Diabetes diet – what's myth and what's fact? Ms Kala Adaikan, Senior Principal Dietitian, Department of Dietetics from Singapore General Hospital, answers.
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Ms Kala Adaikan, Senior Principal Dietitian,
Department of Dietetics,
Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the
SingHealth group, tackles the next five common diabetes diet misconceptions.
Myth 6: I can eat as much protein as I want, as long I cut down on my carbohydrate intake
Excessive intake of any nutrient, including protein, may lead to weight gain.
The key is to know your own body's requirements for protein and keeping to it (refer to
My Healthy Plate).
Myth 7: It’s ok to eat my favourite sweets when I have hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose)
Hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) should be treated with 15g of fast acting carbohydrates, for readings less than 4.0 mmol/L. You can have:
- Half a can of soft drink (150ml-200ml) OR
- Half a glass of fruit juice (150ml) OR
- 4 to 5 glucose tablets OR
- 3 Teaspoons of sugar with half cup of water
Avoid the urge to eat your favourite sugary snacks when you have hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) as you may overeat and cause a spike in your blood glucose levels.
Myth 8: Fat does not matter, so I can ignore the fat content in my meals
A large amount of fat keeps blood glucose levels elevated for a longer period of time, making it difficult to keep levels within the desirable range as it slows down the digestion of carbohydrates. Too much saturated fat may also lead to potential weight gain and cardiovascular (heart) disease.
Myth 9: People with diabetes shouldn’t eat fruits
People with diabetes should still eat all kinds of fruit, as they are rich sources of antioxident vitamins, minerals and fibre. Eat 1 serving of fresh fruit per meal, and avoid fruit juices.
Myth 10: Losing weight will definitely cure my diabetes
If you are overweight, losing weight may not necessarily cure your diabetes. However, losing 5% to 10% of your weight may help your blood glucose control by improving insulin resistance.
Does having diabetes mean you can never consume sugar? Click the link to learn the facts about this and other diabetes diet myths.
Other diabetes articles you may be interested in:
Hypoglycaemia (Low Blood Glucose): Symptoms and What to Do
Diabetes Foot Care Tips
Tips for Travelling with Diabetes
How to Exercise Safely with Diabetes