Diabetes is a serious disease that can be life-threatening if it is not properly managed. Being able to know what is true and what is a myth is important when it comes to diabetes because proper treatment begins with proper knowledge. In this article we would like to offer some information for family caregivers, people with diabetes and people at risk for diabetes about common myths and misconceptions about this disease.
One of the most common myths associated with diabetes is that diabetes is not that serious. With the proper management and care diabetes can be controlled and complications can be prevented, but it is important to know how to properly manage the disease. Even though many people think that diabetes is not that serious, more people die each year from diabetes than from breast cancer and AIDS combined. It is also said that 2 out of 3 people with diabetes die from heart disease or a stroke so it is very important for those with diabetes to monitor their health and food choices.
Another common myth is that people with diabetes have to eat diabetic food. Even though some people believe that diabetic foods are best for diabetics, there is no evidence to suggest that diabetic foods provide any benefits beyond that of regular food. People with diabetes can enjoy the same foods as the rest of their family but they should try to promote a healthy diet for all family members. As mentioned in the last section, 2 out of 3 people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke so it is important to maintain healthy eating habits to prevent these complications. Diabetics should monitor their sodium and fat intake and limit the amount of carbohydrates that they eat but this is important for all people who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle so those with diabetes do not need to prepare their food any differently than they would for the rest of their family.
Many people believe that being overweight or eating too much sugar causes diabetes. While these things can increase the risk of getting diabetes, it cannot be said that either one actually causes diabetes. Most people that are overweight will never develop diabetes because diabetes is usually caused by a combination of weight, age, ethnicity and family history and not just weight alone. Statistics also show that many people with diabetes are at a healthy weight or only slightly overweight which again goes to show that weight is not the only factor to consider when it comes to diabetes. Sugary products are also commonly thought of as causing diabetes, but as with weight they are only one factor to consider. Eating or drinking products high in sugar can raise blood sugar and cause weight gain so it is important to limit your intake of these products. That does not mean that anyone who is worried about getting diabetes has to give up all sugar, but it is important to consume sugar in moderation in order to be healthy.
Another common myth about diabetes is that people with diabetes cannot eat sweets. As mentioned in the last section many people believe that sugar causes diabetes and that people with diabetes cannot eat sweets. People with diabetes should limit their consumption of sweets but they do not have to give up all sweets because of their diagnosis. Giving up all foods that are high in sugar or fat will lead to cravings which can cause people to indulge and overeat. To avoid cravings, people with diabetes should maintain a healthy diet that includes occasional sweets so that they will not feel deprived and over indulge. The key to eating sweets is to keep everything in moderation. It may not be a good idea to eat a large sugary dessert everyday but that does not mean that people with diabetes can only enjoy a dessert on their birthday or at holidays either. People with diabetes can also look for low sugar dessert options if they plan to eat sweets on a regular basis. Many products are available that are low sugar or have no added sugar that taste just as good as the regular unhealthy version.
It is important for people with diabetes or people at risk for diabetes to keep these myths in mind so that they will be able to understand the disease better. The most important thing to keep in mind is that everything can be enjoyed in moderation and that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to manage diabetes and keep complications at a minimum. Family caregivers can help their loved ones by encouraging healthy eating and by eating the same foods as their loved one with diabetes so that they will not feel like they are missing out on good food.
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