3 Common Myths On Diabetes

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, November 16, 2009 | Published in

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November 14 was World Diabetes Day and I would like to take this opportunity to counter some myths on diabetes.


World Diabetes Day Logo

Here are 3 common myths regarding diabetes.

1. Diabetes is caused by high consumption of sugar.

This is only partly true. There are people who do not consume much sugar yet they get diabetes. Besides, all food once digested turn into sugar in your body. It's not just sugar that you must control, but the amount of food and the portion that you must be aware of.

To be on the safe side, avoid all refined sugar and processed food. Add to that you must also practise a healthy lifestyle like exercise on a regular basis, sleep early and manage stress.

This is not an advice for diabetics only. It holds true for non diabetics as well that is, if you want to avoid becoming part of the statistics.

2. Diabetes is not a very serious disease as it can be controlled by medication and insulin.

This is a very dangerous myth because I notice a lot of diabetics still eat like they normally do thinking the insulin and medication is enough to help them control their blood sugar. Take note that diabetes is an incurable disease. Once you have it, you have it for life.

With diabetes, you will eventually suffer from stroke, heart disease, kidney problems, and eye problems. It's what you must do NOW to slow down the effects so that you can delay these problems from happening too soon.

To do this, you would have to change your lifestyle. Eat low GI (glycemic index) food, control your portion, do exercise and manage your stress well. In this way, the medication and insulin you take in do not have to work that extra hard to control your blood sugar.

3. Diabetes can be spread or inherited.

Diabetes definitely cannot be spread from one person to the other like the common flu. But it can be inherited. However, not everyone who gets diabetes inherits it.

You are considered at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if any of your first-degree relatives have diabetes. So if you are one of the unfortunate ones, all the more you must take really good care of your health. Do not wait - start the healthy lifestyle right now!

I remember I have blogged a little about diabetes before I left for my China trip. To refresh your memory, read it here. I had put up a list of popular food and asked you, my readers to guess the amount of sugar in each of them.

So here are the answers.


Mc Donald's sundae ice cream (180ml) - 10.3 teaspoons or 28.7% sugar


A&W Root Beer (325ml) - 7.6 teaspoons or 11.8% sugar


Coca Cola (325ml) - 6.5 teaspoons or 9.9% sugar


Ribena (500ml) - 65 teaspoons or 64.6% sugar


Kellogg's Corn Frosties (275g) - 19.3 teaspoons or 35.1% sugar


Uncle Tobys Muesli Bars (125g) - 16.8 teaspoons or 59.9% sugar


100 Plus (100ml) - 5.7 teaspoons or 8.8% sugar


Chipsmore Cookies (180g) - 13.3 teaspoons or 36.9% sugar

*Source : CAP Guide "How Much Sugar Is Hidden In Your Food"

How much sugar are you eating daily? According to American Heart Association, women should not take in more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, whereas men should limit to 9 teaspoons a day. (This however do not apply to natural sugar found in fruits). Read the report here.

Based on their recommendation, it looks like by eating that McDonalds sundae ice cream, you would have exceeded your daily limit!

FIRST COMMENTER

(103) Comments

  1. C'est la vie said...

    wah, I got sofa today ah..... :P

    Anyway, the Ribena is TERRIFYING! How come it has 65 tea spoon of sugar????????? O_O~

    November 16, 2009 at 2:14 AM
  2. Gabriel said...

    wah....A&W root beer got more sugar contain than coke.hmmm....

    November 16, 2009 at 7:10 AM
  3. CheaHS@n said...

    So sweet of you to post sweet awareness and it's terrifying to note the dangers of diabetes,thanks

    November 16, 2009 at 7:19 AM
  4. HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

    Oh wow!!! I cannot believe that all these drinks and foods have so much sugar!!!! I must be a sugaraholic.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:37 AM
  5. manglish said...

    there is a lot of hidden sugar in our diets...so be warned people...and now you wonder why you have tooth caries too even if you dont eat sweets all the time =)

    November 16, 2009 at 8:12 AM
  6. Mei Teng said...

    wow Ribena has so much sugar!

