Diabetes Misinformation Part 1

Are you confused about your diabetes? Do you really have to avoid sugar if you have diabetes? Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer? Are you "fine" if you have "borderline diabetes"? To get answers to these questions and many more please read on.

Misconception # 1

If you have diabetes, you must give up your favorite food.


Decades ago, this may have been the advice people with diabetes were given, especially if there was sugar in those foods. With newer medicines, blood glucose monitoring and new research, there is no reason to avoid sugar or give up your favorite foods. Remember – foods with carbohydrates are the greatest concern because they raise blood sugar levels.

Misconception # 2

Once you start using insulin, you can not stop.

True and False.

This is true if you have type 1 diabetes because your body does not make insulin. In order to live, you must take insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to reduce your need for insulin with weight loss, regular physical activity and food choices.

Misconception # 3

Artificial sweeteners can cause cancer.


Artificial sweeteners have been proven safe over and over again around the world. In all of these studies, there were no cases of cancer or serious illness linked to the use of artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners open up a world of eating options to those who choose to avoid sugar, allowing them to have their favorite foods without affecting their blood glucose levels.

Misconception # 4

Exercise only helps if you sweat and bring your heart rate up.


All movement is important. Even brief periods of physical activity can help improve your health. Here are a few activities suggested by the American Heart Association:

  • Walk your dog.
  • Stand up while talking on the phone.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Park father away from the mall and walk to the stores.
  • Do your own yard work.
  • Do your own house work.
  • Reach to get things from top shelves.
  • Do deep knee bends to reach lower shelves.

Misconception # 5

Your blood glucose meter tells you all about your overall blood glucose levels.


A blood glucose meter does not show your overall blood glucose levels. It provides a snapshot of your blood glucose level at that moment in time. The true measure of your overall blood glucose is your A1C level. This tells you your average glucose level for the past two to three months.