Many people think that people with diabetes are subject to very strict diet, but that isn’t always the case. Just because they take medicine for diabetes does not mean they have to give up so many different types of food! Unsurprisingly, a lot of the ‘facts’ that people seem to know about diabetes and the people diagnosed with them that aren’t exactly true. Here are three common misconceptions regarding the diet of people with diabetes.
People assume that the starch in bread, pasta, cereal, rice, and other starchy food raises the blood glucose and makes you gain weight. But remember that starchy food contains fiber too, essential for supporting the digestive system and maintaining immunity. Weight gain can only happen if you take in more calories than you need and don’t do anything like exercise to burn it off. Too much of any food is never good anyway! The key is variety, and knowing the accurate amount you should eat for each food group to help keep those blood glucose levels in a safe range. Starchy foods aren’t that bad as long as you choose the whole grain and fiber filled ones that your overall nutrition will definitely benefit from.
Some people think that having diabetes calls for a low-sodium diet. However, not having enough sodium in the body can lead to high blood pressure, which is the leading cause of heart disease. Food types that are high in sodium include canned soup, canned vegetables, cold cuts, salad dressings and cereals. Even if you aren’t prone to high blood pressure, it is still advisable to manage your sodium intake: not too much, but definitely not too little.
Everyone has food cravings now and then, and diabetics are definitely no exception. One of the things people worry about when diagnosed with diabetes is that they think they will be completely banned from eating their favorite desserts forever. Although it is true that diabetics need to limit their intake of sweets and treats, they can still have it in small doses every now and then. Realistically speaking, diabetics are more prone to crave food that are high in fat or due to the drastic change of having to cut down and are likely to have difficulty adjusting at first. The best way to deal with a craving is to have a taste and not go beyond that. Depriving yourself will only get you longing for the taste more, but upon getting that taste you CAN resist the urge to have more.
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you’ll never get to enjoy food again. You are still allowed to eat the foods you like – you just need to eat more of the healthy stuff. Besides, healthier food choices aren’t for diabetics alone, but for everyone!