Myths about Diabetes

Fact or Fiction?

People with diabetes hear ridiculous things about the disease from misinformed people, and we received some pretty interesting questions about diabetes. We hope this section will help to answer some of these questions. Here are the most-common myths about diabetes that the Socks4Life team has come across:

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

Fact: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease while Type 2 diabetes is often caused by lifestyle and genetic factors. While eating large quantities of sugary and fatty foods can cause weight gain, a high-in-sugar diet does not directly cause diabetes. Being overweight can lead to Type 2 diabetes, so make sure to stick to a healthy lifestyle.

Myth: People with diabetes have to eat special foods.

Fact:  It is important for people with diabetes to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This includes foods that are low in fat like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. A person with diabetes should choose foods and beverages low in sugar and salt. Does this type of diet sound familiar to you? It should, because anyone who is trying to maintain or achieve a healthy weight and live a healthy lifestyle should live by it, not just people with diabetes!

Myth: People with diabetes can’t have any sugar.

Fact: This is 100 percent false! People with diabetes can include sugary foods, such as chocolate and candy, as part of a healthy diet. The key is moderation; the same way it is (or should be) for everyone.

Michael from The Diabetic’s Corner Booth debunks this myth best when he says, “We People With Diabetes know based on our daily regular experiences of Living With Type 1 Diabetes that we can eat sugar or pretty much whatever we want – assuming we correctly calculate the carbs it breaks down into and then we take the correct amount of insulin for what we’ve consumed.”

Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get sick and contract a cold.

Fact: People with diabetes are no more likely to catch a cold than anyone else. With this in mind, people with diabetes tend to take more precautions to avoid getting sick because it can be more difficult to manage diabetes when ill.

Myth: Once you develop diabetes, you will need insulin for life.

Fact: People with type 2 diabetes can reduce or eliminate insulin dependency with a proper diet that aids weight loss. It’s important to continue to live a healthy lifestyle and keep blood sugar levels under control.

Myth: Diabetes treatment can’t be that expensive; insulin is cheap.

Fact: This myth is our personal favorite, because it’s so wrong: diabetes treatment is very expensive! Diabetes related costs were $174 billion in 2007. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse also estimates that people with diabetes have medical expenses that are 2 times higher than for those without the disease.


A special thanks to the American Diabetes Association for bringing these myths to our attention. For additional information on these myths and other myths about diabetes, please visit their website here.

Additional Resources