Vol 2, No 1 (2013)
Research paper
Published online: 2013-04-10

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Verifi cation of myths on diabetic diet

Małgorzata Urszula Napierała, Dorota Hermann, Izabela Gutowska, Marta Ewa Bryśkiewicz, Katarzyna Homa
Diabetologia Kliniczna 2013;2(1):3-8.


Background. Among diabetic patients, there are many myths concerning food products which are believed to
lower or — at least — not infl uence the glucose level,
even though they contain carbohydrates. The aim of
this study was to assess the knowledge of diabetic
patients and hospital nurses concerning popular food
products and their impact on blood glucose levels.

Material and methods. The study group consisted
of 162 patients with diabetes (DM), members of the
Polish Diabetes Association; the control group (C) consisted of 89 healthy nurses from two hospitals in
Szczecin, Poland. Participants were asked to complete
a questionnaire on products common in diabetic diet
and their infl uence on blood glucose levels. The products were: grapefruit, honey, wheat coffee, diabetic
chocolate, milk soup with fl akes and pork chuck steak.

Results. The highest percentage of wrong answers was
given for pork (DM 67%; C 71%, ns) and grapefruit (DM
49%; C 72%, p < 0.01), while the most correct answers
were for honey (DM 73%; C 78%, ns) and milk soup (DM 71%; C 63%, ns). There was no relationship between the level of knowledge of diabetic diet and age, sex or duration of DM. Patients on insulin monotherapy or combinations of insulin with oral agents are more educated than patients treated with drugs. Negative correlation between age and the level of knowledge was observed in the group of nurses.

Conclusions. 1. The level of knowledge concerning
products commonly used in diabetic diet among patientswith diabetes and hospital nurses is low. 2. The
level of patient’s education is not related to sex, age,
or duration of diabetes but it is little higher in subjects
treated with insulin. 3. Younger age of medical staff
correlates with their higher level of knowledge.