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Can You Become Diabetic From Eating Too Much Sugar

How Many Types Of Diabetes Are There

Can You Get Diabetes From Eating Too Much Sugar | Mastering Diabetes | Cyrus Khambatta Robby Barbaro

Many people used to believe there were only two types of diabetes: one that affected kids and one that affected adults . However, we now know that children can also develop type 2 diabetes and that in fact, there are more than just two types.

Dr. Choudhary explains that as doctors’ understanding of diabetes grows, new types are identified and defined. These can include:

  • Cystic-fibrosis-related diabetes
  • Type 1.5 diabetes

These types of diabetes can be related to other conditions, medical treatments like chemotherapy, and other unknown causes.

The Sugar And Type 2 Diabetes Story: Not So Sweet

After the suspicion that sugar was the cause of diabetes, the scientific community pointed its finger at carbohydrates. That makes sense, notes Grieger, explaining that simple and complex carbohydrates are both metabolized as sugar, leading blood sugar levels to fluctuate.

Yet carbs are processed differently in the body based on their type: While simple carbs are digested and metabolized quickly, complex carbs take longer to go through this system, resulting in more stable blood sugar. It comes down to their chemical forms: A simple carbohydrate has a simpler chemical makeup, so it doesnt take as much for it to be digested, whereas the complex ones take a little longer, Grieger explains.

Sources of complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat bread and brown rice, legumes like black beans, and quinoa. These foods contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are appropriate for any eating plan, regardless of whether you have prediabetes, have diabetes, or are perfectly healthy. In fact, experts know including complex carbs in your daily diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, among other health benefits.

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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Soft Drinks Are High In Sugar

Sweetened drinks are heavily advertised, cheap and commonly available. In Australia, the consumption of soft drinks, which are sweetened with sugar, has increased by 30 per cent in 10 years.The standard serving size for soft drink has also increased. Ten years ago, soft drink was available in 375 ml cans. Soft drinks are now commonly sold in 600 ml bottles, which provide up to 16 teaspoons of sugar.For an average 14 year old girl, a 600 ml bottle of soft drink alone will provide more than 12 per cent of her daily energy needs. This means she would exceed the recommended energy intake from refined sugar with just one drink.Studies of children in the United States found that drinking more sweetened soft drink was linked to increasing overweight and obesity. Its best to keep these drinks to a minimum.

Negative Effects Of Sugar On The Body

Can You Give Yourself Diabetes By Eating Too Much Sugar?

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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Can Eating Too Much Sweets Cause Diabetes

You may have heard that a person with diabetes should limit how much sugar they eat, but does eating too much sugar make you diabetic?The answer is no.As you may already know, there are two major types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, which means that your bodys immune system mistakenly attacks itself. The immune system misinterprets the insulin producing pancreas cells as the bad guys and destroys them. As you may remember from our previous post, insulin is needed to regulate our blood level. WIthout insulin, the sugar stays in the blood stream and not able to go into cells. This builds up and leads to high sugar in the blood and urine. Like most autoimmune system, we dont know exactly why and what causes type 1 diabetes, but eating too much sugar does not directly cause diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes, and is more related to a persons eating habit, stress level, physical activity. Carrying some extra weight can put you at a higher risk in developing diabetes as you body becomes less sensitive to insulin, which means your pancreas has to work harder to produce more insulin. Eventually, your pancreas gets too tired for working extra hard, and wouldnt be as productive. This would lead to high blood sugar level, and ultimately, diabetes develops because your pancreas to cope with high blood sugar is exhausted.

Having Too Much Sugar

Although sugar provides less energy than fat, it can contribute to the energy density of foods and drinks. Its easy to overindulge in foods, especially drinks, with high sugar content.Having too much sugar is not the only reason for obesity or being overweight, but it does add to the amount of kilojoules in food. Eating too much of any food, without doing enough exercise, will cause you to become overweight.

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Weight Gain And Obesity

Sugar can affect the hormones in the body that control a persons weight. The hormone leptin tells the brain a person has had enough to eat. However, according to a 2008 animal study , a diet high in sugar may cause leptin resistance.

