Are only those who like to consume sweet foods at risk of diabetes? Can those with diabetes eat carbohydrates like noodles and rice? Find out more about the common misconceptions regarding diabetes.
|Common misconceptions of diabetes
|The truth regarding diabetes
|Asians tend to have a lower weight and are at a lower risk for diabetes.
|Despite weighing less, Asians are at a higher risk for diabetes because of both genetic and environmental factors. One in five Asians has diabetes. More than half of Asian diabetics are undiagnosed, higher than any other ethnicity.
|Only those who eat sweets are at risk for diabetes. I don’t eat sweets and therefore am at a lower risk for diabetes.
|Diabetes isn’t associated with eating sweets but with obesity and being overweight. According to the American Diabetes Association, Asians with a BMI greater than 23 are considered overweight and is associated with a higher risk of diabetes. The best indicator for Asians is waist circumference because Asians often accumulate fat in this area. Asian women with a circumference greater than 80 cm (31.5 inches) and men greater than 90 cm (35.5 inches) are at a greater risk of diabetes.
|I do not have a family history of diabetes and therefore do not have to worry about getting diabetes.
|Today’s lifestyle is often characterized by overeating and exercising too little – both risks for diabetes. Exercising for more than 150 minutes in a week (5-7 times a week, 20-30 minutes each time), can effectively prevent diabetes.
|Diabetes is always associated with symptoms of increased thirst, increased urine, increased appetite, and decreased weight.
|Early onset diabetes is often without symptoms and can only be diagnosed through blood tests. Those who have symptoms often already have severe diabetes.
|Prediabetes means only mildly elevated blood sugars and isn’t something to worry about.
|Prediabetes means that the blood sugar is abnormal but not to the point of diabetes. If no dietary or exercise changes are made, fifteen to thirty percent of those with prediabetes will develop diabetes within five years. Even during prediabetes, elevated blood sugars can cause microvascular damage and cause retina disease, atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup) and kidney problems.
|Diabetes is not preventable.
|The best way to prevent diabetes is to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and maintain a normal weight. This is especially applicable in the prediabetes period. Dietary modification and exercise can often improve abnormal carbohydrate metabolism and have blood sugars return to normal at this stage. Obese individuals can improve their blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol by losing 5-7% of their weight, effectively reducing the chance of developing diabetes.
|Diabetics cannot eat sugar, rice, and noodles.
|Diabetics can still consume sugar, rice, and noodles, but only in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Sugar, rice and noodles are carbohydrates that are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Instead, choose a diet high in fiber and whole grains. Ask your nutritionist how to adjust your diet and find a suitable dietary plan that’s best for you.