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10 Diabetes Diet Myths

6. You'll Need to Give Up Your Favorite Foods.

MYTH. There’s no reason to stop eating what you love. Instead, try:

  • A change in the way your favorite foods are prepared. Can you bake it instead of deep-frying it?
  • A change in the other foods you usually eat along with your favorites. Maybe have a sweet potato instead of mashed potatoes?
  • Smaller servings of your favorite foods. A little bit goes a long way.
  • Not using your favorite foods as a reward when you stick to your meal plan. Do reward yourself, but with something other than food.

A dietitian can help you find ways to include your favorites in your diabetes meal plan.

7. You Have to Give Up Desserts if You Have Diabetes.

MYTH. You could:  

  • Cut back. Instead of two scoops of ice cream, have one. Or share a dessert with a friend.
  • Consider using low-calorie sweeteners. Keep in mind, there might be a few carbs in these.
  • Expand your horizons. Instead of ice cream, pie, or cake, try fruit, a whole wheat oatmeal-raisin cookie, or yogurt.
  • Tweak the recipe. For instance, you can often use less sugar than a recipe calls for without sacrificing taste or consistency.


8. Low- and No-Calorie Sweeteners Are a No-No.

MYTH. Most of these sweeteners are much sweeter than the same amount of sugar, so you can use less.

Opinions about them are conflicting, but the American Diabetes Association approves of the use of:

  • Saccharin (Sweet'N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin)
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal)
  • Acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Stevia/Rebaudioside A (SweetLeaf, Sun Crystals, Steviva, truvia, Pure Via)

You can ask a dietitian which ones are best for which uses, whether you’re drinking coffee, baking, or cooking.

9. You Need to Eat Special Diabetic Meals.

MYTH. The foods that are good for people with diabetes are also healthy choices for the rest of your family.

With diabetes, you do need to keep a closer watch on things like calories and the amounts and types of carbohydrates, fats, and protein you eat. A diabetes educator or dietitian can show you how to keep good records.


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