On Nutrition: Myths and facts about diabetes
By Barbara Quinn
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My veterinarian son-in-law sent me a picture of one of his patients … an obese cat that weighs 25 pounds. The kitty could use a nutritionist, he said. And a diabetes educator, I added.
Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes … in humans as well cats. And because our nation is getting fatter, it's estimated that one of every three Americans will have diabetes by the year 2050, unless we take steps to stop it, says the American Diabetes Association.
What do you know about diabetes? Here are some myths and facts:
Myth: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
Fact: Diabetes is caused by defects in how the body produces and uses insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas.
Fact: A person with type 1 diabetes must take insulin several times a day to stay alive.
Fact: A person with type 2 diabetes produces insulin but it does not work effectively.
Myth: The best way to avoid getting type 2 diabetes is to throw away all your Halloween candy.
Fact: According to research, two effective strategies can help prevent type 2 diabetes: lose 5 to 10 percent of your poundage and exercise at least 150 minutes a week.
Myth: Too much insulin makes you fat.
Fact: Too much food makes you fat.
Myth: If you feel OK, you don't have diabetes.
Fact: If your blood glucose level is 126 mg/dL or higher after an overnight fast, you have the diagnosis of diabetes.
Myth: Diabetes will go away if you ignore it.
Fact: Diabetes can be well-controlled if you do not ignore it.
Myth: If you have diabetes, expect to have terrible problems with your heart, kidneys, and eyes.
Fact: Serious complications of diabetes can be prevented if you know your "ABC's."
Myth: "ABC" stands for "All Bad Carbohydrates."
Fact: "ABC" is how the American Diabetes Association reminds us keep our numbers normal: A1C (a blood test to tell you if your diabetes is in good control), Blood pressure, and Cholesterol.
Myth: Real men don't eat fish.
Fact: Eating fish may help prevent diabetes. Researchers from the University of California at San Diego found that omega-3 fatty acids in fish help improve insulin sensitivity and decrease inflammation - conditions that can lead to diabetes.
Myth: If you have diabetes, you can kiss your pumpkin pie goodbye.
Fact: If you have diabetes, you can eat some foods with sugar if you know how to count carbohydrates.
Myth: Carbohydrates are dangerous molecules in food that make you have diabetes.
Fact: Carbohydrates are sugars and starches in food that fuel your muscles, nerves and brain.
Myth: The diet to control diabetes is complicated and expensive.
Fact: My Food Advisor (http://tracker.diabetes.org/) is a free website sponsored by the American Diabetes Association that provides food and recipe ideas and helps people with diabetes track their food intake.
Myth: A person with diabetes can eat corn till the cows come home because it is a vegetable.
Fact: Corn is a "starchy" vegetable (along with peas, potatoes and winter squashes) that needs to be eaten in moderation to prevent spikes in blood sugar.
Myth: If you have diabetes, you are a "diabetic."
Fact: If you have diabetes, you are a person with diabetes.
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Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
© 2011, The Monterey County Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services