At some point in our lives, we've all been duped by a myth, powered by gazillions of half-truths. Especially when it comes to medical knowledge, uninformed family members, friends, and even strangers believe they know everything about your health and are always ready to offer their opinions and unwelcome advice. When coping with diabetes, it's always better to separate facts from fiction, because misinformed thinking can cause serious setbacks in effective medical care.
As far as diabetes is concerned, these so-called 'facts' are simply old tidbits of knowledge that are no longer relevant. Some of them were never true in the first place but were widely touted by the diabetics and non-diabetics alike.
Some of these misconceptions that need to be addressed are:
Myth #1 - Diabetes is unavoidable
Although diabetes is linked to genetics, this does not make it unavoidable. Despite having a family history of diabetes, your risk of developing this condition also depends on other factors such as how much physical activity you get and how healthy your diet is. If you believe you are at risk of developing diabetes because of your family history, then maintaining a healthy dietary pattern and lifestyle and keeping an eye on your blood sugar level is the best bet for you.
Myth #2 - Immunity boosting foods keep diabetes at bay
“Have 3 leaves of tulsi and a shot of kaadha in the morning, you’ll see results in days.”
Often we have been offered these homemade concoctions and suggestions as a magical cure. People even swear by some of these remedies to help you get off medication once your blood sugar level is back on track. However, this might not be entirely true, you should always consult your doctor before stopping a prescribed medication plan.
Myth #3 - Special meals are required to manage diabetes
Contrary to popular belief, a diabetic diet need not be a complete deviation from the normal diet. Simply adhering to a healthy and balanced meal plan along with regular exercise is the most effective method to control your blood glucose levels and avoid escalations. Diabetes management entails the right selection of foods from all the food groups such as:
1. Whole grains such as millets, whole wheat, brown rice, and oats are all good sources of fibre.
2. Seasonal vegetables and green leafy vegetables. Fruits such as banana, mango, grapes, and fruit juices should be consumed after consulting your doctor.
3. Lean meats, chicken, fish, pulses, lentils and soy are all good sources of protein.
4. Dairy products with little or low fat, such as low-fat milk, and low-fat curd are recommended.
As the body responds differently to different types of foods and diets, consulting a registered dietician nutritionist to make an eating plan that works for an individual is very important.
Myth #4 - Individuals with a healthy weight won’t get diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic condition caused due to body's inability to appropriately utilize insulin which leads to elevated blood sugar levels. Although being overweight or obese does increase the risk of diabetes, being overweight is not necessarily synonymous with having diabetes. The fact is that not all obese individuals get diabetes and not all diabetics are overweight. Even individuals within the average weight, practicing an unhealthy lifestyle, can develop diabetes.
There’s a whole host of myths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings around diabetes. Instead of blindly believing in them it's always better to keep a regular check on your blood sugar levels, follow a healthy lifestyle and consult a doctor if required.
This article is intended as general guidance only and is primarily based on the sources referred herein. HUL does not endorse the advice, opinion or other information provided in this article. Please consult your doctor for specific conditions or queries before making any changes to diet and food intake.
- ICMR Guidelines for Management of Type 2 Diabetes 2018