Vast majority wrongly believe diabetics need a special diet
THE vast majority of people wrongly believe that diabetics have to follow a special diet to manage their disease and glucose levels.
And more than one in two also incorrectly think people with diabetes have to cut out sugar completely, a belief strongly held by older age groups.
However, Sinead Hanley, senior dietitian with Diabetes Ireland which commissioned the RedC survey, said that having a diagnosis of diabetes does not mean the person needs to follow a special diet or cut sugar completely from their diet.
"Clearly, there is a misconception in Ireland around diabetes and sugar across the board, but in particular in the older age groups," she said.
She was speaking on the eve of World Diabetes Day, which falls today and is the anniversary marking the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea that led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.
She said that people with diabetes should follow the healthy eating guidelines in the same way the rest of the Irish population should do.
Diabetes Ireland has unveiled an online health eating section with 60 recipes on its website www.diabetes.ie.
"The recipes are healthy, easy to cook, economical and developed with the Irish family diet in mind and aim to help 191,000 Irish people with diabetes."
Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan of Safefood said: "The message we want to reinforce today is that a healthy balanced food intake is essential for all."
Meanwhile, health insurer VHI said one-third of people it screened had prediabetes when first tested but they were reported as clear more than a year later.
"Of the 7,000 people who have been rescreened to date, nearly one-third (32pc) who had initially been identified as having prediabetes were found to have normal blood glucose when screened a second time. This means the progression from prediabetes to diabetes has now reversed," said a VHI spokeswoman."