Here are four common myths about diabetes and diet AND the real truth about managing the disease.
Diabetes may just be one of the most misunderstood health conditions out there. Since your diagnosis –and probably before it – you’ve likely encountered ‘experts’ claiming any number of so-called truths about the disease. News Flash! Many of them are myths. That’s right; good old fashioned untruths that are widely accepted. To be fair, the many myths surrounding diabetes are common and believed to be true simply due to a lack of knowledge. Let’s examine a few of the more popular myths and debunk them one at a time.
Myth #1 : Carbohydrates are evil.
Truth: Carbohydrates greatly affect blood sugar levels.
It’s sometimes assumed that once you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes you can never consume another carb in your life. While it is true that carbohydrates have the most impact on your blood sugar levels, they also contain nutrients your body needs, including fiber, vitamins, and other minerals. Because of their ability to sway blood sugar levels so drastically, you will need to closely monitor your carb intake. One way to still enjoy foods containing carbohydrates is by choosing the most nutrient-dense ones. Try whole-grain breads and high-fiber fruits and veggies such as apples, avocado, and carrots.
Truth: Sugar is simply part of the total carbohydrates that make up your diet.
Some people believe avoiding sugar all together will help you manage your diabetes. Sugar is actually just one piece of your total carbohydrates puzzle. Of course, you have to monitor your sugar intake since it contributes to your overall glucose levels. That’s not quite the same thing, however, as abstaining from it completely. As you do at any meal, just calculate how many carbs you’re consuming. Check food labels and double check your serving sizes. Think of it as having a bank of carbohydrates you’re allotted each meal; do the math, and determine how much a certain food goes against that bank. Understanding the relationship between sugar and carbohydrates will help you develop a more balanced approach towards your diet.
Truth: Regardless of what medications you take, you always need to manage diet and exercise.
This myth in particular might seem quite alarming. Sadly, the idea that taking medication negates the need to watch what you eat is both short-sighted and potentially dangerous. Both those with diabetes and those without need to keep nutrition and exercise a priority. Lifestyle, which includes nutrition and level of physical activity, is important to overall health whether or not you have a diabetes diagnosis. Medications, including your insulin pump, are a way to help manage your disease, but they should never override the responsibility you have to make healthy food choices and give your body the exercise it needs.
Truth: Both protein and carbohydrates should be eaten in moderation.
Since carbohydrates affect your blood sugar level the most, you might be tempted to skip them and stick to protein, protein, and more protein. Unfortunately, too much protein can lead to real health issues, especially for people with diabetes. The problem lies in the fact that protein-rich foods, such as that favorite cut of steak, are often filled with saturated fat. Too much of these types of fats can then increase your risk for heart disease. Typically, protein in a diabetes diet should make up just 15%-20% of your total daily caloric intake. Always check with your physician for more personalized diet recommendations. Just don’t make the mistake of continually swapping carbs for protein.
Never Stop Learning about Diabetes
One way to manage your diabetes is continually learning all you can about the disease, possible treatments, and your body’s response to a certain diet and exercise regime. It can feel overwhelming to filter all you hear and read about diabetes, which is why Focus Express Mail Pharmacy is here to help. We not only offer diabetes supplies and insulin pump supplies, we offer valuable expertise from experienced pharmacists. Whether you have questions about topics like those diabetes medical terms you keep seeing or about your new insulin pump, feel free to contact us online at www.FocusPharmacy.com or by calling toll-free 1-866-403-6287.