    Take less of those stuff that you know has lots of sugar. Drinking plain water or natural juices is still the best.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:21 AM
  7. lina said...

    Not good to drink Ribena. And one would've thought they are healthy! @_@

    I take way more than 6 teaspoons. What with my morning Neslo, then teh tarik. 0_0

    November 16, 2009 at 8:26 AM
  8. lina said...

    Might as well drink A&W than Ribena, eh?

    November 16, 2009 at 8:28 AM
  9. khengsiong said...

    What does that percentage mean?

    November 16, 2009 at 8:41 AM
  10. ladyviral said...

    Gosh Ribena 65 teaspoons?! And it is supposed to be made of natural fruits... Gosh!

    So 100 Plus is the best lah~ Lowest of them all ahhaha!

    November 16, 2009 at 9:08 AM
  11. ladyviral said...

    Looks like no more McDonald's sundae! T.T Waaaaaaa!

    November 16, 2009 at 9:08 AM
  12. Bananaz said...

    So soft drinks and candy are the culprits huh. BTW you get 28g sugars from a serving size of 225g raw bananas.ക
    source: http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2

    November 16, 2009 at 9:14 AM
  13. ladyviral said...

    Looks like I got nothing right haha! Not even near :P. But least 100plus still less in my list too hahaha!

    November 16, 2009 at 9:16 AM
  14. wenn said...

    wah..100 plus has so much sugar too..

    November 16, 2009 at 10:08 AM
  15. Lawstude said...

    my grandma died of diabetes complications so we are very much wary of what we eat. thanks for additional info on the matter.

    November 16, 2009 at 10:11 AM
  16. bluedreamer27 said...

    oh my foongpc, but how can i refuse those yummy sweet delicacies

    November 16, 2009 at 10:14 AM
  17. bluedreamer27 said...

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    http://bluedreamer27.blogspot.com

    November 16, 2009 at 10:14 AM
  18. Superman said...

    Trying to cut down sugar intake but hard leh...All the nice food is so tempting.

    November 16, 2009 at 10:50 AM
  19. xin said...

    WAH OMG ribena has 65 spoons??? or 6.5?

    November 16, 2009 at 11:11 AM
  20. Che-Cheh said...

    Eh but Sundae is not very sweet wor.
    Ribena is scary weh.

    November 16, 2009 at 11:14 AM
  21. Borneo Falcon said...

    What a scary facts. I took some corn flakes in the morning

    November 16, 2009 at 11:26 AM
  22. HappySurfer said...

    Wow! Ribena takes the trophy!

    Yummy sundae ice-cream!

    For some people, the other extreme is to totally cut out sugar resulting in hypoglacaemia.

    Good info, Foong. Thank you for sharing.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:09 PM
  23. HappySurfer said...

    Btw, surprised that Uncle Toby's has so many spoonfuls.

    November 16, 2009 at 1:11 PM
  24. [SK] said...

    thanks for the 3 informative facts!! but i think i somehow am aware about them also~~ hehe :)

    November 16, 2009 at 1:19 PM
  25. [SK] said...

    wow, i thot the McD sundae is horrible.. not until i scroll down and saw the Ribena!! can't imagine eating 65 teaspoonful of sugar!!! *freaked*

    November 16, 2009 at 1:20 PM
  26. [SK] said...

    hmmm, my friend once told me ice lemon tea from the fountain is more fattening than coke, guess i know why, it's the amount sugar contained inside..

    November 16, 2009 at 1:21 PM
  27. [SK] said...

    and you never blog about in average, we Malaysian is taking 24 teaspoon of sugar per person a day?? =.="

    November 16, 2009 at 1:22 PM
  28. kenwooi said...

    i love rebina...
    oops! =P

    kenwooi.com

    November 16, 2009 at 1:38 PM
  29. Shingo T said...

    Thanks for the information and statistics on diabetes, foongpc.

    It's amazing how diabetes wasn't that popular when the world was undeveloped centuries ago, and now it's a leading disease with all the processed food we have now.

