4 Common Diabetes Myths DebunkedArticle posted in: Lifestyle
In honor of American Diabetes Month®, our Nutrisystem Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) are addressing the four most common diabetes myths. Read on for some clarification about the condition, and don’t forget to submit your health-related questions on Nutrisystem’s facebook or Twitter pages!
Myth: I’m a healthy weight―I can’t get diabetes.
Our CDE says: Although there is a clear connection between being overweight or obese and developing type 2 diabetes, genetics and other lifestyle factors like diet can play a role as well. By maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious, balanced diet and engaging in healthy habits like regular exercise, you can decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Myth: People develop diabetes because they eat too much sugar.
Our CDE says: Although consuming excess calories (from sugary and non-sugary foods) can contribute to overweight and obesity―both of which are associated with type 2 diabetes, sugar is not the singular cause of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is the result of genetics and additional unknown factors, while type 2 diabetes is the result of a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors. Healthy hint: Even if you only use sugar substitutes as sweeteners but you consume excessive calories from other foods, you can still develop type 2 diabetes.
Myth: If I have diabetes, I have to follow a restrictive diet that includes no carbs and definitely no dessert.
Our CDE says: You might be surprised to find out that generally speaking, individuals with diabetes can follow the same healthy diet that is recommended for the general public―one that includes lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and fruit, and that minimizes saturated and trans fats, salt and sugar.
Carbs are an acceptable and necessary part of your healthy meal plan―you just have to pay attention to portion size. Optimal carb counts will vary from person to person, but the American Diabetes Association recommends starting with 45-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal, and tweaking that amount depending on how your body responds. Some good carbs to consider? Whole grain breads, pastas, rice and cereals, plus starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas and corn. Fruits, beans, milk and yogurt also count toward your carbohydrates for the day. On the Nutrisystem plan, milk and yogurt are considered PowerFuels, even though they have significant carbohydrates in them. Many people are advised to enjoy these foods with fruit to prevent nocturnal hypoglycemia.
If you have diabetes, you can still enjoy sweet treats in small portions on special occasions. Wondering why you get to eat chocolate and other sweets on the Nutrisystem D program? Nutrisystem desserts are created with the right portion of fiber, protein and healthy fats, and have a low glycemic index, which means they won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar, and will be digested slower than typical indulgences.
Myth: If my blood sugar doesn’t improve right away once I lose weight with Nutrisystem D, it means the program won’t work for me.
Our CDE says: This is not always the case. For many people, it takes some time for the body to adjust to the new way of eating. Most people see improvements, but it is important to be patient and to stay in touch with their doctor since their medication or insulin may need to be adjusted.