Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder which is responsible for the raised blood sugar levels than normal in a person. The disorder is due to deficiency or diminished effectiveness of the hormone called insulin released from the pancreas. When someone is diagnosed with this metabolic disorder, many of the friends and relatives come with their advice and remedies, many of them are non-scientific. Most of the people believe that eating food stuff like karela or methi especially after consuming sweets will never allow their sugar levels to rise, this shows that there are a misconception and lack of knowledge.
Here are some of the common myths related to this disease that needs to be clear with explanations:
Myth 1: Refined sugar is the cause of diabetes
Eating refined sugar can cause diabetes this myth is so widespread that sugar has banned from many of the homes and people without this metabolic disease. Due to this many of people have switched to even more harmful sugar substitutes like aspartame. The most prevalent reason for developing Type-2 diabetes in the inability of the pancreas to produce enough amount of the insulin or due to insulin resistance. Dietary behavior such as over eating all types of carbohydrates and fats and not exercising sufficiently can cause obesity that may lead to diabetes. Drinking sugary drinks can put one on a risk of diabetes.
A 12 oz (approx 350 ml) of sweetened beverage or carbonated beverage provides equivalent carbohydrates to ten teaspoons of sugar. Hence, one should limit the intake of sugar instead of banning it completely as a balanced diet is comprised of all the food groups.
Myth 2: Diabetics must avoid the desserts
Most of the times patient end up feeling deprived and that usually makes them frustrated about being unable to enjoy the meals with family and friends. An occasional treat with a small serving of dessert is reasonable if it is followed by the bout of exercise to help in reducing the extra sugar.
A diabetic needs a healthy meal plan which includes all the nutrients in correct proportion as per individual need. Moderation is the key, a hypoglycemic patient may have a small portion of chocolate or candy that would help their blood sugar levels to bring back in a normal range.
Myth 3: Taboos of Bread, Rice, and Potatoes.
There are many patients who complain of having raised blood sugar levels despite not eating the foods mentioned above by restricting them from their diet for a period of time or forever. There are many other factors which are directly responsible for high blood sugar levels so it is better to modify the food items instead of completely restricting them from the diet. Incorporating multigrain bread, brown rice, boiled non-fried potatoes into a diabetic diet can be the option.
Myth 4: Fruits are more sugary and should be restricted from diabetic diet
Fruits are the healthy source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and rich in antioxidants, they also provide the digestive enzymes which are required for good health. So it is important to indulge fruits in order to make a healthy meal plan. Yes, this is true that fruit contains sugar but in the form of fructose hence fruit should be consumed in a moderate amount. Make sure fruit should not be consumed after a meal. It would be best eaten on an empty stomach on rising or as a mid day snack between breakfast and lunch.
Myth 5: Skipping breakfast is the best way to control high sugar levels
There is a belief that starvation or fasting can control the blood sugar from rising on high levels, due to this many of the diabetic patients keeps on skipping meals especially the breakfast. If a diabetic skips breakfast after more than six hours of fasting that he spent while asleep, the blood sugar levels would lower down resulting in affecting both mental and physical performance. This may lead to hypoglycemia in the middle of the workday. It can result in raised post lunch glucose levels. Eating wholesome breakfast is highly recommended in order to keep the pancreas healthy so that it would maintain the optimum level of insulin secretion.
Myth 6: Diabetes is only meant for older people
This is the common myth in the majority of the masses that only older people can get diabetes but it needs to be understood that diabetes is a metabolic disorder that is associated with unhealthy diet and lifestyle. It’s not only the older people who get diabetes, as per the latest research held in 2016 over 70, 000 children are suffering from diabetes in India and 46% of the total are under 40 years of age. it should be understood that prevention is better than cure, avoid the sedentary lifestyle and eat more wholesome food and lesser junk food, encourage your children to get involved in some sports activity and get away from the virtual world. To prevent diabetes among children, parents must encourage them to establish healthy food habits and active lifestyle from the beginning of the time as foundations play the key role.
Myth 7: Obesity means diabetes
Though overweight and obesity are one of the risk factors for developing diabetes it is not necessary that all of the overweight and obese people would develop diabetes. There are many cases which have shown even underweight, raising the possibility of undernourishment that may be a possible risk factor for diabetes. However being obese, having BMI of 30 or above is considered to be a major risk factor for developing diabetes.
Myth8: diabetics are prone to a cough, colds and other illnesses
As long as a diabetic patient keeps a tight control on sugar levels, he may lead a healthy life. A diabetic is susceptible to the common cold and other infections as a non-diabetic person. However other illness can make difficult to control diabetes. Consuming foods that are rich in antioxidants like fresh fruits and vegetables, green tea etc. can increase their immunity.