Although diabetes has been a diagnosed illness for some time now, there still abound several myths that can, when believed, certainly lead you astray from a healthy attitude towards your diet and exercise regime. The truth, however, is that knowing about these myths and learning the real facts can potentially make you healthier. Read on!
1. Sugar, Sugar. Do you think that you can get diabetes from eating too much sugar? If so, think again. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetic factors that trigger its onset, and type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle. Of course, being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in sugar can cause you to gain weight, but the connection between sugar and diabetes is not direct.
2. No Gain, No Pain. While we’re on the subject of being overweight, you should also know that excess weight is not the only factor when it comes to acquiring type 2 diabetes. This is especially important for thin people who think that they are immune. The truth is that two or more of the following factors can predispose you: genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, being of non-Caucasian ancestry, previous gestational diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. If you have any of these risk factors present, start doing what you can to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
3. Dead-Lift. Just because you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes doesn’t mean it’s going to kill you. And it doesn’t mean that you’ll lose a limb either. While diabetes is an illness that should be taken very seriously, combating it with a proper diet and exercise plan can mean that you’re going to live a long and healthy life. And with an input of natural medicine like acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, you’ll have an even better chance at maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, moderate blood pressure, and even healthy weight levels.
4. Work Out The Kinks. Exercise can lower your blood sugar levels, but this does not mean that you have to severely limit your physical activity. This is especially true for those with type 2 diabetes, who do not use insulin and therefore don’t have to worry about exercise levels nearly as much. If you do have type 1, be sure to follow a balanced regimen of exercise, diet and insulin injections. But don’t feel you can’t exercise!
5. Eat Loco. You don’t really have to eat a crazy diet if you’re diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, a healthy diet for diabetics is essentially the same as a healthy diet for anyone. It should include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Even desserts are not off limits – just to be consumed in moderation. Talk with a holistic nutritionist if you have questions.
The best thing you can do for yourself when you’re diagnosed with diabetes is to get as educated as possible. If you’re type 1 you will have to have insulin therapy, and with type 2 you may need oral medication. Otherwise, you can live a completely normal life and be as happy and healthy as anyone else.
By Richard Lobbenberg, BSc BHSc DAc