Remember some of those old wives’ tales we heard as kids? Like “Step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back?” Or “Pick up a horny toad and he’ll spit blood in your eye?” You probably haven’t heard that one unless you grew up in South Texas like I did.
But chances are very good that you’ve heard of some old wives’ tales or myths about both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes; here are a few of the most popular ones:
- Myth: Type 2 diabetes can’t be prevented
- Fact: This is most definitely not true; research has shown that losing 5-7% of weight can significantly reduce Type 2 diabetes risk
- Myth: Eating too many sweets can cause diabetes
- Fact: Obesity can lead to diabetes, but it doesn’t matter what food source the weight gain comes from. However, recent research has shown a link between sugary drinks and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a bit of an enigma, but health professionals do say that it is caused by genetic factors as well as x factors that heretofore have not been discovered.
- Myth: If you have diabetes, you must say “adios” to sweets, altogether.
- Fact: There are delicious dessert recipes out there that call for sugar substitutes; they help satisfy sugar cravings without adding a copious amount of calories.
- Myth: Only middle aged adults are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes
- Fact: This used to be true; at one time Type 2 diabetes was referred to as adult onset diabetes. However, rising obesity rates have led to diagnoses in younger adults and in some cases, even children
Living with diabetes presents challenges, absolutely. Those diagnosed with the disease know they cannot eat and/or drink with abandon — they must manage their disease carefully. But, despite whether or not we have diabetes, none of us should allow ourselves to eat and drink with abandon because of health risks. Health conscious diabetics may very well be luckier than the rest of the population, because they know the disease must be managed. Those that diligently pursue a healthy lifestyle might very well outlive non-diabetics, because they realize that good health should never be taken for granted.