As a longtime Registered Dietitian, I have observed the patterns of belief that people hold about diabetes and its treatment; some from listening to non-credentialed sources and some from natural assumptions. The arena of nutrition, in particular, is fraught with deceptive and concocted information. Listed here are five of the common myths that most people believe about diabetes management and the facts.
Myth #1: Carbohydrate is My Enemy
Studies have uncovered nutrition mysteries of great magnitude by revealing to us the healthiest people on this planet. Surprisingly, they’re vegetarians. There are different kinds of vegetarians, but the common behavior that defines their dietary habits is the fact that they eat plenty of plant foods such as grains, fruits, and vegetables. The major nutrient found in plant foods is, you guessed it, carbohydrate. Carbohydrate foods supply our bodies with energy at the very time that we eat them because they’re quickly digested and broken down into glucose. The presence of glucose in the blood is necessary for life. Carbohydrate foods also contain fiber to keep our intestines healthy. These are the foods that are renowned for their protective properties against cancer and heart disease. Research supports this truth. We cannot be healthy without eating about half of our daily calories as carbohydrate.
Some people are willing to accept the health-giving properties of carbohydrate foods, but they believe that all fruits and starches (for example, bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, peas) are bad, while non-starchy vegetables are good. Let’s take a look at this myth within the context of needing half of our calories to be carbohydrate. Non-starchy vegetable such as carrots, broccoli, green beans, lettuce are so low in calories that the average middle-aged man would have to eat 44 serving or between 22 to 44 cups of non-starchy vegetables to meet his daily carbohydrate needs. Absurd? Yes! Carbohydrate is not your enemy!