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Three 'diabetes diet' myths busted

by , 18 November 2013

When you have diabetes, your diet is a vital part of your treatment plan. But, with so many myths out there regarding the correct diabetes diet, how do you separate fact from fiction? Read on to discover the truth about diabetes diets as we dispel the myths.

Do you have diabetes? If so, be aware of these three diabetes diet myths.

Revealed: Three ‘diabetes diet’ myths

WebMD dispels the three popular myths regarding ‘diabetes diets’

Myth 1: You can adjust your diabetes drugs to ‘cover’ whatever you eat

If you use insulin for your diabetes, you may learn how to adjust the amount and type you take to match the amount of food you eat. But this doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want and then just use more drugs to stabilise your blood sugar level.

If you use other types of diabetes drugs, don’t try to adjust your dose to match varying levels of carbohydrates in your meals unless instructed by your doctor. Most diabetes medications work best when they’re taken consistently as directed by your doctor.

Myth 2: You need to eat special diabetic meals

The truth is there really is no such as thing as a ‘diabetic diet’, says WebMD.

The foods that are healthy for people with diabetes are also good choices for the rest of your family. Usually, there’s no need to prepare special diabetic meals.

The difference between a diabetes diet and your family’s ‘normal’ diet is this: If you have diabetes, you need to monitor what you eat a little more closely. This includes the total amount of calories you consume and the amounts and types of carbohydrates, fats, and protein you eat. A diabetes educator or dietitian can help you learn how to do this.

Myth 3: You have to give up desserts if you have diabetes

Not true! You can develop many strategies for including desserts in a diabetes diet. Here are some examples:
  • Use artificial sweeteners in desserts.
  • Cut back on the amount of dessert. For example, instead of two scoops of ice cream, have one or share a dessert with a friend.
  • Use desserts as an occasional reward for following your diabetes diet plan.
  • Make desserts more nutritious. For example, use whole grains, fresh fruit, and vegetable oil when preparing desserts. You can use less sugar than a recipe calls for without sacrificing taste or consistency.
  • Expand your dessert horizons. Instead of ice cream, pie, or cake, try fruit, a whole-wheat oatmeal-raisin cookie, or yogurt.

Bottom line: Now that you know the truth about diabetes diets, “you can use what you eat as an effective tool for keeping your blood sugar levels within normal ranges. That’s the best diabetes diet of all,” says WebMD.

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