This may mean, that over time, a high sugar diet prevents the brain from knowing when a person has eaten enough. However, researchers have yet to test this in humans.

Do Artificial Sweeteners Increase Diabetes Risk

Can you get Diabetes from eating too much sugar? – Dr. Nagaraj S

Artificial sweeteners are man-made, sweet-tasting substances that cannot be metabolized by humans for energy. As such, they provide sweetness without any calories.

Though artificial sweeteners dont spike blood sugar levels, they have still been linked to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes .

Drinking just one can of diet soda per day has been associated with a 2567% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to drinking no diet soda at all .

Its unclear why artificial sweeteners increase diabetes risk, but there are a variety of theories.

One thought is that artificially sweetened products increase cravings for sweet-tasting foods, leading to higher sugar consumption and weight gain, which increases diabetes risk .

Another idea is that artificial sweeteners disrupt your bodys ability to properly compensate for calories consumed from sugar since your brain associates the sweet taste with zero calories .

Some research has found that artificial sweeteners can change the type and number of bacteria that live in your colon, which may contribute to glucose intolerance, weight gain and diabetes .

While there does appear to be a link between artificial sweeteners and diabetes, more research is needed to understand exactly how theyre related.

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May Accelerate The Skin Aging Process

Wrinkles are a natural sign of aging. They appear eventually, regardless of your health.

However, poor food choices can worsen wrinkles and speed the skin aging process.

Advanced glycation end products are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. They are suspected to play a key role in skin aging .

Consuming a diet high in refined carbs and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which may cause your skin to age prematurely .

AGEs damage collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help the skin stretch and keep its youthful appearance.

When collagen and elastin become damaged, the skin loses its firmness and begins to sag.

In one study, women who consumed more carbs, including added sugars, had a more wrinkled appearance than women on a high-protein, lower-carb diet (


Sugary foods can increase the production of AGEs, which can accelerate skin aging and wrinkle formation.

Reducing Foods That Contain Added Sugar

Some food products contain large amounts of added sugars. Reducing or removing these foods is an efficient way to reduce the amount of sugar a person eats.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 20102015 state that soda and other soft drinks account for around half a persons added sugar intake in the U.S. The average can of soda or fruit punch provides 10 tsp of sugar.

Another common source of sugar is breakfast cereal. According to EWG, many popular cereals contain over 60% sugar by weight, with some store brands containing over 80% sugar. This is especially true of cereals marketed towards children.

Swapping these foods for unsweetened alternatives will help a person lower their sugar intake, for example:

  • swapping soda for water, milk, or herbal teas
  • swapping sugary cereals for low sugar cereal, oatmeal, or eggs

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Insulin In People With Type 2 Diabetes

The NDIC explains that people with type 2 diabetes begin with normal functional pancreatic beta cells, but over time, the fat, muscle and liver cells can no longer respond to insulin properly. To bring the blood glucose level back to the normal range, the beta cells produce excess insulin. However, the beta cells will eventually lose their efficiency and can’t produce enough insulin, thus resulting in insulin deficiency. Similar to a person with type 1 diabetes, a type 2 diabetic who doesn’t get enough insulin will develop hyperglycemia after eating a meal.

Artificial Sweeteners And Diabetes

Alarming Signs That Show You

Manufacturers often add artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose to diet foods and drinks as a replacement for sugar.

Small studieshave found that consuming sucralose may interfere with how your body handles glucose.

And a larger, longer-term study showed drinking diet sodas might be related to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, other studies have found no link between artificial sweeteners and diabetes, and some researchers say many of those that did find links lack clear evidence to suggest this association. So, its clear that scientists need to carry out more research.

One study observed some early evidence that artificial sweeteners can cause glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiome.

At ZOE, our scientists are working to understand how gut bacteria influence metabolic diseases, such as diabetes.

If youd like to know more about your personal gut microbiome, you can take this free quiz.

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The Initial Causes Can You Become Diabetic From Eating Too Much Sugar

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition in many people. This type is caused by a lack of insulin and is a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. The bodys inability to process glucose from the blood can damage many parts of the body, including the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid diabetes. Here are five tips to help you lower your risk: Eat more vegetables and fruits, get regular exercise, and avoid smoking.

