When it comes to information about diabetes, blood sugars, nutrition, and even health in general, there is an endless amount of information available at the tips of our fingers thanks to the internet and social media. How do you wade through all of that information and determine not only what’s accurate, but also what applies to your own life?
Let’s explore some common statements that you may have heard online or in the media to get started. Have you heard any of the following statements before?
Q. A very low-carb diet (like Keto or Atkins) is the best diet for people with diabetes. Myth or Fact?
There is no single “one-size-fits-all” dietary approach that’s going to work best for everyone across the board! All people are unique and have unique nutrition needs. However, since blood sugar is most affected by carbs, these diets can help some people to make smarter food choices to optimize blood sugar. Everyone’s tolerance to carbs is a bit different, though, and monitoring your glucose values with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can help you to learn your unique carb tolerance.
Q. Blood sugar monitoring can help you live well with diabetes. Myth or Fact?
Monitoring your blood sugar is one of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk factors associated with diabetes. If you don’t understand your current blood sugar patterns, it’s difficult to know what changes will help you achieve more stable blood sugar. When you monitor your blood sugar you will learn how your body responds to different foods, meal combinations, exercise, stress, and sleep, among other things. Once you have that information, you can make more informed decisions to help you live well with pre-diabetes or diabetes.
Q. If a person with diabetes feels okay, he or she is okay. Myth or Fact?
While some people will feel symptomatic if their blood sugars are either too high or too low, not everyone has that same response. Some people experience dangerous high or low glucose that can increase their risk of serious complications, yet they feel fine. Changing glucose levels can also affect mood and energy levels. Tracking your own glucose patterns can help you understand that connection.
Q. People with diabetes can’t eat sweets or chocolate. Myth or Fact?
This is definitely a myth! While people with diabetes will generally need to limit things like sweets, chocolate, and other refined sugar, these foods can still fit within an overall balanced diet with some planning. Monitoring your glucose with a CGM can help you to learn how to make items like this fit on occasion.
Q. You can decrease high blood sugar with high-fiber foods. Myth or Fact?
Getting adequate fiber from foods can help you to optimize your blood sugar, reduce risk of heart disease, stay regular, and support healthy weight loss. While fiber is a type of carbohydrate, the body isn’t able to break down and absorb fiber the same as it does with other carbohydrates, so fiber doesn’t contribute to a blood sugar spike after your meal.
Q. You are in charge of your diabetes. Myth or Fact?
The power to live well with pre-diabetes or diabetes is in your hands. Your primary care team and your team here at NutriSense are here to support and guide you on your journey, but your progress will ultimately be determined by the choices you make. You may face many challenges on this journey, but with some knowledge and support, you can learn how to keep your blood sugar under control.
Any myths or facts that you’ve heard that weren’t listed above?
Where do people hear these myths or get incorrect information about diabetes?
How might you respond to someone who gives you incorrect information or unsolicited advice?
Living well with diabetes isn’t always black or white, and sometimes the answers aren’t always clear or easy. Our goal at NutriSense is to make sure you have the correct information about YOUR diabetes and YOUR body.
Next: What is Diabetes?