More than 29 million Americans live with diabetes, and controlling it takes a different lifestyle commitment. Fads and myths often promise an easier way to control diabetes, but they often distract from the message.
Diabetic Jim Meoak works with a dietician, learning how foods affect his blood sugar. He gets advice from experts to control his disease, but when he was first diagnosed, there were seemingly endless lists of products, diets, and pills to control his condition.
“I Googled all the things I could to find out what to do,” said Meoak.
Elizabeth Snyder, a certified diabetes educator at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center has seen patients trying fads like herbal cleanses, cinnamon on eggs, and cutting white foods. She said there’s no one magic cure for diabetes.
“There’s these funky, wacko things that are short-lived or are very challenging to keep up with,” said Snyder. “Are they harmful? If you get into the supplement world, maybe.”
The only pills patients should be taking, said Snyder, are those prescribed by your doctor, and the best way to control diabetes is with diet and exercise.
That means learning what is actually healthy, because products that use buzzwords like “sugar-free” and “made with whole grains” aren’t always the healthiest choices, so it’s imperative to know how to read the label.
“A lot of people think that the sugar on the label equates to blood sugar, but that’s not true,” said Snyder. “It’s going to be anything that’s starch or carbohydrate, including sugar.”
Snyder helped Meoak learn key nutritional rules and he’s making changes to keep his blood sugar at a healthy level.