Ask the Expert: Four Myths About Diabetes Management
Updated: Mar 24
We sat down with Orthus Health Diabetes Clinical Director, Maria Wagner BSN, RN, CDCES, to talk about common misconceptions when it comes to diabetes management.
Myth #1: People with diabetes must count carbohydrates.
Counting carbohydrates is a common way for people with diabetes to consistently monitor carbohydrates intake, but it is not the only option. For example, the “plate method” is another option, which instead focuses on portion control for each food group. Carb management strategies can be adapted to a personal treatment plan. Monitoring carbohydrate intake is a key strategy in achieving glycemic control, but there are multiple ways to achieve this rather than solely counting carbs.
Myth #2: Low fat eating patterns are best for preventing heart disease for people with diabetes.
It’s the type of fat that matters most, and this applies to ALL individuals with or without diabetes. Decreased saturated fat intake and increased unsaturated fat intake helps to reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Individuals with diabetes should focus on replacements instead of totally eliminating fats. Here are some examples: Fish instead of beef, oil instead of butter, avocado instead of cheese, and nuts instead of chips.
Myth #3: Checking blood glucose levels alone is sufficient to stabilize diabetes control.
This IS important! But it is more important to know how to use the data from checking your blood glucose. When an individual’s blood sugar runs consistently high, he/she should be evaluating these blood sugars. When are they running high? What are their eating habits? Are they exercising at all? If so, when?
When an individual learns how everyday life affects their blood glucose, the results may guide treatment decisions and self-management. Orthus Health for Diabetes educates members on a regular basis, between their physician visits - allowing them to recognize patterns and ultimately reach self-management with confidence.
Myth #4: Protein helps prevent hypoglycemia from reoccurring in people with diabetes.
Although protein takes longer to break down into our bloodstream, it is really the carbohydrates that prevent hypoglycemia. Protein actually increases insulin response without increasing plasma glucose concentrations. So, while it is always a good idea to eat well-balanced meals and snacks when treating hypoglycemia, carbohydrates need to be used as the treatment - never protein alone.