Frequently Asked Questions About Diabetes
- Q. Can eating too much sugar cause diabetes?
- A. People who eat a lot of high sugar foods are at risk of becoming overweight and being overweight is associated with Type 2 or adult diabetes. Eating a lot of sugar, however, is not a cause of diabetes.
Q. If I take my medication (pills or insulin), do I have to watch my diet?
- A. Eating appropriate foods at regular meal times is an important part of the management of diabetes whether you take medication or not. The medication alone cannot adequately control your blood sugar and keep you in good health.
Q. What meal plan should people with diabetes follow?
- A. There are many methods of meal planning that a person with diabetes can follow, such as: the exchange diet, carbohydrate counting, calorie/fat counting, or the food guide pyramid. There is no one "diabetic" or "A.D.A." diet. The meal planning method you choose should be one that fits your lifestyle and meets your nutritional needs. A Registered Dietitian (the nutrition expert) can help you.
Q. The Nutrition Facts label on food packages tells me how many grams of sugar are in foods. How much sugar am I allowed to have?
- A. "Sugar" is listed on the food label under Total Carbohydrate because it is a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates have the greatest effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Nearly all of the carbohydrates you eat will eventually be made into glucose. For this reason, the total amount of carbohydrates you eat is more important than the source of those carbohydrates. It doesn't matter if it is carbohydrates from fruits, breads, cereal, candy or maple syrup. All carbohydrates will cause your blood glucose to rise. In following your meal plan, try to include carbohydrates that provide good nutrition (vitamins, minerals and fiber) instead of carbohydrates that have little or no nutritional value.
Q. Should I be concerned about fat in my diet?
- A. Yes! People with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease than those without diabetes. For that reason, The following guidelines are good rules of thumb: less than 30% of total calories from fat, less than 10% of total calories from saturated fat, and 300 grams or less of cholesterol per day.
This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician and/ or other health care providers relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition. In no event will the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided within this website.