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Diabetes myth-busters

Myth #1: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes
Just because you have a sweet tooth doesn’t mean you will develop diabetes. Diabetes is thought to be caused by a combination of hereditary risk factors and lifestyle choices.

Myth #2: People with diabetes can't eat anything sweet
Sweets can be eaten in moderation by people with type 2 diabetes, if eaten as part of a healthy meal plan. Eat small portions since sweets often contain empty calories and raise blood glucose levels.

Myth #3: Sugar substitutes are not safe for people with diabetes
Sugar substitutes are fine and safe in moderation. View the following handout from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics all about sugar substitutes.

Myth #4: Only people with type 1 diabetes need insulin
People without diabetes make and use the exact amount of insulin they need every day. People with diabetes either don't make any insulin, don't make enough, or can't use the insulin they make properly.

Myth #5 Diabetes complications are inevitable
Diabetes-related complications can be prevented or delayed by keeping blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol under control. This helps prevent heart disease, stroke, nerve damage and kidney failure.

Myth #6: People with diabetes shouldn't exercise
Individuals with diabetes should increase their daily activity to help them better use insulin and lower or maintain their weight. Exercise for about 30 minutes, five days a week.

Myth #7: It's possible to have "just a touch" or "a little" diabetes
Individuals either have type 2 diabetes or they don't. There is “pre-diabetes,” which may be confused with the term “a touch of diabetes.” If your doctor diagnoses you with pre-diabetes, lifestyle changes can be made to prevent type 2 diabetes. Visit for more information, including a pre-diabetes FAQ.

Myth #8: People with diabetes can easily control it themselves
Studies show that people with diabetes do best when they regularly see their doctor, diabetes educator and dietitian. Their foot doctor, eye doctor and dentist should also be part of the team. Virtua has monthly, free diabetes education classes and support groups that are open to the public.

Myth #9: Diabetes can be cured
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can be controlled. Certain types of weight-loss surgery may restore blood sugars in type 2 diabetes resulting in a remission of the disease. Many people with diabetes lead busy, active, and healthy lives while also managing their condition. Visit Virtua's weight-loss/bariatric surgery page online

To make an appointment with a Virtua diabetes educator, call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 or visit online for more information