Friday, August 11, 2006

Myths about Diabetes

Here from the American Diabetes Association are just the facts on eight myths about diabetes:

Myth No. 1: You can catch diabetes from someone who has it. Fact: Diabetes isn't contagious like the flu. Major causes include lifestyle, aging and heredity.

Myth No. 2: Diabetics can't eat sweets. Fact: People with diabetes can eat sweets and desserts as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan.

Myth No. 3: Eating sugar causes diabetes. Fact: Weight gain from too little exercise and too many calories is strongly linked with type 2 diabetes. The calories can come from sugar, protein or fat.

Myth No. 4: Avoid insulin since it puts weight on. Fact: For most diabetics, the benefit of better blood sugar control with insulin far outweighs the possible risk of gaining weight.

Myth No. 5: People with diabetes need special food. Fact: Special foods aren't necessary. A diet that is low in fat, moderate in salt and sugar, and high in produce and whole grains brings the greatest health benefits.

Myth No. 6: Diabetics must strictly avoid starchy foods. Fact: Reasonable amounts of starchy foods such as whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, yams, peas and corn are part of a healthy meal plan for diabetics. People with diabetes can typically eat about three or four servings a day.

Myth No. 7: People with diabetes are prone to colds and flu. Fact: The risk of contracting contagious illnesses is no greater when you have diabetes. It's a good idea to get an annual influenza shot, however, since an infection can send blood sugar levels skyrocketing.

Myth No. 8: Insulin causes cardiovascular disease. Fact: Insulin does not cause heart disease, the No. 1 killer of people with diabetes. The real culprit is elevated blood sugar levels in untreated or inadequately controlled diabetes.


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