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Friday, October 21, 2016

Don't Believe These 7 Myths About Diabetes -- Know the Facts

There are more than 29 million Americans living with diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control, and another 86 million a condition called prediabetes which increases their risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. Diabetes is so prevalent that there are many myths about the disease. Here are 7.

#1 You can't have desserts - Not true. Diabetics can eat most foods as long as they control how many calories and carbohydrates they eat in a day.

#2 What you eat is more important than how much - Also not true. Both are important. Calories matter. You can eat 6 slices of bread or one bagel; they both have about the same amount of calories.

#3 You have to lose a lot of weight to improve diabetes - Actually, sustained weight loss in smaller amounts can be enough for some diabetics to get off their meds. This is also a better way to get to your ideal weight -- in smaller amounts.

#4 You can lose more weight by skipping meals - This is a very common and dangerous myth. It is important for diabetics to eat regularly in order to maintain their blood-sugar levels. Blood sugar levels that are too low, called hypoglycemia, can be just as dangerous as high blood sugar.

#5 As long as you exercise, you can eat even more - Not true. You can't trade one for the other. Both calorie intake control and regular exercise are necessary in order to lose weight and control diabetes.

#6 Don't eat starches - Some think you should avoid all starches because starches turn to sugar. Starches are OK as long as you are watching overall calorie intake. The problem is often what you put on them, like sour cream and butter on baked potatoes, that drives up the calorie content.

#7 Don't eat fast food - If you are addicted to fast food and tend to overindulge, this is probably good advice. But, occasional visits to fast food restaurants are OK if you stick to grilled rather than fried, salads with lo-calorie dressing, and avoid the sugary drinks.

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