November is American Diabetes Month®, and to help raise awareness for this chronic condition, the American Diabetes Association wants to debunk some myths and provide a few facts that can help you prevent diabetes or manage your symptoms.
Myth: If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop Type 2 diabetes.
Fact: Being overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role. Unfortunately, too many people think weight is the only risk factor. Most overweight people never develop Type 2 diabetes, and many people who do are either within a normal weight or only moderately overweight.
Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
Fact: The answer isn’t simple. Genetics and unknown factors trigger the onset of Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight increases your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, and a high-calorie diet contributes to weight gain. When it comes to sugar, research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to Type 2 diabetes.
To help prevent diabetes, the ADA recommends you stop drinking:
- Energy drinks
- Fruit drinks
- Fruit punch
- Regular soda
- Sports drinks
- Sweet tea
- One serving of a sugary drink can raise blood glucose and contain several hundred calories.
- One 12-ounce can of regular soda has about 150 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrate. That’s the same amount of carbohydrate in 10 teaspoons of sugar.
- One cup of fruit punch has at least 100 calories and 30 grams of carbohydrate.
Myth: Diabetes is not that serious of a disease.
Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Having diabetes nearly doubles your chance of having a heart attack. The good news is that when you effectively manage your diabetes, you reduce your risk for complications.