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[IP] Newspaper story on DM-2 copied and pasted here

Since my newspaper likes to be snarky and doesn't want us accessing a story by
a URL, I've copied and pasted it here. We pay big bucks to have it delivered
and it's mostly ads. Many people get the online version, however, if you don't
know what you are looking for, you can't search for it! <grrrrr> (~_^)

May 9, 2001

It's sweet to debunk myths on diabetes
Eat, Drink & Be Healthy

Tribune Staff Writer
It's a common misconception that eating too much sugar or sweets will give
people diabetes. In fact, family history and excess weight are the biggest
factors in developing the disease.

Diabetes has to be one of the most misunderstood diseases around. There is no
cure for Type 2 diabetes, but it can be managed through meal planning, weight
control and exercise. Because it is a complicated disease and affects people
differently, it's a rich area for old wives' tales.

I asked two experts to debunk the top 10 common misconceptions on diabetes.

MYTH: If you eat a lot of sugar, it will bring on diabetes.
REALITY: This is one of the most common misconceptions, but people don't get
diabetes from sugar, said Jeannette Jordan, a registered dietitian, diabetes
educator and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association in Charleston,
S.C. "Family history and excess weight play the biggest roles," she said.
Certain ethnic groups, such as American Indians, African Americans and
Hispanics are at higher risk to contract diabetes than Caucasians, she added.

MYTH: Diabetics can't eat carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, potatoes and
REALITY: Diabetics can and should eat carbohydrates, but they need to watch
the total amount and distribute them through the day, said Nancy Appel, a
registered dietitian who specializes in diabetes and public health
nutritionist for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in Dowagiac. In the
last few years, the diet for diabetics has been greatly liberalized, and now
diabetics can safely eat these foods as part of their meal plan, she added.

MYTH: Diabetics can eat all they want of "sugar-free" foods.
REALITY: Many so-called "sugar-free" packaged foods, such as cookies and
cakes, are loaded with carbohydrates, which the body converts to sugar, Appel
said. In fact, some of these products have more total carbohydrates than the
nonsugar-free variety. These products often contain other sweeteners --
mannitol, sorbitol, maltose, dextrose, sucrose or corn syrup -- which have
just as much carbohydrate as table sugar, she said. Appel teaches clients to
check the total amount of carbohydrates -- not sugar -- on a product label.

 Diabetes resources
The American Diabetes Association: (800) 342-2383, www.diabetes.org.
The American Association of Diabetes Educators Awareness Hot Line: (800)
832-6874, www.aadenet.org.
The American Dietetic Association: (800) 877-1600, Ext. 5000,

MYTH: A person can be borderline diabetic.
REALITY: Diabetes is like being pregnant: You either are or not, Appel said.
All diabetes is serious and needs to be treated through diet and exercise
immediately, she added.

MYTH: Artificial sweeteners are bad for you.
REALITY: The Food and Drug Administration has deemed all the artificial
sweeteners as safe, Jordan said. Diabetics are encouraged to use them to help
cut down on sugar.

MYTH: Salt, caffeine and fatty foods raise blood sugar.
REALITY: None of these raise blood sugar, Jordan said. Some diabetics are
asked to reduce their sodium intake if they have high blood pressure, and if
they eat too much of fatty foods, they'll gain weight, which can lead to
diabetes, "but fried chicken and french fries do not raise blood sugar," she

MYTH: Alcohol doesn't contain carbohydrates.
REALITY: Alcohol contains 7 grams of carbohydrates per serving, which is one
beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounce of alcohol, Jordan said. If a diabetic is
controlling his blood sugar, he can have up to two drinks per day in addition
to his meal plan, but he should check with his doctor first and not drink on
an empty stomach, she said.

MYTH: If you feel fine, you can't have diabetes.
REALITY: You can have diabetes even if you don't have any obvious symptoms,
Appel said. "If you have a family history of diabetes, get a glucose test once
a year, even if you feel fine," she advised.

MYTH: Diabetes is contagious.
REALITY: Absolutely not, said Jordan, who said a client once asked her if he
could have caught it from his wife.

MYTH: Diabetics must choose from a limited selection of foods.
REALITY: False, said Jordan. "Diabetics come into my class asking about what
they can and can't eat," she said. When, after learning about proper meal
planning and moderation, "they are delighted to learn there is no food they
can't have."
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