Diabetes is a health condition that affects the lives of many people and over recent years more people from Australia and New Zealand are living with type 2 diabetes. At Jenny Craig, we get asked a lot of questions about type 2 diabetes, so we thought we would bust some myths and answer some of our most frequently asked questions.
Myth: Diabetes is all the same
Diabetes refers to high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood, however there are different types of diabetes. The most common being:
- Type 1 diabetes: an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas and is unable to produce insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes: a condition when the pancreas has reduced insulin production and/or when insulin is less effective at moving glucose from the blood into the body’s cells.
- Gestational diabetes: when diabetes occurs during pregnancy.
Myth: You have to be overweight to develop type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can occur in people within a healthy weight range. Although being overweight will not directly cause type 2 diabetes, it is a risk factor in its development so it is important to stay within a healthy weight to help reduce your risk.
Myth: Type 2 diabetes is always preventable
There is no one single cause for type 2 diabetes and your family history, ethnicity and age play a strong role in the development of type 2 diabetes and for these reasons it may not always be preventable. However, there are modifiable lifestyle factors that help to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes include:
- Maintaining healthy blood pressure
- Being physically active
- Eating a healthy diet
- Being within a healthy weight range
- Reducing weight carried around the waist.
Myth: Sugar must be completely cut out
It’s a common misconception that people with type 2 diabetes need to avoid sugar, however sweet treats and dessert can still be included as part of a healthy balanced meal plan. If your overall diet is low in added sugar, you can enjoy a sweet treat in moderation, just be mindful of your portion and the amount of other added sugars you have across the day.
Myth: Type 2 diabetes can be cured
While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, it is possible to achieve normal blood sugar levels without the aid of medication through long term dietary changes, physical activity and weight loss.