one-quarter cup of dried apricots, or this Berry Pudding recipe are great examples of diabetic-friendly sweet snacks.
Myth: Diabetics can’t eat starchy carbs.
Fact: Carbohydrates are part of a well-balanced diet, even for diabetics. Starchy foods are needed for proper brain and body function. When eating carbohydrates it’s important to choose whole grain options and avoid simple carbs (i.e. white bread and pasta). Don’t overload on carbohydrates and make sure to eat as part of a balanced meal. As you can see, a diabetic diet isn’t much different from what most everyone else should be eating anyway.
Myth: Obesity causes diabetes.
Fact: The ADA reminds us that, “many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight.” Being overweight is definitely a risk factor for diabetes, but there are also many others, including genetics, age and lifestyle. Obesity does not cause diabetes, but it can contribute to it.
Myth: Diabetes is no big deal.
Fact: Diabetes should be taken very seriously. The ADA says that, “Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.” There are an estimated 7 million people who have diabetes and don’t even know it. It’s important to schedule a visit with your doctor if you are at-risk, including a family history.