Myth: Healthy Foods Wont Raise My Blood Sugar Levels Therefore Its Ok To Eat As Much Of Them As I Want To
Fact: Whole grains and fruit are healthy foods. They contain fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. Fruits and whole grains also contain carbohydrates. Your body will benefit from the vitamins and minerals and fiber that you can get from these foods, and they need to be worked into your meal plan. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is still too much. Our dietitians and diabetes educators will discuss healthy limits of carbohydrate to have each day when you attend class or make an individual appointment with them.
Being Overweight Increases Your Risk
Theres no one cause of type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Genes and family history can play a role, and there isnt much you can do about that. But when it comes to the factors you can control, maintaining a healthy weight is on the top of the list in preventing the disease, delaying its onset, or slowing its progression.
Carrying excess weight, especially around the abdomen, increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as of other diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even stroke, says Licalzi.
A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine suggests waist measurement can be as equally important as body mass index a ratio of weight and heightwhen it comes to predicting a persons disease risk, especially in type 2 diabetes.
Men should aim for a waist circumference of 40 inches or less and women should aim for 35 inches or less, according to the American Heart Association. Those who are lower weight, but have a large waist circumferencemeaning, more belly fatare also at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Increased Hunger And Weight Gain
If youre consuming a lot of extra calories through added sugars, increased hunger is one of the first signs. is satisfying to the taste buds, but it doesnt really satisfy or fill our stomachs, Keri Stoner-Davis, RDN, who works at Lemond Nutrition in Plano, Texas.
Without protein, fiber, and healthy fats, which most processed snacks and sugary treats lack, the body burns through sugar quickly and ramps up hunger, which can lead to mindless and even compulsive snacking, Cording says.
According to a review and meta-analysis, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages promotes weight gain in adults and children.
Yet its not only the extra calories that can increase weight.
The gut microbiome, an ecosystem made up of 39 trillion microorganisms, is the bodys self-defense system, according to an article published in May 2016 in Cell. A healthy gut helps our metabolism regulate blood glucose and insulin levels and, in part, enables our bodies to use lipids and manage cholesterol. When you have added sugar, it damages that ecosystem, Dr. Li says.
Good bacteria decrease and bad bacteria overgrow, leading to dysbiosis as well as problems with metabolism and the ability to properly process lipids and cholesterol.
Whats more, sugar may damage our fat hormones, including leptin, which inhibits hunger, Li argues. High sugar disrupts metabolism, in part by interfering with leptin, according to Li. Eating sugar makes you want to eat more sugar, which makes you more hungry.
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Sugar Can Give You Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells.
Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth.
For this reason, many scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels can contribute to cancer .
In addition, the metabolic problems associated with sugar consumption are a known driver of inflammation, another potential cause of cancer .
Multiple studies show that people who eat a lot of sugar are at a much higher risk of getting cancer .
Genes And Family History
As in type 1 diabetes, certain genes may make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The disease tends to run in families and occurs more often in these racial/ethnic groups:
- African Americans
- Native Hawaiians
- Pacific Islanders
Genes also can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing a persons tendency to become overweight or obese.
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Myth: If You Have Diabetes You Should Stop Eating Starchy Foods Such As Bread Potatoes And Pasta
Fact: Starchy foods can be part of a healthy meal plan, but portion size is key. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks. In addition to starchy foods, fruits, beans, milk, yogurt, and sweets are also sources of carbohydrate that you need to count in your meal plan. In our class series, our registered dietitions teach patients how to include these foods into their meal plan.
Is There A Moderation For Sugar Intake
According to the Harvard School of Public Health researchers, the study provides empirical evidence that intake of sugary beverages should be limited to reduce the risk of these conditions. A high sugar diet will increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. This finding showed that drinking one to two sugary drinks per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 26%.
Metabolic syndrome up 20% compared with those who consumed less than one sugary drink per month. In fact, drinking one 12-ounce serving per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 15%.
The association that we observed between soda consumption and risk of diabetes is likely a cause-and-effect relationship because other studies have documented that sugary beverages cause weight gain, and weight gain is closely linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, said Frank Hu.
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Myth: When I Was First Diagnosed I Was Told I Have Type 2 Diabetes After 20 Years I Now Have To Take Insulin Does This Make Me A Type 1 Diabetic
Fact: Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, therefore if you dont make any changes to your life to help control your blood sugar levels your pancreas will run out of insulin. This doesnt mean you now have type 1. It just means that your body needs a little bit of help controlling your blood sugar levels.
