When it comes to any complicated disease or topic, you will likely hear or read information on the topic from various sources, including the internet and from friends and family. Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on information you receive to be reliable or correct. That’s why it’s important to have open communication with your health care team to get factual information regarding your specific condition or disease. Read on to learn some common myths associated with type 2 diabetes along with the facts.
Myth: You can get diabetes from eating too much sugar.
Fact: You do not develop type 2 diabetes from eating too much sugar, but the disease is related to sugar. Eating too much sugar can lead to obesity, which is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.
Myth: You can’t eat starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes or pasta, if you have diabetes.
Fact: Starchy foods can be eaten as part of a healthy diet, but portion sizes are important when choosing these types of foods.
Myth: Taking diabetes medications means you don’t have to watch your diet or exercise.
Fact: Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease; however, it is important to watch your diet and exercise in order to slow the progression as well as the need for more diabetes medications and/or insulin.
Myth: You need to follow a specific, strict diet if you have type 2 diabetes.
Fact: There is not a special diet for diabetes. Most individuals with type 2 diabetes should be eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet that includes whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, fruit, lean protein, and low-fat or non-fat dairy foods. Speak with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator for an individualized meal plan.
Myth: If your doctor informs you that you need to start using insulin, it means you are not taking care of your diabetes properly.
Fact: For most people, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease and can typically be controlled with diet and oral medications at first. However, over time, the body typically will produce less of its own insulin, thus the need for you to take insulin.
Myth: Prediabetes is nothing to worry about.
Fact: Prediabetes is serious and in fact, about 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. Thankfully, this can typically be prevented with a change to a healthier lifestyle, which includes following a well-balanced, nutritious diet, getting physical activity and possibly weight loss. Talk to your physician if you are concerned with prediabetes.
Check out the other articles in our Living Well With Diabetes series:
“Myths About Diabetes,” diabetes.org, accessed Aug. 5, 2020.
“Diabetes myths and facts,” medlineplus.gov, accessed Aug. 5, 2020.