Unfortunately the myths surrounding the “strict” diet those with diabetes must adhere to are many, the truth of the matter is actually that a diabetic can eat everything that someone without diabetes can.
Here are five of the most popular diabetes diet myths:
1. A diabetic’s diet has to be different than the rest of their family’s diet.
People with diabetes are able to eat exactly like the rest of their family does. Modern day nutrition guidelines for those with diabetes offer quite a few choices, they are flexible and allow diabetics to fit in special-occasion or favorite foods. A healthy diet consisting of whole grains, vegetable, fruits, heart healthy fats and lean proteins should be kept by everyone regardless of whether or not they are diabetic. If you are diabetic you do not have to have “special” meals, the whole family can eat the same; healthy.
2. A diabetic should never succumb to cravings.
At some point or another, everyone has food cravings even diabetics, It is common for most diabetics to completely stop eating sweets or even eat smaller portions in an attempt to lose weight. Your body’s response to these changes many times are cravings. Nine out of ten times the choices of foods during these times will be high in sugar and or fat. Many times it is in fact the combination of both.
The healthiest way to deal with these cravings is avoiding them by eating healthy and occasionally allowing sweets within your diabetic meal plans. If you do get cravings allow yourself a small bit of what it is you are craving. This allows you to relish in the flavors being craved and prevents overeating at a later time.
3. Diabetics should avoid starchy foods regardless of whether they have a high fiber content due to the fact that your blood glucose levels can be elevated by starch and you will gain weight.
Foods such as pasta, cereal, bread and rice are considered starchy foods but they provide carbohydrates which are what give the body energy. Other foods that also contain carbohydrates are milk, desserts, yogurt and fruit, carbohydrates are something that everyone needs a bit off, even diabetics. When you consume more carbohydrates than you burn that is when you will gain weight.
As a matter of fact overeating any kind of food will cause weight gain. The important thing is to be aware of the amount of each healthy food groups you need to eat in order to maintain safe blood glucose levels and a healthy weight range. Starchy foods that are high in fiber and whole grain are a great choice for general good nutrition.
4. Eating fat should not be concerning to diabetics being as there is not a real effect on the blood glucose.
Fats that are found in oils, margarine and salad dressings do not immediately affect the blood glucose levels. That being said eating a fatty meal can slow down the process of digestion making it more difficult for your insulin to work, this could possibly cause elevated glucose levels hours after you have eaten.
Your blood cholesterol can be raised by some fats which increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack. These unhealthy fats are called trans fat and saturated fat and should be limited.
Shortening, butter, milk, cheese and red meat are all sources of saturated fat. Some snack foods, margarine and fast foods contain trans fats. Fat is also very high in calories so if your are trying to lose weight you should avoid it.
5. A low-sodium diet should always be adhered to by diabetics.
Just because you are diabetic you do not need to completely cut all sodium and salt from your diet. However, being as a diabetic is more likely than someone who is not diabetic to suffer from high blood pressure which can cause heart disease they should consider cutting back on the amount of sodium they consume.
Here are few examples of foods that are high in sodium:
- canned vegetables
- salad dressings
- canned soups
- cold cuts
- certain cereals
Regardless of whether or not you have high blood pressure it is important to be careful with the amount of sodium you consume. There are individuals who are “salt sensitive” therefore after eating foods with a high salt content they may be experience a spike in their blood pressure levels.