Negative Effects Of Sugar On The Body
Per Harvard Health Publishing, when we eat sugar, most of it gets broken down and absorbed in the small intestine. Specialized enzymes attack larger molecules and convert them into three simpler sugars: glucose, galactose, and fructose. The liver and muscles store some of the glucose as glycogen, a molecule that can be turned back into glucose when your body needs it.
When glucose enters the bloodstream, however, levels of blood glucose rise. In response, the pancreas secretes insulin to help glucose get where it needs to go in your body. If youre consuming large amounts of added sugar, the cells can become resistant to insulin over time a risk factor for systemic inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
According to a study published in November 2016 in the journal Nutrients, consuming too much added sugar has also been linked to weight gain and obesity, risk factors for heart disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cancer.
Excessive intakes of added sugars impact our energy, mood, weight, and disease risk, Cording says. Across the board it can impact our physical and mental well-being.
In order for us to function as smoothly and as normally as possible, we need our blood sugar to be operating in the Goldilocks zone of energy, says William W. Li, MD, a physician in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and author of Eat to Beat Disease.
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Insulin Resistance And Sugar: Whats The Relationship
Insulin is a hormone that in people without diabetes ferries glucose, or blood sugar, to cells for energy or to be stored for later use. In people with diabetes, cells are resistant to insulin as a result of this insulin resistance, sugar accumulates in the blood. While eating sugar by itself does not cause insulin resistance, Grieger says, foods with sugar and fat can contribute to weight gain, thereby reducing insulin sensitivity in the body.
The problem with sweetened drinks is that, due to their liquid form, theyre among the fastest simple carbs to be digested in the body, causing blood sugar levels to spike even more than a simple carb in solid-food form would. Research supports this idea: A review published in November 2010 in the journal Diabetes Care suggested adding only one serving of a sweetened beverage to your diet may increase your risk for type 2 diabetes by 15 percent.
Myth: I Don’t Really Need To Change My Diet I Can Just Take Pills And Be Ok
Fact: Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. When you are first diagnosed your pancreas still has insulin-producing cells , but if you don’t change your eating habits and increase your activity level, then your beta cells will eventually stop working and you will need more pills or actual insulin injections.
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A Pediatric Endocrinologist Discusses Six Common Diabetes Myths
As diabetes becomes more prevalent in the United States, so have myths about diabetes. It can be hard for parents to sort fiction from fact, and truly understand the causes and treatments of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Abha Choudhary, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Health and Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern, answers six common questions about diabetes in kids.
Learn more about diabetes in kids on the Children’s Health Checkup podcast.
Foods Dont Taste Sweet Enough
If youve noticed that foods dont taste as sweet as they used to, or if you need to add sugar to foods to make them taste good , it could be that youre getting too much sugar to begin with.
If youre trying to make healthier choices, say by switching from flavored yogurt to plain yogurt, the difference will be more noticeable.
You train your brain to expect a very high level of sweetness, and when youre used to that, it can be harder to feel satisfied with foods that are less sweet because youre primed to expect the high sweet levels, Cording says.
If youre replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners in your diet, you may also want to give it a second thought. A lot of these sugar substitutes are so much sweeter than actual sugar so it tricks our brains into expecting this insanely high level of sweetness, Cording says. This can increase sugar cravings overall.
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How Does Sugar Impact The Blood Sugar Levels
Normally, when you eat something that contains sugar, your pancreas releases insulin. This insulin partners up with the sugar molecules and together they enter into the cells and provide energy to your body. When you have diabetes, your body either isnt making enough insulin anymore, or your body is resistant to the insulin that you are creating.
This prevents the sugar from being used by your cells and it just hangs out in your bloodstream causing high blood sugar levels. Having sugar in your bloodstream can lead to many problems and is dangerous for your health.
Sugar, which is also known as carbohydrates or glucose, is found naturally in many different foods such as dairy, fruits, and starchy vegetables. It is also added to many foods like pastas, grains, baked goods, processed foods, and beverages. Since liquids are digested faster, they increase your blood sugar faster than solids do.
More about what contains sugar is found later in this article.
How Does Diabetes Affect My Oral Health
A diet high in carbohydrates feeds cavity-forming bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria also form acids that break down the enamel and other tooth structures, resulting in decay.
But did you know if you have diabetes, you’re at a higher risk for gum problems, including periodontitis and other infections? High blood glucose levels influence the severity of gum disease. There is more sugar present in the saliva of a person with diabetes compared to the average healthy person.
