Diabetes Myths and Facts
The misinformation and misinterpretation on diet for diabetics can lead to an unfair belief around the condition. So, it is important to know the facts.
Diabetes can be controlled with diet. However, there are many myths related to the diet for diabetics that could be harmful. So, it is your right to know what are the facts vs. the myths. Here are some common myths related to diet for diabetics and the facts about them.
Myth 1: People with diabetes should avoid sweets completely
The most common myth is that diabetic patients should eat a sugar-free diet. However, it is not true. In most cases, people with high blood sugar level can have sweets in a controlled way as a part of their healthy meal plan by having a diet that is rich in complex carbs, fiber, fats, proteins and essential vitamins and minerals. Do not get obsessed with specific foods. Try to reduce the craving for sugar slowly by giving your taste buds time to adjust. Be smart in choosing the right kind of sweet in just the right amount. You can take a small serving along with the main meal in a controlled way. Do not choose sweets which provide empty calories, instead opt for healthy substitutes that have vitamins, minerals, and fiber, like fresh or dried fruits, dates, homemade sweets made up of whole wheat or milk and some natural sweetener. Your doctor or nutritionist can help guide you about the quantity that is right for your health condition.
Myth 2: People with diabetes need to avoid carbs
Most foods that we eat contain carbs, even milk and fruits, so you need not avoid it. Diabetics can include carbs in their diet, but the key here is to choose the right food in the right quantity. Choose foods with low glycaemic index (GI) like whole grain bread, oatmeal, most fruits, non-starchy vegetables, carrots, etc.; and foods that are rich in fiber giving you a feeling of fullness without adding calories or raising your blood glucose levels. You can get fiber from oats, oat bran, linseeds, barley, fruit (like apples, oranges, blueberries) and vegetables (like cucumbers, carrots, celery), nuts, beans, pulses, soya, and lentils. You can add ActiFiber to your meals as it is a fiber nutrition. If at all you want to include starchy foods (high GI foods) like potato, yams, and bread, you can do so as part of your healthy meal plan with the help of a good dietician.
Myth 3: Diabetics need special diabetes food
No, diabetics do not need special food tagged as ‘Diabetics Food’. Diabetics, like any other person, need a healthy meal that is rich in complex carbs, fiber, fats, proteins and essential vitamins and minerals. The choice and quantity of food is important here.
Myth 4: Diabetics should not eat fruits
This is not true. Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The fiber in fruits help you to feel fuller, lowers the blood cholesterol and stabilizes your blood sugar levels. The key is choosing the right fruit and having it in the right quantity. Always choose fresh fruits. In a day, five servings of fruits & vegetables are advisable. One should aim to have two servings of fruits each day. For example, you can have a medium-sized apple or handful of berries or a tablespoon of dried fruit in one serving. It is essential to spread your fruit intake throughout the day. You can have one serving of fruit as a snack in the midmorning meal and one in the evening. Eating whole fruit is always nutritionally better than its juice. People with high blood sugar level should avoid fruit juices, and fruit milkshakes or smoothies, as they do not have fiber and are high in sugar. Thus, leading to higher blood sugar spikes.
Myth 5: Type 2 diabetes affects only overweight people
Whilst type 2 diabetes is often associated with being overweight and obese, it is patently untrue that it affects only the overweight population. Being overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes but the other risk factors such as how much physical activity you get also plays a role. One should, however, keep their weight under check by eating healthy well-balanced food and regular exercise.
Always remember to do a fact check before believing in what you may come across. You should verify with your doctor on your choice of food.
You can include a 100% natural, high-fiber supplement like Actifiber Natural Sugar Control in your diet to avoid blood sugar spikes. Add a sachet of ActiFiber to each of the 2 main meals that have the goodness of fiber and prebiotic which helps in regulating blood glucose levels and keeps you energized between meals too. It dissolves easily with no taste, odour or colour thus blending into your regular diet effortlessly.