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Diabetes

Learn about a host of diabetes-related topics such as how many Americans suffer from this disease to how to easily adjust to a new diet after diagnoses. This section will provide you with the information you need to make informed dietary decisions regarding diabetes.

Diabetes Myths Debunked

Despite the prevalence of diabetes, it continues to be misunderstood. We are debunking common misconceptions about diabetes and shining light on its truth.

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About 30 million Americans, or 10 percent of the population, had diabetes in 2015 according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults had type 1 diabetes. The ADA further estimates 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes annually.

Despite the prevalence of diabetes, it continues to be misunderstood. But we are debunking common misconceptions about diabetes and shining light on its truth.

Diabetes Myths Debunked

Can you get type 2 diabetes without being overweight?

Being overweight or obese is one of the most significant risk factors for diabetes. Overweight and obesity is based on a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25.

But this does not mean all overweight people are destined to a diabetes diagnosis. Nor does it mean people considered of normal weight (BMI between 18.5 to 24.8) are immune from diabetes.

However, health experts warn that while BMI can be a valuable tool, it is not the best measurement for health. Body mass index generalizes body weight is not reflective of bone density, muscle mass, and body fat distribution. It also ignores waist circumference, which is a stronger predictor of diabetes than BMI.

Ultimately, though individuals may be considered normal weight based on BMI, their waist circumference may also be outside of recommended levels. Men and women are advised to keep waist circumferences under 40 and 35 inches, respectively.

Diabetes risk may also be compounded by family history, genetics, ethnicity, and other lifestyle habits.

Can you get diabetes from eating too much sugar?

One of the most common diabetes myths is that eating too much sugar causes it. Though sugar does not directly cause diabetes, there is a profound link between the two.

A study published in Food & Nutrition Research suggests sugar-sweetened beverages probably increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Populations with a decline in sugar intake also have declining diabetes rates.

What’s more, sugary foods such as soda and snack foods tend to be easy to overeat. The empty calories truly offer no benefit and increases the risk of weight gain, in turn increasing the risk of diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends limiting sugary beverages to help prevent diabetes. This means reducing the intake of soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, sports drinks, sweet tea, flavored coffee drinks, and energy drinks. Also decrease the intake of sugary foods.

The American Heart Association (AHA) further recommends men limit added sugar intake to no more than 36 grams per day. Women should reduce intake to 25 grams.

Can young people get diabetes?

Age is also a risk factor for developing diabetes. And people who are over 40 and overweight are more likely to develop diabetes.

There are also two types of diabetes, including types 1 and 2 diabetes. Both can be triggered by genetic and environmental factors. Type 1 can develop at any age, but typically occurs during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age and is often preventable.

But unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Lifestyle habits increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, including a poor diet and physical inactivity. These also increase the risk of obesity.

Adolescents are growing their risk of diabetes as child obesity rates continue to rise. To help prevent the onset of diabetes at a young age, encourage healthy eating behaviors and regular exercise.

Do you have to follow a special diet as a diabetic?

If diagnosed with diabetes, following a diabetic diet can help manage blood sugars, lipids, and weight. About everyone can benefit from a diabetes diet, as it is essentially a healthy eating pattern balanced with nutrient dense-foods.

A diabetic diet encourages individuals to focus on healthy carbohydrate sources. Healthier carbs include whole grains, fruits and veggies, legumes, low-fat milk and dairy products. Meals are advised to contain no more than 60 grams of carbohydrate while snacks should be limited to about 15 grams.

It also incorporates lean protein and healthy fat sources. One should also limit and moderate the intake of highly processed products. Not only are they laden in refined flour, sugar, and salt, but often lack any sort of nutritional value.

Additional considerations include the timings and portions of meals. Balanced meals and snacks should be consumed about every 3 to 4 hours to keep o best keep blood sugars stabilized.

Is diabetes serious?

Without proper management, diabetes certainly can be serious. When blood sugars are consistently elevated, it can negatively impact blood flow and damage arteries and nerves.

Such diabetes complications include skin, foot, and eye complications. Uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to heart and kidney diseases and be fatal. In fact, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

Underestimating the seriousness of diabetes can negatively impact how well one manages the condition. But properly controlled can lower the risk of such complications. It may also even lead to reversal of symptoms. This in turn can reduce the the need for medications used to control blood sugar!

Managing diabetes should be coordinating with a healthcare team to ensure a safe and effective plan. Controlling blood sugars includes making healthy lifestyle changes, including with diet and exercise.

Trusting in a meal delivery service can also assist in providing diabetic-friendly meals straight to doorsteps! 

Ordering a diabetic diet menu online helps maintain blood glucose control and enhance overall health from the comfort of home. Nutrition experts and seasoned chefs combine the nutritional requirements of a diabetic diet with the delicious flavors of top-notch cuisine.

With the diabetic program, meals supply 25 net grams of carbs or less and snacks supply 15 or less. Meals and snacks also deliver adequate protein. Eating these meals and snacks every 3 to 4 hours helps control blood sugars. It also helps prevent metabolism from slowing down and keep hunger stable.

And featuring over 200 rotating recipes, there is always an option to satisfy all taste buds at any time of the day…

Kickstart the morning with apple cinnamon oatmeal with scrambled eggs. And for lunch? A roasted tofu and and ancient grain salad! Skip on that bag of chips from the vending machine and recharge with protein-packed Southwest nacho chili crisps. Unwind from the day with the comfort of meatloaf with honey bourbon glaze. To cap the day, defeat that sweet tooth with a glazed cinnamon bun bar.

Truly, managing diabetes has never been so convenient or tasted so good!

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on May 01, 2013. Updated on March 27, 2019.

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