Sugar in the saliva promotes bacteria growth, which then forms plaque . If untreated, plaque buildup can lead to the gum diseases of gingivitis and the more severe periodontitis. Also, if you have diabetes, you’re less likely to resist infections, such as those causing periodontitis.
Conversely, periodontitis might make it more difficult to control blood sugar and increase the severity of diabetes.
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Can Lead To Fatty Liver
A high intake of fructose has been consistently linked to an increased risk of fatty liver.
Unlike glucose and other types of sugar, which are taken up by many cells throughout the body, fructose is almost exclusively broken down by the liver.
In the liver, fructose is converted into energy or stored as glycogen.
However, the liver can only store so much glycogen before excess amounts are turned into fat.
Large amounts of added sugar in the form of fructose overload your liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease , a condition characterized by excessive fat buildup in the liver .
A study in over 5,900 adults showed that people who drank sugar-sweetened beverages daily had a 56% higher risk of developing NAFLD, compared to people who did not .
Eating too much sugar may lead to NAFLD, a condition in which excessive fat builds up in the liver.
Can Increase Cellular Aging
Telomeres are structures found at the end of chromosomes, which are molecules that hold part or all of your genetic information.
Telomeres act as protective caps, preventing chromosomes from deteriorating or fusing together.
As you grow older, telomeres naturally shorten, which causes cells to age and malfunction .
Although the shortening of telomeres is a normal part of aging, unhealthy lifestyle choices can speed up the process.
Consuming high amounts of sugar has been shown to accelerate telomere shortening, which increases cellular aging .
A study in 5,309 adults showed that regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with shorter telomere length and premature cellular aging .
In fact, each daily 20-ounce serving of sugar-sweetened soda equated to 4.6 additional years of aging, independent of other variables (
To avoid this energy-draining cycle, choose carb sources that are low in added sugar and rich in fiber.
Pairing carbs with protein or fat is another great way to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable.
For example, eating an apple along with a small handful of almonds is an excellent snack for prolonged, consistent energy levels.
High-sugar foods can negatively impact your energy levels by causing a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash.
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You Can Adjust Your Diabetes Drugs To Cover Whatever You Eat
MYTH. If you use insulin for your diabetes, you may learn how to adjust the amount and type you take to match the amount of food you eat. But this doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want and then just use additional drugs to stabilize your blood sugar level.
If you use other types of diabetes drugs, don’t try to adjust your dose to match varying levels of carbohydrates in your meals unless your doctor tells you to. Most diabetes medications work best when you take them as directed. When in doubt, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
/7how Bad Sugar Is For Your Kids
The amount of sugar kids eat leads to big blood sugar spikes over time. This increases the risk of insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Too much sugar can also affect your child’s mood, activity and hyperactivity. It affects their behaviour because their blood sugar is like a roller coaster, up and down all day long.
But do not forget that not all sugar is created equal. Do not be afraid of fruits, whole grains, beans and dairy products though they have sugar. These are natural sugar, which is necessary for the growth and development of the child.
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A Small Amount Of Sugar Is Safe For People With Diabetes
There is no evidence that a diet high in sugar directly causes either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, being overweight or obese is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and perhaps someone who is overweight might also eat a lot of sugar.In the past, people with diabetes were told to avoid eating all foods containing refined sugar. This was because it was believed the sugar would have a bad effect on their blood glucose levels. However, more recent research on the glycaemic index has shown that sugar affects blood glucose levels less than some other more starchy foods, like refined bread and breakfast cereal.People with diabetes can have a small amount of sugar in their diet. If you are adding sugar, it is best to add it to healthier foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals. For example, adding one to two teaspoons of regular jam spread on wholegrain bread is okay.People with diabetes should limit or avoid foods in which the main ingredient is sugar, such as sweets and cakes. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight to manage diabetes.
How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body
Chances are you already know that eating too much sugar isnât good for you. Yet youâre probably still overdoing it. Americans average about 270 calories of sugar each day, thatâs about 17 teaspoons a day, compared to the recommended limits of about 12 teaspoon per day or 200 calories.
Sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and sweetened dairy are the main sources of added sugar. But even savory foods, like breads, tomato sauce, and protein bars, can have sugar, making it all too easy to end up with a surplus of the sweet stuff. To complicate it further, added sugars can be hard to spot on nutrition labels since they can be listed under a number of names, such as corn syrup, agave nectar, palm sugar, cane juice, or sucrose.
No matter what itâs called, sugar is sugar, and in excess, it can negatively affect your body in many ways. Hereâs a closer look at how sugar can mess with your health, from head to toe.
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