10 Diabetes Diet Myths
Myth 8: Artificial Sweeteners Are Dangerous for People with Diabetes.
Artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than the equivalent amount of sugar, so it takes less of them to get the same sweetness found in sugar. This can result in eating fewer calories than when you do use sugar.
The American Diabetes Association approves the use of several artificial sweeteners in diabetes diets, including:
- Saccharin (Sweet'N Low)
- Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal)
- Acesulfame potassium (Sunett)
- Sucralose (Splenda)
A dietitian can help you determine, which sweeteners are best for which uses, whether in coffee, baking, cooking, or other uses.
Artificial sweeteners have recently received much attention in both the media and research with conflicting data. Educate yourself and determine, which, if any, sweeteners are best for you. There are more ‘natural’ sweeteners coming on the market that may give better options.
Myth 9: You Need to Eat Special Diabetic Meals.
The truth is that there really is no such as thing as a "diabetic diet." The foods that are healthy for people with diabetes are also good choices for the rest of your family. Usually, there is no need to prepare special diabetic meals.
The difference between a diabetes diet and your family's "normal" diet is this: If you have diabetes, you need to monitor what you eat a little more closely. This includes the total amount of calories you consume and the amounts and types of carbohydrates, fats, and protein you eat. A diabetes educator or dietitian can help you learn how to do this.
Myth 10: Diet Foods Are the Best Choices for Diabetes.
Just because a food is labeled as a "diet" food does not mean it is a better choice for people with diabetes. In fact, "diet" foods can be expensive and be as healthy as foods found in the "regular" sections of the grocery store, or foods you prepare yourself.
As with any food you choose, read the labels carefully to find out if the ingredients and amount of calories are good choices for you. If you have doubts, ask your diabetes educator or a dietitian for advice.
Moving Beyond Diabetes Diet Myths
Now that you know the facts about diabetes diets, you can take steps to learn even more about making wise food choices. Together with exercise and medication, you can use what you eat as an effective tool for keeping your blood sugar levels within normal ranges. That is the best diabetes diet of all.