Our team of Dietitians are often asked about Diabetes… What causes it? Is it because I am overweight? Did I eat too much sugar? And so many more. So given it is Diabetes Week 2022, we thought we would answer all your questions and debunk some of the common myths.
When it comes to diabetes, there are so many misconceptions which can make diabetes management very confusing. Below, our team breaks down these myths to help you better understand diabetes and the potential causes:
#1 My diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar
Diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar!
Type 1 diabetes is caused by your body attacking the pancreas, destroying its ability to produce insulin which controls blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes has a number of contributing factors including family history, age, ethnicity and lifestyle factors including eating habits.
#2 My diabetes is caused by my weight
Weight can be a contributing factor to the development of type 2 diabetes however you can develop the condition at any weight or size and the development of type 1 diabetes is not influenced by weight.
#3 I have to give up carbs
Carbohydrates are not the enemy. They are actually the main energy source for us to function. Many foods we eat contain carbs such as bread, pasta, rice, fruit, potato, legumes, dairy, lollies, cakes as well as heaps of others. There are a range of other benefits that we get from eating these foods as well as just enjoyment of eating them.
Eating carbs will directly influence your blood sugar levels but it comes down to frequency and amounts that you have.
There are definitely individuals that follow low carb diets to manage their diabetes however this needs to be done under guidance of a dietitian.
#4 I now have to eat ‘diabetic friendly’ foods only
There is no one specific ‘diet’ that a person with diabetes should follow. Like the general population, your eating routine should include a variety of foods that you enjoy including those from the 5 food groups.
#5 I will now have to take insulin
Those with Type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin as their body is no longer able to produce insulin. However, Only 50 percent of people with type 2 diabetes will need insulin after 6-10 years of being diagnosed, others can manage their diabetes with other medications and their eating habits.
So there you have it. Some of the most common diabetes myths have been put to rest.
This year for Diabetes Week 2022, the focus is Rethink Diabetes. Diabetes Australia want us to think differently about diabetes and what it means for people living with the condition, “Every year 700,000 people living with diabetes experience mental or emotional health challenges. That’s because living with diabetes is not easy. It’s not a choice. And there are no days off. On top of that, many people with diabetes experience blame and shame… Let’s rethink diabetes.”
To learn more about Diabetes, head to the Diabetes Australia website.
Until next time,
Side Note: Please note that the information given above is intended general in nature, please consult a dietitian if you have any particular questions regarding nutrition for your diabetes.