15 Popular Diabetes Myths That Might Affect Your Health Too (Part. I)
Right now, diabetes is one of the most common illnesses in the United States. More than 34 million people have received this diagnosis and experts estimate that another 88 million are at risk for developing the disease at some point in their lifetime.
These statistics alone prove just how much we should all educate ourselves on how we can prevent diabetes to live a long, healthy life.
Unfortunately type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented or cured, although early detection can make a huge difference for each patient too. When it comes to type 2 diabetes, though, there’s plenty we can do starting right now to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from such a difficult diagnosis.
Need help to figure out the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes? Our post right here covers everything you should know about the two conditions.
Since diabetes (or prediabetes) is so commonly encountered, there are plenty of online resources you can access to find out more about how you should reduce the risks and stay healthy.
The worst part? Much of that information is not real.
Sadly, this era of misinformation we live in has advanced so much that it can even have a negative impact on your health. It’s time to end these risks and draw a line between reality and baseless advice regarding diabetes.
With that being said, let’s have a look at 15 of the most popular diabetes myths you should stop believing right now:
Myth #1: Eating sugar gives you diabetes
Fact: Eating sugar indirectly increases your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
So many people (even some of my friends) were freaking out every time they saw a candy because they thought eating sweets will ‘give them diabetes.’
In reality, consuming sugar often can cause obesity, which is already a well-known risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Aside from that, there are numerous studies proving that sugar does indeed have an indirect influence on your diabetes risk.
For example, this study published in Diabetes Care found that drinking sugary beverages constantly can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes by 16-18%. This happens because sugars found in such drinks are absorbed so rapidly by the body, they may end up destroying healthy cells in the pancreas – the same ones which produce insulin.
Unfortunately, sugar is found in countless foods and drinks nowadays, including some products we wouldn’t expect to have it. To stay safe, read our list of 10 popular foods and drinks dangerously high in sugar right here.
Myth #2: Only overweight people get type 2 diabetes
Fact: Although more than 90% of people diagnosed with diabetes are obese or overweight, 10% of patients have an average (or below average) waistline.
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, there are so many factors at play and body weight is just one of them.
Emily Nosova, MD, endocrinologist specialized in diabetes at the Mount Sinai Health System, explains that genetics, medication use or a history of cancer and autoimmune disease all play a major role in determining your risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol excessively can trigger this illness as well.
In simple terms, the more risk factors you have, the more likely it is that you will develop diabetes at some point in your life, whether you’re overweight or not.