“Forbidden foods” tomatoes, potatoes and other myths about disease

What is the truth about nutrition and diabetes, what is true about bread, fruit, alcohol and sweets.

Diabetes is becoming one of the most common diseases in Greece and internationally, and the number of patients is constantly increasing.

It is estimated that 10.5% worldwide Half of people aged 20-79 suffer from this disease. By 2040, one in eight or 783 million people will suffer!

More than 1.19 million people of all ages in our country have at least one treatment for the disease. According to HDIKA, 1.18 million of them are suffering from type 2 diabetes. This diabetes is inextricably linked to lifestyle (poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, etc.) and obesity.

But even though diabetes is very common, there are still myths that have been disproved by science. In fact, this has not happened in recent years, but in some cases it dates back decades!

THE clinical nutritionist-biologist Haris Dimostenopoulos, The head of nutrition at Athens Public Hospital explains the truth about some of the biggest myths about the disease.

MYTH: Patients should not eat too many starches and carbohydrates

TRUTH: This is the most common myth based on the idea that starchy foods and carbohydrates in general increase glucose (sugar) levels and contribute to weight gain.

However, this myth has been dispelled since the early 1980s 45-50% of composites (ie unprocessed, whole grain) carbohydrates. It should also contain Less than 10% simple sugars. Carbohydrates are important for proper nutrition of patients, but they should be spread over several meals.

MYTH: Patients need a lot of protein to be healthy

TRUTH: The exact opposite is true. The recommendation for protein is now 10-20% of daily calories. Excessive consumption of animal proteins such as meat and cheese should also be avoided. to avoid:

  • Concomitant intake of saturated fat
  • The burden of renal function

MYTH: The best fruit is a sour apple

TRUTH: Diabetes management requires a healthy diet, so patients can eat whole fruits. to give priority to, but these are:

  • Medium size
  • Medium ripening
  • Seasonal fruits

There are also some fruits that can be eaten more often whom:

  • apple
  • Pear
  • Actinium

Other fruits should be consumed more rarely. Indicator:

  • Banana
  • Watermelon
  • FIG
  • Grapes

MYTH: It is forbidden to eat tomatoes

TRUTH: Gone are the days when “sugary” people only ate lettuce and pumpkin. Today, they can also use tomatoes in their salads. It’s enough too immature and should be combined with other vegetables rich in vegetable fiber.

MYTH: Alcohol consumption is prohibited

TRUTH: The latest recommendations allow moderate alcohol consumption, provided there is no other medical condition that would prohibit it.

Alcohol must be consumed always with food. This is necessary to prevent hypoglycemia. There should be alcohol should be considered in the remainder of the patient’s daily diet.

MYTH: As long as it does not contain sugar, the patient can eat as much as he wants

TRUTH: Obesity is the cause of the development of type 2 diabetes, but also makes it difficult for patients to properly regulate their sugar. Therefore, patients should pay attention not only to quality, but also to quantity. Food should help meet their nutritional needs while maintaining a healthy body weight.

MYTH: People with diabetes should only eat sweets with artificial sweeteners

TRUTH: Classic sweets are a rich source of sucrose (i.e. sugar) and fat. In other words, they have a lot of calories and load the lipid profile of patients, so their frequent consumption is not recommended.

However, this does not mean that the patient cannot regularly include sweets in a proper nutrition program without affecting the regulation of sugar.

MYTH: Don’t worry about the fat you eat because it doesn’t affect sugar

TRUTH: Diabetes is a metabolic disease associated with many complications, including the cardiovascular system. Eating too much fat to avoid carbs is a big mistake. Many patients e.g. they eat too much saturated fat (e.g. meat, cheese) or too much monounsaturated fat (olive oil).

And with this excessive consumption, they consume too many calories and risk gaining weight. Lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides) in their blood also increase.

Current recommendations are for 30-40% of daily calories to come from fat. But 15-20% should be monounsaturated lipids (for example, olive oil).

MYTH: Patients should strictly eat three meals a day

TRUTH: It is very important to divide their meals into many small meals throughout the day. Others are main dishes and other snacks. The number and size of snacks depends on the type of treatment, as well as the energy needs of each individual.

MYTH: A diet for diabetes is monotonous and bland

TRUTH: In the past, diabetes was treated with a difficult and restrictive diet. Then energy (calories) from carbohydrates was limited to 20% of daily calories.

In the 1980s, everything changed. The recommended diet now approximates healthy dietary recommendations for the general population. This means that patients can eat anything, but based on recommendations for good sugar regulation.

Photo: iStock

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