Misconceptions about Diabetes: Why you should know this

What leads to T2 Diabetes? Do you ever wonder if it’s a result of genetics, being overweight, or taking too much sugar? There are 5 common misconceptions that I would like to address here.

Misconception 1: Diabetes can be Cured

At present, there is no cure for diabetes. However, research has shown some positive findings, and diabetes can be managed well through a balanced nutrition diet, regular exercise, and taking advice of your doctor. It can be controlled, medications can be reduced and complications can be kept at bay.

Misconception 2: Being Overweight leads to Diabetes

While having a higher Body-Mass-Index (BMI) of above 25 is correlated with a higher risk for diabetes, it doesn’t mean that it’s a cause for it. There are many people have a high BMI and not diabetes. There are people who are in an acceptable BMI range and have diabetes too.

Being overweight is one of the risk factors of diabetes but other risk factors include family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and lack of physical activity.

Misconception 3: Taking too much Sugar cause Diabetes

Can sugar cause diabetes? No, sugar alone cannot cause diabetes. Plainly eating sugar does not cause diabetes. It can however lead someone to gain weight, and thus increase the risk of the person developing diabetes. Eating sugar does not have much nutritional benefits either!

Misconception 4: People with Diabetes Cannot take Sugar

People with diabetes can take sugar in moderate amounts, if coupled with frequent exercise and a balanced nutrition diet. Remember the key words “in moderate amounts”! This is because sugary food (soft drinks, desserts, sweets) can spike one’s blood glucose levels very quickly. That’s why they are fast relief for those experiencing hypoglycaemia symptoms. For those with hypoglycaemia symptoms of feeling weak and shaking, you can treat it with 15g of carbohydrate:

  1.  Half can of sugary soft drink
  2.  3-4 glucose tablets
  3. 1 tbsp of honey

Check your glucose levels 15 minutes later to see if the levels have risen. If they have not increased after 2 treatments, do seek medical advice.

On the topic of sugar, ever wondered if sweeteners or honey are better alternatives? You can click here for our thoughts on sweeteners and honey with regards to diabetes.

Misconception 5: Diet is more important than Exercise to manage diabetes

Exercise and diet management – they go hand in hand for better diabetes control! Both are important for better control of diabetes. Making small adjustments to diet, and exercising more regularly can encourage weight loss, hence lowering the risk of diabetes complications. It is understandable that you might wish to focus on changing your diet first, but even scheduling a short 10min walk after a meal helps!

Do you know that people who exercise more than 3 times a week have a reduced risk of T2 diabetes?

The best time is when it fits in your schedule,” says Sheri Colberg-Ochs, PhD, a fellow at American College of Sports Medicine. She also says that moving the body is good for us – even if it is a 20-minute walk in the morning. Walking 10 minutes for 5 days a week has similar benefits to walking for 50 minutes straight!

In conclusion

I hope this article has helped in improving your understanding of diabetes! The next time someone makes an inaccurate assumption or has a misconception about diabetes, you can share what you know with them.

If you are living with diabetes, remember that it’s about taking baby steps towards your health goals. If you would like a professional opinion about the ways you have been caring for your health (weight loss or diabetes), we are here to help with GlycoLeap.

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