Three top diabetic food myths debunked.
For diabetes sufferers, eating the right foods is essential to reducing your blood sugar. But with all the contradictory information out there, it’s not always easy to separate fact from fiction. Let’s look at three diabetic food myths, and get the real story about how to eat healthy and control your blood sugar.
1. Myth: If you’re diabetic, you need special meals that are different from what your family eats.
Many newly-diagnosed diabetics picture themselves suffering through bland meals, while the rest of the household chows down on old favorites. The truth is that foods that help control blood sugar are healthy foods for anyone to eat, and diabetics tend to manage their condition better when the people around them are eating what they eat. This means it will be helpful if your family is on board for supporting your healthy lifestyle.
You don’t need to buy “special foods” for your diabetic menu plan. Instead, you and your family should eat a diet rich in fiber, lean proteins, and healthy fats like avocado oil. Skip the refined carbohydrates, processed snacks, and anything with added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Soon, the whole house will be feeling the benefits of a healthy eating plan.
2. Myth: Diabetics should just use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar.
Diet sodas and other snacks with artificial sweeteners are heavily marketed to diabetics, as a “safe” alternative to eating sugar. After all, no calories: no problem, right? Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin are bad news for diabetics. They can hurt your liver over time, and there’s evidence that artificial sweeteners stimulate insulin production just like sugar. Study after study has shown that artificial sweeteners can lead to the same problems with health and weight that sugar does. This is because your taste buds still sense something sweet, which signals to your digestive system to prepare for incoming nutrition and calories. However, these sweeteners are completely devoid of nutritional value, leaving your hunger signals confused and unsatisfied.
So skip the diet soda and sugar-free sweeteners, and read labels carefully to make sure these sweeteners aren’t hiding in your food. If you’d like a diabetic-friendly alternative to diet soda, try a cup of matcha tea with raw, unfiltered honey; coffee with coconut milk and pure stevia; or homemade fruit water (made by adding fruit and raw, unfiltered honey to a glass of water), and of course we recommend drinking lots and lots of water.
3. Myth: Fat and salt are always bad for diabetics.
Even if you have type 2 diabetes, or you want to lose weight, you shouldn’t cut salt or fat out of your diet altogether. Rather than avoiding salt and fat, it has become clear that a healthy diet depends on consuming the right kinds of salt and fat, in moderate amounts.
“Good” dietary fats are essential to your body’s performance, particularly your brain, your hormone levels, and your digestive system. Healthy fats may also help regulate your blood sugar, by slowing down carbohydrate digestion. These good fats include extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, and organic avocado oil, to name a few.
Like fat, salt’s also gotten a bad reputation. Again, it’s not actually salt that’s the culprit, but eating the wrong type of salt. A moderate amount of salt is necessary for your body to function. However, common table salt has been refined, stripping it of its beneficial minerals. Refined table salt also includes anti-caking agents which can be toxic.
When it comes to conventional table salt and salty processed foods, both should be avoided. Instead, opt for unrefined sea salt. Sea salt hasn’t been through the damaging chemical treatments that iodized table salt has, so it includes numerous vital minerals, and is easier for your body to synthesize.
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Surprised by any of these myths? Want to know more about healthy ways to manage your diabetes, without taking more medications?