Friday, March 18, 2011

Eating with Diabetes: Exposing the Common Myths

The following article was kindly contributed by Emma B. Wood, a dental assistant who has a blog for diabetics at
Maintaining a healthy diet is vital to our all-around health and wellbeing. Eating the right foods help us control illness, reduce stress, and provide assistance to prevent serious disease. However, for all those with type 2 diabetes, making appropriate food choices can be both frustrating and confusing. Because diabetes type 2 is a serious disease, debunking the following myths may actually help save the lives of countless.
Myth 1: Diabetes is due to consuming too much sugar.
The cause is not totally understood, diabetes is thought to be the result of genetics and lifestyle factors. With diabetes, your body is unable to properly convert food into glucose, which uses insulin to provide the cells with energy. Carrying excess fat can make type II diabetes more likely to occur.
Myth 2: Diabetics cannot eat sweets.
Consuming a piece of cake will not cause a medical emergency. Although sugars could be empty calories and result in weight gain if eaten in large amounts, when eaten in moderation, sweets can be part of a healthy diet, especially when combined with exercise.
Myth 3: Diabetics must consume special diabetic foods.
A healthy diet plan for those with type II diabetes is quite similar to a healthy diet for everyone - limit the fats, use salt and sugar moderately, and consume whole grain foods. Lean protein, vegetable, and fruit also help to complete a balanced diet. Many foods marketed as "diabetic" foods still usually raise glucose levels inside the blood.
Myth 4: Carbohydrates are dangerous for diabetics.
Starches are an essential part of a balanced diet. Carbs could have a significant effect on blood glucose levels, so they must be consumed in moderation. Carbs contain important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber, so eradicating them from the diet is not a healthy idea.
Myth 5: Fruit can be consumed freely because it is healthy and natural.
Although fruit is chocked filled with nutrients, consuming too much of it, especially immediately can prove problematic. Also, dried fruits like dates could possibly be high in fat and rich in calories. Fruits such as these should only be eaten without excess.
Myth 6:  Dairy milk consumption, as part of a balanced diet, is healthy for diabetics because milk is very low in carbohydrates.
Dairy milk is rich in galactose, casein, and harmful hormones, all of which can significantly promote diabetes in a regular milk consumer.  The milk protein casein is similar in shape to the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.  Because the body may perceive casein as a foreign invader and attack it, it may also start to attack the pancreas cells having confused them for casein, leading to diabetes.  (Cavallo, M.G., et al, Cell-mediated immune response to beta casein in recent-onset insulin-dependent diabetes: implications for disease pathogenesisk, 1996, The Lancet. 348, 9032- 926-8).  Milk is rich in galactose and it “reaches high levels in human plasma following milk ingestion. Galactose increases atheromatous plaque formation in Baboons and other experimental animals, causes cataracts in rats (and possibly in humans), and is related to the onset of diabetes in humans” (Gordon, D.B. 1999. Milk and mortality: the connection between milk drinking and coronary heart disease. Livermore CA, Gordon Books, USA).  Apart from the fact that milk is fattening and promotes obesity and diabetes, dairy milk is high in harmful hormones.  These hormones create an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone in the human body – this in turn leads to so-called “estrogen dominance”.  Several studies show that estrogen dominance can significantly increase the risk of diabetes. “Whereas estrogen impairs homeostatic control of glucose levels, natural progesterone stabilizes them. Thus, natural progesterone can be beneficial to both those with diabetes and those with reactive hypoglycemia. Estrogen should be contraindicated in patients with diabetes” (
Now that the myths in regards to the diet for those with type II diabetes have been exposed, diabetics and non-diabetics alike will make wise decisions regarding food. Coupled with proper medical care and workout, food can continue to be considered a necessary tool to maintain our bodies healthy.
About me: Emma B. Wood blogs for diabetes recipes , her personal site she uses to help diabetics to eat healthy.