(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – It’s one thing to search for medical information on the internet, but it’s another to follow advice you find online from those who aren’t qualified to offer it. Experts say that’s especially true when it comes to managing diabetes. There are thousands of pages online dedicated to diets, shakes and supplements all claiming to be the answer to controlling blood sugar, but experts urge patients to be leery of what they read.
“There is no magic cure. There are a lot of things on the internet that make it look very convincing, but the truth is we know that that’s not the best or healthiest choice for your body,” said Elizabeth Snyder, a certified diabetes educator at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “I’ve seen patients who do everything from buying pills to putting cinnamon on eggs to cutting out all foods that are white, but the truth is, none of this is proven to work.”
Snyder says it goes beyond internet fads, and even the products on grocery store shelves that use buzzwords like “sugar-free” or “made with whole grains” are not always a healthy choice. It’s important to turn the package over and learn to read the labels. “The two most important things are the serving size and the total carbohydrate,” said Snyder. “A lot of people think that the sugar on the label equates to blood sugar, but that’s not true. It’s going to be anything that’s starch or carbohydrate, including sugar.”
Trying to find one magic cure and neglecting the lifestyle changes that will truly control blood sugar can be detrimental to managing diabetes and may even prove to be dangerous. Snyder says the best thing to do is find healthy foods, exercise and listen only to the advice from your doctor.