High levels of triglycerides in the blood are another factor that can cause diabetes. These triglycerides are caused by a buildup of cholesterol in the blood. A high triglyceride level causes the body to misrepresent insulin as a molecule, which causes glucose to build up in the blood. A simple blood glucose test can confirm your diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. By following these tips, you can begin living a healthy life and avoid the complications of diabetes.

A person with type 2 diabetes must consume less sugar. Glucose causes thirst and dehydration because the body releases energy stores into the bloodstream instead of using insulin. If untreated, diabetes can lead to weight loss and diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition whereby the cells are deprived of energy. To prevent the condition, you must make sure that your diet is low in glycemic load and that you exercise regularly.

One Last Question: How Much Sugar Can People With Diabetes Have

Grieger adds that there isn’t a set recommendation for the amount of sugar people with diabetes should or should not consume, as sugar is a subgroup of carbs and carbs are important to monitor on a daily basis because they can have a direct effect on blood sugar.

But the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend keeping added sugar below 10 percent of your overall daily caloric intake. And the American Heart Association suggests consuming no more than 9 teaspoons equal to 36 grams or 150 calories of added sugar if you’re a man, and 6 tsp equal to 25 g or 100 calories if you’re a woman. “Naturally occurring sugars don’t count in these recommendations,” notes Grieger, which means you should worry less about those sugars in fruits and veggies, for instance, than you should about those in processed fare.

To help cut down on added sugar in your diet, keep it simple by avoiding packaged, processed foods, and opting instead for whole foods. Try eating an apple instead of applesauce, an apple pastry, or apple juice, Grieger suggests.

Additional reporting by Melinda Carstensen

If you’re aiming to lower the amount of sugar in your diet, check out Diabetes Daily’s article “10 Ways to Reduce the Sugar in Your Diet!”

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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 (

37 ).

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.

Can Cause Weight Gain

How do people get diabetes from eating too much sugar ?

Rates of obesity are rising worldwide and added sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, is thought to be one of the main culprits.

Sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, a type of simple sugar.

Consuming fructose increases your hunger and desire for food more than glucose, the main type of sugar found in starchy foods .

Additionally, excessive fructose consumption may cause resistance to leptin, an important hormone that regulates hunger and tells your body to stop eating .

In other words, sugary beverages dont curb your hunger, making it easy to quickly consume a high number of liquid calories. This can lead to weight gain.

Research has consistently shown that people who drink sugary beverages, such as soda and juice, weigh more than people who dont .

Also, drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to an increased amount of visceral fat, a kind of deep belly fat associated with conditions like diabetes and heart disease .


Consuming too much added sugar, especially from sugary beverages, increases your risk of weight gain and can lead to visceral fat accumulation.

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What Is The Mechanism Behind Sugar And Diabetes Risk

Weve already seen that overweight or obesity are risk factors for type 2 diabetes and that eating too much sugar may contribute to this.

We’ve also mentioned that eating fructose can lead to the production of uric acid. Some scientists have linked this to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when your cells dont respond appropriately to insulin it is a risk factor for diabetes.

But there are other ways the sugar in your diet could increase your risk of diabetes, especially when it comes to fructose.

In one study, two groups of people with overweight or obesity drank sweetened drinks containing either glucose or fructose, which made up 25% of their daily calorie intake.

After 10 weeks, participants had gained similar amounts of weight, and those who had consumed drinks containing glucose saw an almost 10% increase in their triglyceride levels.

But those who had consumed the fructose drinks experienced a whole range of changes linked to a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.

These included increases in:

  • fatty acid production, which is linked to fatty liver disease

  • triglyceride levels

  • insulin resistance

Glucose, the sugar that enters your bloodstream after you eat or drink, also has a part to play in diabetes risk.

Thats because sugary foods and drinks as well as refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta can cause larger spikes and crashes in blood sugar.

You can take ZOEs free quiz to learn more about how your body responds to sugar.


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