Sunday, August 16, 2009

Health Tips for August 16

Health Tip: Debunking Diabetes Myths

If you've just been diagnosed with diabetes, it may be difficult to separate fact from fiction.

The American Diabetes Association debunks some popular myths about the disease:

  • You can't "catch" diabetes from someone else.
  • Dessert isn't off-limits forever for all diabetics. While eating too many sugary foods is a bad idea, you can have an occasional dessert, especially if you exercise and otherwise eat healthy.
  • Eating too much sugar can't "cause" diabetes. The disease stems from genetic and lifestyle factors.
  • Carbohydrates and starches (bread, potatoes, pasta) aren't off-limits, but healthy portion sizes are important.
  • Diabetics aren't more susceptible to colds and other illnesses.
  • Insulin doesn't cause hardening of the arteries or high blood pressure.
  • Fruit, while healthy, can't be consumed in huge amounts, since it contains carbohydrates.

Health Tip: Preventing Complications From Diabetes

If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise could be just what the doctor ordered.

These lifestyle improvements may require some dramatic changes in your routine. But where do you start?

The American Diabetes Association warns against trying to change too much at once. It offers these suggestions:

  • Take a number of small steps, over a sufficient amount of time. This should make accomplishing your goals much easier.
  • Face your bad habits, and realize that you need to change them. Ask for help from family, friends and medical professionals, if you need it.
  • Find a motivating goal -- wanting to be around when your grandchildren grow up, for example.
  • Prioritize your changes. Complete goals that you're comfortable with initially, and save others for later.
  • Look at how much impact these changes will make, and start with those that pack the biggest punch, such as getting more active.
  • Setting goals should include what you'll do, how quickly you can accomplish it, and how to incorporate the task in your daily life.

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