    November 16, 2009 at 2:08 PM
  30. iamthewitch said...

    OMG please double check on the Ribena ok! I drink that pretty often! :( And thanks for the enlightening read Foong!

    November 16, 2009 at 4:15 PM
  31. foongpc said...

    c'est la vie, congrats you are FC here! I was also shocked with the high sugar content in Ribena. I wonder if that Ribena is the concentrated one and you need to add water - if that is the case, then that should explain the high sugar content.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:16 PM
  32. foongpc said...

    gabriel, that's a surprise right? I always thought Coke had very high sugar content! But it's just one teaspoon difference, so both are almost just as bad!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:19 PM
  33. foongpc said...

    cheahs@n, you are welcome : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:19 PM
  34. foongpc said...

    health nut wannabee mom, yes it's quite shocking! I guess most of us are sugarholics without realizing it!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:20 PM
  35. foongpc said...

    manglish, yes lots of hidden sugar in our diets that we are not aware of. I think we are so used to eating them we don't even realize how unhealthy they are!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:22 PM
  36. foongpc said...

    mei teng, yes it's a shocker! Good advice - drink plain water or natural juices are the best!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:22 PM
  37. foongpc said...

    lina, the only thing that makes Ribena healthy is the added Vit C, which I think is so little that you can get more Vit C from eating fruits! Anyway, the high sugar content will cancel out all the health benefits if there are indeed any!

    Neslo and teh tarik definitely adds up to more than 6 teaspoons of sugar, but if you workout regularly, then I think still not too bad : )

    Yeah, might as well drink A&W - it's nicer than Ribena anyway! Haha! But then again, we don't know what are the other unhealthy ingredients in A&W - sugar is just one of them! : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:28 PM
  38. foongpc said...

    khengsiong, I think the percentages mean the percentage of sugar content in that particular food or product.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:30 PM
  39. foongpc said...

    ladyviral, who says Ribena is made of natural fruits? I think only the advertisers say so, haha!

    Yeah, 100 Plus is better, but plain water is the best!

    Well, still can indulge in your McD sundae once in a while - I like it too! - maybe you eat half only? Share the other half with your hubby. Haha!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:33 PM
  40. foongpc said...

    bananaz, interesting statistics about bananas! And why am I not surprised this info came from bananaz! LOL!

    It's OK to eat lots of bananas cos the sugar in bananas is naturally occurring sugar which is not harmful like refined sugar. However, diabetics still need to be careful when they eat fruits like bananas because their body cannot control blood sugar properly.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:36 PM
  41. foongpc said...

    ladyviral, yeah not even near, but at least you tried! That reminds me, should be mailing you the present I promised you soon. Any change in address? : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:38 PM
  42. foongpc said...

    wenn, all soft drinks and sports drinks are loaded with sugar. I have yet to find one that is not : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:38 PM
  43. foongpc said...

    lawstude, sorry to hear about your grandma. Yes, diabetes is a very serious disease which can lead to lots of health complications! So we should do all we can to avoid it! : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:40 PM
  44. foongpc said...

    bluedreamer27, it's hard to refuse I know, but you better try for the sake of your health! Anyway, you can always enjoy those sweet delicacies, just limit your portion and do more exercise : )

    PayingPost.com? OK, will visit your blog soon : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:42 PM
  45. foongpc said...

    superman, it's hard of course, but you have to try for the sake of your health. You don't have to totally boycott all the sweet food, just eat less of them and do more exercises. For a start, you may want to cut down on those white rice? They are more lethal than white sugar : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:44 PM
  46. foongpc said...

    xin, no it's not 6.5, it's 65! : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:44 PM
  47. foongpc said...

    che-cheh, not very sweet does not mean it does not contain high amounts of sugar. Sometimes taste can be quite deceiving.

    If you think white rice is not sweet, then you'll be surprised to find that white rice spike your blood sugar more than white sugar!

