How to prevent diabetes? Common myths and misconceptions around diabetes.
Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Type 1: Type 1 diabetes is a auto-immune disease. When pancreas completely stops making insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps body to use glucose (sugar) found in food for energy. The exact cause of type 1 is unknown, but researchers say environmental factors, genetics, viruses play a role.
Myth/ Misconception 1: Eating too much sweets/ sugar doesn't causes diabetes.
Type 2: Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder. It occurs when body doesn't produce enough insulin or is unable to use insulin properly (insulin resistance). This occurs in people above 40 years of age, overweight or family history of diabetes. More and more younger people are suffering from Type 2 Diabetes these days.
Myth/ Misconception 2: People with Diabetes should eat diabetic food.
People with diabetes don't need to follow a restricted diet but follow the same healthy eating guidelines as everyone else i.e. choosing food that is low in fat and high in nutrients. Have whole grains, fruits and vegetables and moderate quantity of salt and sugar.
Myth/ Misconception 3: Diabetics should avoid fruits and root vegetables.
They should eat fruits and root vegetables with other foods to slow the increasing blood sugar rise that can cause cell damage. Fruits are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals but they also contain carbohydrate which are broken down to sugar. It's important to eat only to eat as much as given in the diet plan.
Myth/ Misconception 4: Only older people can get diabetes. Children don't get diabetes.
Myth/ Misconception 5: Being overweight is a risk factor or being overweight causes diabetes.
Having BMI of 25 is a risk factor, BMI of 30 or more is a major risk factor but you are also at risk if you have BP, cholesterol, PCOD and metabolic syndrome or even if you have suffered gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Myth/ Misconception 6: Diabetes is not serious.
Diabetes causes more death than HIV, Breast Cancer, AIDS combined.
Myth/ Misconception 7: Diabetes cannot exercise.
Exercise is the key to prevent and treat the disease. If you have never been very active, start slow, walking and yoga are the best to ease into activity program.
If you have complications such as heart disease, retinopathy, neuropathy (pain or loss of sensation in feet) talk to your provider before starting any exercise program for the type of exercises best for you.
Myth/ Misconception 8: People with diabetes get more cold, flu and other illness.
Not true, but people with diabetes are advised to get flu shots as any illness in diabetes makes diabetes management harder.
Prevention Tips for Diabetes
1. Cut excess weight.
2. Have three main meals and 2 snacks. Keep small portions.
3. Swap refined grains with whole grains. They break slowly to release glucose in blood.
4. Control your numbers. Blood pressure, Low Density lipoprotein LDL should be low and High-density lipoprotein HDL should be high.
5. Exercise for atleast 30 minutes.
6. Reduce stress, it's a major cause. Listen to music, meditate. Have some me time.
7. Stay Happy. Positive attitude keeps diseases at bay.