In the United States, over 25 million adults have diabetes. As this number continues to increase every year, it’s important to know myths from facts about diabetes. Here are five diabetes myths debunked.
Myth #1: Diabetes doesn’t run in my family so I won’t be getting it.
Fact: There are several risk factors for type 2 diabetes. You might not have family history of diabetes, but being overweight, having an unhealthy diet, not exercising, your age, a high blood pressure and your ethnicity could put you at risk for diabetes.
Myth #2: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
Fact: Type 2 diabetes is linked to genetics, ethnicity, age, obesity and inactivity. If you’re eating a diet high in calories from any source, you’ll gain weight, which puts you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and other health conditions. There are other types of diabetes also not caused by eating too much sugar such as gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) and type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease.
Myth #3: I can’t eat sweets or starchy foods if I have diabetes.
Fact: A healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, plenty of whole grains and a limited amount of fat and refined sugar is good for everyone, including those with diabetes. Moderation is important for everyone as well as people with diabetes.
Myth #4: I need to lose a lot of weight for my diabetes to improve.
Fact: Losing 10-15 pounds can improve your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol. Staying active can help you get there. However, while you may be able to live a happy and healthy live with diabetes, there is no cure for diabetes.
Myth #5: If I develop gestational diabetes during my pregnancy, I shouldn’t worry because it’ll go away after giving birth.
Fact: Gestational diabetes does go away on its own after the baby is born. However, both you and your baby will be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. Also, you’ll be at a higher risk of getting gestational diabetes again in future pregnancies.