Diabetes May Not be What You Think It is!

Simran Chidgopkar

Updated on:

diabetes mellitus

Common Myths and Diabetes

Diabetes is Indias fast-growing health issue. Educating people about diabetes and its treatment will play an important role in the control and prevention of diabetes in the country. The hindrance in the control of diabetes is a lack of knowledge. Here are some myths about diabetes .

1. Myth: If I eat less, my blood sugar will be controlled

Fact: The BSL will definitely be low if you eat less but the weakness which follows will hamper your daily activities or it may lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) and unconsciousness. Consult your dietitian to know your daily needs.

2. Myth: Carbohydrates are the culprit always.

Fact: The key to maintaining the sugar levels in your blood lies in understanding the type of carbohydrates and the amount that you eat at a time(serving sizes). . Focus on whole grain carbs instead of simple carbs, since they’re high in fiber and digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even. Include low glycemic index food eg low starch vegetables like spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, legumes, and beans.

3.Myth: You’ll need special Diabetic meals.

Fact: Healthy eating is a lifestyle that you follow- this does not change if you are a diabetic. Expensive diabetic foods generally offer no special benefit.

4. Myth: A high-protein diet is best!


Fact: Multiple studies have shown over a period of time that the consumption of animal-based protein may, in fact, result in increased insulin resistance and hence lead to poorer blood sugar control.  A healthy diet includes protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Our body needs all three to function properly. The key is a balanced diet.

5. Myth: Only if you are overweight or obese you can develop type 2 DM

Fact: Being overweight is a risk factor for diabetes, but other factors such as family history, ethnicity, age also play a role. Many people disregard other factors.

6. Myth: Eating too much sugar causes Diabetes.

Fact: Simply saying yes or no for this will be unfair, type 1dm can be caused by genetic or some unknown facts. Type 2 can be caused by genetics or lifestyle disorder. Too many calories through sugars can make a person gain weight which can lead to diabetes. Limiting drinking sugary drinks like energy drinks, fruit punch, soda, sports drink sweet tea. These can raise BSL and provide too many calories in one serving.

7 Myth: Say bye bye to sweets: 


Fact: National Institute of health says that restricting too much can eventually lead to binge eating or overeating.
All or nothing don’t have this mentality. Include small portions( Thoda Kam)can actually help and save dessert for special occasion .so eaten as part of a healthy meal plan or combined with exercise, sweets, and desserts can be eaten by diabetic people.

8. Sugar-free products are healthy!

A dish of sweetener on a table.

Fact: Any grocery store you’ll find a selection of sugar-free, processed foods. Assuming that a sugar-free label on a product makes it healthy is incorrect. It can contain a lot of carbs, fat, or calories. Always make it a point to read the nutrition label carefully for carbohydrate content before picking it up. 

9. Myth: Starting insulin injections makes diabetes worse:

Fact: As we age, if we do not follow a healthy lifestyle, our body tends to produce smaller amounts of insulin. eventually, only oral medications may not be enough to maintain normal blood sugar levels. This, using insulin to keep blood sugar level normal is helpful.

11. Myth: Alcohol is off-limits.

Fact: Alcohol, like any other carbohydrate, if consumed in moderation while taking into consideration the medical profile of a person, may not be all bad. Moderate amount of alcohol consumption, i.e., a maximum of one drink per day for women and two drinks a day for men is considered acceptable. Though, it is a good idea to talk to your health care professional before consuming alcohol. 
Some drugs,   insulin or those that help increase insulin levels, can make you prone to low blood sugar. Alcohol may cause low sugars.

The metabolism and digestion of alcohol is slightly different from other carbohydrates and thus the effects of alcohol on the blood sugar levels are not seen immediately. “A drink you had at night could make   drop your sugar the next morning,”
As a standard piece of advice- Never consume alcohol on an empty stomach and Do not forget to calculate the total calories consumed by you through the day. 

Take Home message

Diabetes, is a lifestyle life long disorder- but with the right guidance, you can control it and lead a normal life.

Remember to always talk with your Doctor, Dietician and Physiotherapist before changing medicines, altering your diet or introducing new exercises.

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