​With diabetes, knowing what you can eat and what to avoid doesn't have to be confusing. Ms Kala Adaikan, Senior Principal Dietitian, Department of Dietetics, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group, helps set the record straight.

 Myth 1: Avoid all starchy foods    
FACT:

The key is knowing how much your personalised carbohydrate requirements. Eat starchy foods that are high in fibre such as:

  • Brown rice
  • Wholewheat noodles and pasta
  • Wholegrain breads
  • Oats
Wholewheat foods 

 Myth 2: All ‘sugar-free’ products are calorie-free

Sugar-free   

 FACT:

There is no need to purchase specialty ‘diabetic products’, you may be able to consume regular food as part of a sensible eating plan.

But take note when you buy 'sugar-free' products such as sugar-free biscuits, as they contain carbohydrates in the form of starch, which can still increase your blood glucose levels upon consumption.

 Myth 3: People with diabetes should never consume sugar

Sugar

 FACT:

You may be able to include some sugar as part of your daily eating plan. But to do so, you need to have good diabetes control (evidenced by good HbA1c and overall good capillary blood glucose levels).

This can be achieved by learning carbohydrate counting with knowledge of your personalised requirements. Work together with your dietitian to make this happen!

 Myth 4: Bitter-tasting food will help lower blood glucose levels

Bitter Gourd

 FACT:

Only you have the power to lower your blood glucose levels. The key to controlling your blood glucose levels is to keep to your individualised carbohydrate requirements. Bitter-tasting foods such as bitter gourd will not help lower your blood glucose levels.

 Myth 5: Switching to wholegrain rice means I can eat more rice

Brown Rice

 FACT:

Eating wholegrain rice provides more fibre and makes you feel full longer, making it a better choice for diabetes. But the carbohydrate content of wholegrain rice is similar to regular rice so be sure to follow the portions of My Healthy Plate.

Does having diabetes means you can have as much protein as you want? Click the link to learn the facts about this and other diabetes diet myths. 

Ref: N18