    November 16, 2009 at 5:46 PM
  48. foongpc said...

    borneo falcon, scary indeed and most Malaysians are still ignorant! Corn flakes? Don't take too much of them - maybe once in a while, not everyday for breakfast : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:48 PM
  49. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, yeah the sundae ice cream is yummy! Actually I prefer McD Sundae cone. Haha!

    I don't think it's a good idea to totally cut out sugar, but maybe they can cut out processed sugar and only take sugar from fruits and honey.

    Yeah, Uncle Toby's muesli bars are really sweet! But I guess the fibres in the muesli may somehow slow down the absorption of sugar so that it may not necessarily spike your blood sugar faster than say, Coke! : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:52 PM
  50. foongpc said...

    SK, you are aware but choose to ignore right? haha!

    Yes, the amount of sugar in Ribena is shocking! So stick to your McD Sundae - just kidding! : )

    Yeah, you might be right about the ice lemon tea : )

    No need to blog about how many teaspoons of sugar we Malaysians are taking - it's all in the news! Haha!

    But seriously, if we don't put a stop to it, diabetes is set to be an epidemic here.

    November 16, 2009 at 5:56 PM
  51. foongpc said...

    kenwooi, you love ribena? You are in danger! Red alert! : )

    November 16, 2009 at 5:57 PM
  52. foongpc said...

    shingo T, yes diabetes was almost unheard of in the olden days, but now as we eat more and more processed food, it has become a killer. The sad thing is, younger and younger people are getting diabetes nowadays.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:00 PM
  53. foongpc said...

    iamthewitch, I have double checked and it's confirmed. Ribena contains 65 teaspoons of sugar.

    However, I think it might apply to the concentrated form where you need to dilute with water. In that case, it's not that bad. But is there such thing as concentrated form of Ribena? I won't know cos I don't drink it.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:03 PM
  54. lina said...

    foong,
    you didn't drink Ribena growing up? I chugged Ribena like no tomorrow when I was small. My parents and grandparents think it is healthy to drink it compared to plain water because of all the Vit C goodness.

    Anyway, I think I have to limit my 100-Plus intake also. Always like to drink one after my workout. :D

    November 16, 2009 at 6:24 PM
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    November 16, 2009 at 6:30 PM
  56. jam said...

    Ya ya ya, no ice cream. You should also stop going to any buffet too, Foong! Of course, once in a while should do no harm.

    November 16, 2009 at 6:47 PM
  57. chrisau said...

    aiyo...lately I got a soft touch of MCdonald sundae and been eating 1 per week... for 3 weeks (3 cups) i have to stop already ;(
    btw, my dad has diabetes and so was my uncles....

    November 16, 2009 at 9:19 PM
  58. J2Kfm said...

    and the prevalence of DM in Msia is increasing alarmingly. know why?
    just go to any shop, order the drinks, and you'll see why.

    November 16, 2009 at 10:09 PM
  59. autumn said...

    wah, din really realize white rice is even more damaging than white sugar... to think tat i've been asking for more rice for my chap fan... @.@ scary...

    November 17, 2009 at 12:46 AM
  60. vialentino said...

    i started to reduce my sugar intake...i din know 100 plus drink got so high of sugar ler...darn...

    November 17, 2009 at 1:14 AM
  61. TZ said...

    I drink coffee without sugar... :p Dude, maybe you need to write a notes to Oldtown to ask them reduce their sugar in the coffee... coz we ain't want diabetes... :p

    November 17, 2009 at 2:30 AM
  62. Ayie said...

    Just like you said said in my journey GDM post, everything we eat turns into sugar. We really need to practice healthy eating because foods nowadays are not as healthy as old times.

    November 17, 2009 at 9:21 AM
  63. Ayie said...

    happy monday foong!

    November 17, 2009 at 9:21 AM
  64. Tekkaus said...

    Yupe! We really need to be careful with the amount of food we stuff into our body right? :D

    November 17, 2009 at 10:49 AM
  65. Tekkaus said...

    Yep! Although it can be controlled by insulin, I think it is still very serious because you need to take your medication on time. :)

    But well...at least better than cannot control right?

