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
Protein foods do not contain carbohydrates, so they will not raise your blood glucose levels. The key is to have a good understanding of your personalised requirements for protein and to keep within limits (refer to
My Healthy Plate). Excessive intake can lead to weight gain.
Myth 7: It’s ok to eat my favourite sweets when I have hypoglycaemia
- Soft drinks
- Sugar or appropriate jellied sweets
Hypoglycaemia should be treated appropriately with only 15-20 g of carbohydrates (for a blood glucose reading of < 4.0 mmol/L. It is NOT an excuse to eat your favourite sugary snacks uncontrollably.
Myth 8: Fat does not matter, so I can ignore the fat content in my meals
Fat does not have a direct impact on blood glucose levels but a large amount of fat in a meal can delay stomach emptying and slow the digestion of carbohydrates –
keeping your blood glucose levels elevated longer.
Fat also provides nearly twice as many calories than carbohydrates and protein, which doesn't help if you're trying to lose weight. Consuming too much also increases your risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease.
Myth 9: People with diabetes shouldn’t eat fruits
People with diabetes should eat fruits as they are rich in antioxidant vitamins, minerals and fibre. However, as fruits contain carbohydrates,
consume two portions of fresh fruit a day, preferably not at the same meal. Also, choose fresh fruit instead of canned fruit and juices.
Myth 10: Losing weight will definitely cure my diabetes
Losing 5% to 10% of your initial weight can help to control blood glucose levels. But if you are overweight, losing weight may not definitely cure your diabetes. The key is to keep the weight off to help improve your blood lipids and blood pressure.
Does having diabetes mean you can never consume sugar? Click the link to learn the facts about this and other diabetes diet myths.