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STATE WIDE--It’s getting cold in Indiana and a temptation could be to stay inside and use the cold as an excuse not to be active. That might not be the best idea, says Courtney McCormick, a dietician and expert on diabetes. Over one in five Hoosiers has diabetes and nearly one in three Hoosiers has prediabetes.

Prediabatetes means a person has high blood sugar, but not quite high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic. But, that could be coming soon if some changes aren’t made.

McCormick doesn’t want anyone to have diabetes, so she busted several myths about the disease:

Myth #1: I’m a healthy weight — I can’t get diabetes.

Fact: Although there’s a clear connection between being overweight or obese and developing type 2 diabetes, genetics and other lifestyle factors can also play a role. Prediabetes can sometimes be an early-stage development of type 2 diabetes.

Myth #2: People develop diabetes because they eat too much sugar.

Fact: Although consuming excess calories can contribute to being overweight, which is associated with type 2 diabetes, sugar is not the singular cause of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is the result of genetics and additional unknown factors and type 2 diabetes is the result of a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors.

Myth #3: If I have diabetes, I can’t have carbs or dessert.

Fact: Generally speaking, individuals with diabetes can follow the same healthy diet recommended for the general public and can even enjoy sweet treats in small portions on special occasions. Carbs are a necessary part of a healthy meal plan. Just pay attention to portions.


“I always tell people you can still enjoy that small piece of pie, if you like. It just really comes down to the portions you’re choosing and the other foods you’re having at the same time,” said McCormick.

She noted that in the past 20 years people have starting drinking about 25 percent less soda. But, more people are being diagnosed with diabetes. 

“I think it’s important for people to understand what those risks are and that it’s not just your weight and it’s not just the food you’re eating. But, there’s other factors. Genetics play a role in it, whether or not you’re physically active.”

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

PHOTO: Getty Images/Kwangmoozaa