    November 17, 2009 at 10:51 AM
  66. Tekkaus said...

    Yeah! Not everyone can inherit it. Unless both parents have dominants genes lar. :D

    November 17, 2009 at 10:51 AM
  67. Tekkaus said...

    OMG! My fav Chipsmores contains so many sugar? Gosh...who cares. :D

    November 17, 2009 at 10:52 AM
  68. lina said...

    LOL on Tekkaus comment. Ya, when it comes to our fave food, who cares whether it's bad or not. :D

    Some more, if the world is gonna end 2012, might as well enjoy life! :P

    November 17, 2009 at 1:14 PM
  69. Faisal Admar said...

    now you make me worry. haha. dad got it and it is very serious. he was in hospital for 3 months. the doc took off his left foot toe. pity him.

    what i hate about diabetes is it can't be cure. i thought every disease got its cure?

    November 17, 2009 at 2:06 PM
  70. Pete said...

    I have seen many people who suffers from diebetes....better reduce intake of sugar and carbohidrates. There are cases of virus attacking and killing all the Langerhans cells that produces insulin....thus the victime became diebetic!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:41 PM
  71. Johnny Ong said...

    u are correct with ribena there. not many parents knew abt the high sugar content found in it. if only they knew ..... it's really really bad for the kids

    November 17, 2009 at 11:35 PM
  72. zewt said...

    shit!!! so much in 100 plus!!!!!!!

    and i tot uncle toby's are healthy food.

    November 17, 2009 at 11:56 PM
  73. Joshua said...

    I thought 100 Plus is good? Hmmm

    November 18, 2009 at 12:56 AM
  74. ladyviral said...

    Foong foong,

    Sweet tooth always wins eh? :P

    When it comes to that... who cares about the content? hahaha!

    Oh true plain water is the best, but our body need the sugar once in a while too :).

    My address is the same no change yet, oh but you don't have to send me anything. I didn't guessed it right at all! I wonder why I didn't managed to get that site you found all this from when I search haha >.<; But it wasn't the prize I am after, was the knowledge :P.

    November 18, 2009 at 9:17 AM
  75. Monica said...

    oh no those are my fave food! :-D

    November 18, 2009 at 2:41 PM
  76. Monica said...

    esp Chipsmore Cookies and Mc Donald's sundae ice cream! I love it!!!

    November 18, 2009 at 2:42 PM
  77. Life Ramblings said...

    nothing beats my green tea for sure. those beverages are way too sweet for my liking anyway.

    November 18, 2009 at 11:49 PM
  78. Life Ramblings said...

    but when it comes to ice-cream, i throw caution to the wind. forget about the high sugar content, can i have the sundae, pls?

    November 18, 2009 at 11:51 PM
  79. Life Ramblings said...

    this post serves as a great reminder to all diabetics out there.

    November 18, 2009 at 11:52 PM
  80. foongpc said...

    lina, no I drank milk growing up, not Ribena. Haha! But I did drink Ribena occasionally.

    I think it's OK to drink 100 Plus after your workout but I would limit it to half the can : )

    November 19, 2009 at 1:44 PM
  81. foongpc said...

    januskieZ, will visit soon, thanks : )

    November 19, 2009 at 1:45 PM
  82. foongpc said...

    jam, as you said, once in a while it's OK. So I go to buffet once in a while! Haha

    November 19, 2009 at 1:46 PM
  83. foongpc said...

    chrisau, I think it's OK to indulge once in a while. Maybe not once a week, but once a month? Or if you want to indulge once a week, just eat half the cup and make sure you exercise regularly : )

    November 19, 2009 at 1:47 PM
  84. foongpc said...

    j2kfm, yeah everyone seems to order teh tarik or coffee or ice lemon tea these days! And almost all other types of drinks are sweet in nature. For me, I order a glass of plain water! Haha! But I do have my cup of teh tarik or other nice drinks occasionally. I think it's good to indulge once in a while. And if you exercise regularly, you can indulge more often! : )

    November 19, 2009 at 1:50 PM
  85. foongpc said...

    autumn, oh yes! White rice spikes your blood sugar more readily because it has higher GI (glyceamic index) compared to white sugar. So reduce your white rice and add more vegetables! Or switch to brown rice : )

    November 19, 2009 at 1:52 PM
  86. foongpc said...

    vialentino, good to know you are starting to reduce your sugar intake. Every little bit helps! Mostly all sports drink have high sugar content. I guess 100 plus is OK if you drink it right after a strenuous work out! Just drink half will do, not all : )

    November 19, 2009 at 1:53 PM
  87. foongpc said...

