Happy November! WOW where did the time go… I just remember back to school season and now we are nearing the end of fall!
November celebrates National Diabetes Month, so as one of your Supermarket Dietitians, I am going to provide you with some great resources that include tips from all of our supermarket dietitians, a diabetic shopping list, and an entire month long menu of consistent carb intake at each meal and snacks! How cool is that?! Click here to download the Diabetic Shopping List. We want to make your journey towards better health and nutrition as easy as possible!
What is Diabetes?
I’m sure you have heard about diabetes and you most likely know someone with diabetes, according to statistics, but what is diabetes in one sentence?
“Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases where the body’s pancreas does not produce enough insulin or does not properly respond to insulin produced, resulting in high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. There are several different types of diabetes, but the most common forms are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both impact glucose levels, and if left untreated, can cause many complications. There is also gestational diabetes” jdrf.org
Debunk the Myths
You know me, I always have to debunk all those common misconceptions and myths out there as I want you to get all the most current and science based information, so here are some myths debunked by the American Diabetes Association:
Myth: Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.
Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Having diabetes nearly doubles your chance of having a heart attack. The good news is that good diabetes control can reduce your risks for diabetic complications.
Myth: If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.
Fact: Being overweight is a rick factor for developing this disease, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role. Unfortunately, too many people disregard the other risk factors for diabetes and think that weight is the only risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain.
Myth: People with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods.
Fact: A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is generally the same as a healthy diet for anyone – low in saturated and trans fat, moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and fruit. Diabetic and “dietetic” food generally offer no special benefit. Most of them still raise blood glucose levels, are usually more expensive and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols.
Myth: If you have diabetes, you should only eat small amounts of starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta.
Fact: Starchy foods can be part of a healthy meal plan, but portion size is key. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks. In addition to these starchy foods, fruits, beans, milk, yogurt and sweets are also sources of carbohydrate that need to count in your meal plan.
Wondering how much carbohydrate you can have? A place to start is about 45-60 grams of carbohydrate her meal. However, you may need more or less carbohydrate at meals depending on how you manage your diabetes. You and your health care team can figure out the right amount for you. Once you know how much carbs to eat at a meal, choose your food and the portion size to match.
Myth: People with diabetes can’t eat sweets or chocolate.
Fact: If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. They are no more “off limits” to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes. The key to sweets is to have a very small portion and save them for special occasions so you focus your meal on more healthful foods.
Myth: You can catch diabetes from someone else.
Fact: No. Although we don’t know exactly why some people develop diabetes, we know diabetes is not contagious. It can’t be caught like a cold or flu. There seems to be some genetic link in diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle factors also play a part.
Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses.
Fact: You are no more likely to get a cold or another illness if you have diabetes. However, people with diabetes are advised to get flu shots. This is because any illness can make diabetes more difficult to control, and people with diabetes who do get the flu are more likely than others to go on to develop serious complications.
Myth: If you have type 2 diabetes and your doctor says you need to start using insulin, it means you’re failing to take care of your diabetes properly.
Fact: For most people, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. When first diagnosed, many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose at a healthy level with oral medications. But over time, the body gradually produces less and less of its own insulin, and eventually oral medications may not be enough to keep blood glucose levels normal. Using insulin to get blood glucose levels to a healthy level is a good thing, not a bad one.
Myth: Fruit is a healthy food. Therefore, it is okay to eat as much of it as you wish.
Fact: Fruit is a healthy food. It contains fiver and lots of vitamins and minerals. Because fruits contain carbohydrates, they need to be included in your meal plan. Talk to your dietitian about the amount, frequency and types of fruits you should eat.
I hope this information is helpful to you; please share it with your family and friends as well. For more information and resources, please visit diabetes.org or reach out to one of your local supermarket dietitians.
Peace and Wellness,