Diabetes is a group of diseases that cause your body’s blood sugar to be too high. It’s estimated that about 30.3 million people have diabetes, yet there are still a lot of misconceptions about this disease. As a result, a lot of people feel surprised when they’re diagnosed with diabetes, or are confused about how their loved ones should manage it. To help you out, we’ve put together a few common myths about diabetes, as well as the facts about this disease.
Myth #1: Consuming Sugar Causes Diabetes
This is — hands down — one of the biggest misconceptions. The fact is that there is no direct correlation between sugar and diabetes. Here’s why: The food you eat is converted into a sugar called glucose. Insulin then moves that glucose from your bloodstream to your cells, giving your body the energy it needs. The reason people with diabetes have high blood sugar is because their bodies don’t make enough insulin or the body struggles to use insulin properly. It’s not the sugar itself that is the problem, but the body’s inability to manage it.
That being said, you should still avoid eating or drinking sugar in excess because it can cause obesity, and obesity can put you at a higher risk for diabetes. For instance, The American Diabetes Association says sugary drinks can be linked to diabetes. This is because just one 12-ounce can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it. So when it comes to eating sweets or drinking sugary drinks, moderation is best.
Myth #2: You’ll Only Get Diabetes if You’re Overweight
Although being overweight does put you at a higher risk for diabetes, it’s not the only deciding factor in whether you will develop it or not. People who are thin can also get type 1 or type 2 diabetes as a result of genetics, bad eating habits, high cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle, fat distribution, pregnancy, and more. It’s estimated that about 10%-15% of people with diabetes are underweight or normal weight. This means that no matter what your weight is, it’s important to get checked for diabetes as well as make daily efforts to exercise and eat a balanced diet.
Myth #3: People with Diabetes Can’t Eat Sugar
If you have diabetes, it will probably affect what you eat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have sugar at all.
In the past few years, a lot of companies have created food that’s labeled “diabetic.” Often this label is on foods with sugar alternatives. But the reality is that people don’t need to have “diabetic food.” They are often simply advised to eat a healthy diet. This includes avoiding foods that are high in sodium, fat, and sugar. The American Diabetic Association also recommends that if you have diabetes, you should try to get your carbohydrates from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Myth #4: Diabetes Isn’t a Serious Disease
False. Unfortunately, diabetes is much more serious than many people realize. More people die from diabetes each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Additionally, having diabetes can double your risk for heart attacks. About 88 million, are estimated to have prediabetes as well, which means you have high glucose levels, but not high enough to be considered diabetic. Luckily, there are many ways you can help prevent diabetes. Some of these include:
- Regular exercise
- Losing weight (if overweight)
- A healthy diet that’s low in carbohydrates
- Avoid processed foods
- Drinking lots of water (as opposed to sugary drinks)
- Get enough Vitamin D
- Take natural herbs like berberine
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will be able to give you recommendations tailored to your personal needs, such as lifestyle changes, insulin usage, and more.
At Brilliant, we offer natural solutions to help manage blood sugar. Check out Level today to naturally balance and manage your blood glucose levels.