    TZ, two thumbs up for coffee without sugar! Haha, is it just OldTown that have very sweet coffee? How about Starbucks? Or Papparich? Or Kluang Station? etc. etc?

    November 19, 2009 at 1:55 PM
  88. foongpc said...

    ayie, you are absolutely right! Practise healthy eating is very important but it can be tough sometimes, don't you agree?

    November 19, 2009 at 1:56 PM
  89. foongpc said...

    tekkaus, yes, portion control is important. Especially for diabetics.

    You like Chipsmore? Haha! I used to like it a lot last time. But have learnt to control my eating habits. I don't eat much cookies nowadays, because cookies are high in GI and makes me go fat in no time! : )

    November 19, 2009 at 1:58 PM
  90. foongpc said...

    lina, I don't think 2012 is end of the world yet, so must control! No need to abstain from your favourite unhealthy food, just eat a bit less and not as often and exercise more lah. Still can have a happy and enjoyable life like this, no? Better than have your toes cut or hands amputated later because of diabetes - how to enjoy life later?

    November 19, 2009 at 2:00 PM
  91. foongpc said...

    faisal, oh so sorry to hear about your dad! You must make sure he goes on a very strict diet! No choice lah, once you are a diabetic, you are cursed for life. And you can never really enjoy all the good food that you previously could.

    That's why I always advise people to watch out on their diets and exercise regularly. If they want to continue to enjoy all the good food, they better do this if not sure regret - I guarantee!

    Every disease got its cure? haha! Of course not! Cancer, AIDS have no cure what! What are you talking about?

    November 19, 2009 at 2:04 PM
  92. foongpc said...

    pete, yeah really pity those who became diabetes because of virus attacks! Really sad...

    November 19, 2009 at 2:05 PM
  93. foongpc said...

    johnny ong, we should actually do something about this high sugar content in Ribena! It's going to eventually kill a lot of people! I see so many people drinking Ribena like it's a health drink!

    November 19, 2009 at 2:06 PM
  94. foongpc said...

    zewt, haha! Uncle Toby's is thought to be a healthy food. A lot of so called healthy food are in fact not healthy! have to always check on the ingredient and sugar content besides others like transfat etc.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:08 PM
  95. foongpc said...

    joshua, well I think it's OK to drink 100 Plus right after a work out when your body is in need of sugar. But not during any other time. Still, I prefer plain water : )

    November 19, 2009 at 2:09 PM
  96. Ayie said...

    oh it's hard foong, believe me! I'm on it now for my pregnancy.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:45 AM
  97. foongpc said...

    ladyviral, haha yes sweet tooth always win! But must take care also lah, so that we can eat more sweet food! Haha

    OK, I won't send you anything at this moment in time, cos cannot find a suitable gift. Maybe next time when I have a better gift for you : )

    December 13, 2009 at 12:18 PM
  98. foongpc said...

    monica, you like Chipsmore and McD sundae ice cream? I don't fancy Chipsmore that much but McD sundae is heavenly! : )

    December 13, 2009 at 12:19 PM
  99. foongpc said...

    life ramblings, you and your green tea! Haha!

    Yeah, ice creams are nice! Wonder who can resist ice creams? : )

    December 13, 2009 at 12:21 PM
  100. foongpc said...

    ayie, hang on there! 3 more months right? Then you can indulge! LOL!

    December 13, 2009 at 12:22 PM
  101. Ayie said...

    now counting 2...on my 7th month!!!

    December 15, 2009 at 10:30 AM
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