5 common myths about diabetes, from diet to lifestyle

A lot of cliches going around about diabetes haven't always been confirmed. Here are 5 myths about diabetes that need to be debunked immediately: from diet to sugar consumption and insulin injections.

Myth No 1: if you eat too much sugar, you'll end up with diabetes

What's the first "fact" to expose? It's got to be the direct link between diabetes and sugar consumption. The US Food and Drug Administration began a research group almost 30 years ago which concluded that there is no definite proof that eating sugar causes diabetes.

Myth No 2: You have to eat a special diet if you have diabetes

If you have diabetes, don't fall into the "invalid diet" trap. The second myth to explode is that you've got to follow a diet that's different to everyone else's. The fact is, you can feel free to eat anything on your menu, as long as there's a balance between the amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fats and the number of calories your body needs. Just like anyone else would do! The only difference is that if you have diabetes, you don't have any other choice.

Myth No 3: No sweets allowed if you have diabetes

Have you got a sweet tooth? Don't worry, you can eat sweets like anyone else, but it has to be at the right time: at the end of a meal. If you eat an ice cream between meals you risk having a significant hyperglycemic peak, which can be hard to control. A coffee with sugar at the end of a meal raises your blood sugar less than one mid-afternoon. Keep in mind that however much sugar you decide to eat, it has to be part of what you're normally allowed. In simple terms, help yourself to a slice of cake, but don't have bread or pasta.

Myth No 4: All people with diabetes need insulin

Not everyone with diabetes needs insulin, although you will almost certainly if you have Type 1. If you've been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you may not necessarily have to take it at all during your life, although it's possible. Your diabetes specialist will be able to tell you which treatment is right for you.

Myth No 5: insulin injections are painful

If you're scared of needles, don't worry: nowadays, the equipment available for managing diabetes ensures that injections are almost completely painless. Pricking your finger to check your blood sugar level might be a bit more annoying - however, it all depends on the individual.

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