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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

FACT:

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).

Protein Foods

Myth 7: It’s ok to eat my favourite sweets when I have hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose)

FACT:

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

FACT:

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

FACT:

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.

Whole Fruits

Myth 10: Losing weight will definitely cure my diabetes

FACT:

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.  

Weight Loss 

Does having diabetes mean you can never consume sugar? Click the link to learn the facts about this and other diabetes diet myths.

Ref: L20

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