Diabetes Myths … Busted Part 3
Don’t fall for these common diabetes myths. What you need to know about sugar-free foods & how to handle big meals. Consider these diabetes myths busted!
In my first diabetes myths post this month, I busted a myth about fruit and another about when to measure blood sugar levels. Part 2 tackled myths about snacking and special diets. Today’s diabetes myths busted are two more that my patients, clients and readers have struggled with.
Diabetes Myth: If it’s sugar-free, it’s good to eat
Sugar-free cookies, cakes and ice cream are popular, but they aren’t necessarily low calorie or even low carbohydrate. And they can have a big impact on your diabetes management! Carbs other than sugar – such as the flour and sugar alcohols in sugar-free desserts – affect your blood sugar levels too. Often these desserts aren’t even any lower in calories, and that may be a problem for your waistline. And don’t forget that desserts are still desserts whether they are lower in calories or sugar or fat or anything else. We must all be mindful of the amount we eat, or they have the potential to crowd out more healthful, wholesome foods.
What to do: Scrutinize the Nutrition Facts panel on the package to look for total carbohydrate. Count this toward your carbohydrate goal for that meal or snack. Pay attention to calories too because those are what pack on the pounds.Stay on track all year. Get your free copy of recommended tests and appointments for people with diabetes.
Diabetes Myth: It’s okay to eat lightly now to save up for later
I get that many people want to balance a big meal with light ones. On the surface, it even makes sense. But not so fast. Before you had diabetes, you might have been able to get away with skimping on breakfast and lunch to save up for your big plate of pasta or other favorite meal. But these days, the amount you eat – especially the amount of carbohydrate you eat – every time you eat matters. Eating a large meal rich in carbs is a recipe for high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Plus, if you take diabetes medications that may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) as a side effect, you risk hypoglycemia when you cut carbs.Is it okay to skimp on breakfast and lunch to eat a big dinner if you have diabetes?Click To Tweet
What to do: Instead of thinking about carbohydrate intake on a daily basis, think about the amount you eat at each meal and snack. Carbs affect your blood sugar every time you eat. If you eat a small amount of carbohydrate, your blood sugar will likely go up a little. Likewise, if you eat a large amount, your blood sugar may go up quite high. (Of course, much of the effect has to do with medications and exercise too.)
Instead of adding extra carbohydrates to your meal, which will just jack up your blood sugar, swap one carb-rich food for another. Often I even prefer my patients with diabetes to forgo fruits, whole grains and other healthful carb-rich foods at an occasional meal, so they can enjoy a small slice of birthday cake. The key words here are occasional and small portion size.
I know that you’ve got lots to keep track of when you have diabetes, so I put together a 1-year schedule of what to do when. Keep track of your appointments, tests and results.
Get Your Free Copy of a Diabetes Health Schedule
I'm Jill, and I believe simple changes in your mindset and health habits can bring life-changing rewards. And I don't believe in willpower. It's waaaay overrated. As a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist and certified health and wellness coach, I've helped thousands of people solve their food and nutrition problems. If you're looking for a better way to master this whole healthy eating/healthy living thing or if you're trying to prevent or manage diabetes or heart problems, you'll find plenty of resources right here.
Leave a Reply
Welcome to my Blog
Hi there! I'm Jill, a nutrition & diabetes expert and the author of 4 books.
I believe simple changes in health habits can bring you life-changing rewards.
And I believe willpower is way overrated.
Right here is where you can discover the mindset and habits to stick with healthy lifestyle choices most of the time - and drop the guilt when you don't.