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Does Eating Sugar Cause Diabetes Type 2

What About Natural Sweeteners

Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?

Though some natural sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup, are generally not as heavily processed as table sugar or corn syrup, they are still relatively pure sources of sugar and contain almost no fiber.

Many other sweeteners, marketed as being natural, should also be considered added sugar. These include agave syrup, coconut sugar and cane sugar, to name a few.

Therefore, they should be consumed in moderation like all added sugars, ideally making up less than 10% of your daily calories .


While added sugars are strongly linked to the development of diabetes, natural sugars found in whole fruits and vegetables dont have the same effect.

Can Obesity Cause Type 2 Diabetes

How we understand obesity and type 2 diabetes matters as they are the most widespread metabolic disorders. Though theyre separate conditions, they often overlap.

Weight and nutrition specialist Caroline Apovian MD explains, Although lifestyle is very important for both obesity treatment and diabetes, there are people who never develop obesity, and there are people who do have obesity for whom lifestyle changes dont always work, because obesity is a disease and the body defends a higher body weight set point. Even after weight loss, the hormonal changes involved in obesity can force a patient to regain the weight.

Type 2 diabetes patients did not bring it on themselves, emphasizes diabetes and metabolism expert Elena Christofides MD. This is not a moral failing.

But both the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is increasing. Why? Researchers believe its our environment. There has been an increased availability of high-fat, high-sugar, highly processed foods. These foods often contain other non-food items.

Some of these ingredients have been found to act as endocrine disrupters and change the way our bodies store fat and process energy. While there have not been sufficient studies to prove a causal relationship, most doctors and nutritionists recommend avoiding them.

Changing Face Of Technology In The World Of Diabetes

EDMONTON, AB –For a person diagnosed with diabetes, two of the many important tools are an insulin pumpand a glucose monitor.

Insulin Pumps

An insulin pump is a small battery-operated device that mimics a human pancreas, which reduces the needs of multiple insulin needle poking throughout the day. In other words, pumps are used to deliver a continuous amount of fast-acting insulin on a 24 hour clock. It is an alternative to daily injections of insulin. The pump can be worn on the body in many places. Normally, it is connected to a narrow plastic tube which is inserted under the skin and taped in place on the patients body.

There are three main components to insulin pump therapy:

1. A pump is responsible for pumping insulin in the body.

2. A reservoir holds the insulin.

3. An infusion set contains a thin tube, which runs from the reservoir in the pump to the site of infusion. A short cannula is inserted under the skin to get it working.

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Where Can I Find Help And Support For Managing My Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes Educators. The American Diabetes Association has a diabetes education finder, where you can find diabetes counseling in your zip code. You may also want to work with a diabetes dietitian to clarify questions about carbs, eating schedules, and more. A diabetes dietitian falls under the umbrella of medical nutrition therapy and is covered by Medicare and many insurance policies. Exercise is another crucial part of care, and you may be eligible for physical therapy as part of your diabetes medical management plan. You can find more information on state-by-state coverage here.

Type 2 diabetes isnt a solo condition. Its largely influenced by our culture and community health practices. Expanding your community to a healthy support system can also be an important part of managing your type 2 diabetes.

Family and friends. Get them on board by creating new food habits together. Often, we feel pressure to maintain the status quo for our families while adjusting our own diets. The changes youre making to improve your health will also improve the health of your family. Choose healthful meals that you can all enjoy together and try to resist making separate meals for yourself.

  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease

Hyperglycemia can cause myriad problems, with the primary complications being:

  • Feeling shaky
  • Headaches
  • Tingling or numbness in your lips, tongue, or cheeks

What Causes Type 1 Diabetes

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Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the bodys system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease. Studies such as TrialNet are working to pinpoint causes of type 1 diabetes and possible ways to prevent or slow the disease.

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How Does Sugar Play A Part In Developing Type 2 Diabetes

The question remains: Does eating too much sugar cause diabetes? Actually, eating too many carbohydrates can increase blood glucose, leading to Type 2 diabetes. And sugar is a carbohydrate, as are many foods: milk, cheese, yogurt, pasta, rice, bread, fruit, potatoes, and other starchy vegetables.

And how many carbs are too many? It all depends on the type of carbohydrates you’re consuming.

In an article published in the journal Diabetes Care, researchers note that “nutrition therapy” helps control and prevent diabetes. This nutritional food plan works by limiting carbs, so people with diabetes don’t need to worry about measuring and counting. It can also help prevent diabetes, especially in people diagnosed with prediabetes.

To make mealtime simple, the association developed the “Diabetes Plate Method” of eating. With this method, meals feature a “healthy balance of vegetables, proteins, and carbohydrates” portioned on a dinner plate.

No matter what method you follow to get your carbs and overeating under control, it’s best to discuss any diet plan with your doctor first.

You Dont Need To Cut Out Sugar From Your Diet If You Have Diabetes And While We Dont Know Exactly What Causes Type 1 Diabetes But It Isnt Linked To Lifestyle And So Sugar Doesnt Directly Cause The Condition

The question of whether sugar directly causes type 2 diabetes is a bit complicated.

Because diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are too high, its all too easy to think eating too much sugar is the cause. But whats the truth about sugar and how does it affect diabetes?

In this article well explain whether sugar causes diabetes, how to cut down on sugar and how to read food labels to make informed decisions about your diet.

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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.

Always Go For Low Or No Sugar Options

Does Sugar Cause Diabetes? Fact vs Fiction

If available, choose an option that is made from an artificial sweetener instead of real sugar. This will help you save your sugar intake for foods that contain more nutrients. Good examples are diet sodas instead of regular ones, or deserts and candies that are sugar free. Your grocery store should have a decent selection of sugar-free options.

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Can I Use Artificial Sweetener Instead

Artificial sweeteners contain no carbohydrates. Some of them are low in calorie, and some contain none at all. Some examples are:

  • Stevia. Truvia is a common brand of Stevia. It is from the Stevia plant and is now found in some brands of diet soda.
  • Saccharin. Also known as Sweet-N-Low, it is okay for baking but has an aftertaste.
  • Aspartame. Equal is the most popular brand of Aspartame. It is advised that you not bake with this because it cant withstand the heat.
  • Sucralose. Popularly known as Splenda, it is made from sugar with some chemical changes. It can be used in baking, but using large amounts will add calories.

All of these are safe according to the Food and Drug Administration. The only precaution is that people with a disease called PKU should stay away from Aspartame. Some people claim that these artificial sweeteners give them headaches, although that is not common.

Artificial sweeteners are a great way to still sweeten foods or drinks without adding all of the extra sugar. Just be sure that you are reading the label for the other nutritional information as well.

Where Sugar Is Found In Your Diet

Sugar is found naturally in fruit, vegetables and dairy foods . Its also added to food and drink by food manufacturers, or by ourselves at home. These types of added sugars are called free sugars and they are also present in pure fruit juices, smoothies, syrups and honey. The debate about sugar and health is mainly around free sugars.

This includes:

  • table sugar that we add to our hot drinks or breakfast cereal
  • caster sugar, used in baking
  • sugars hidden in sauces, ready meals, cakes and drinks.
  • honey and syrups, like golden syrup or agave syrup
  • pure fruit juice

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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • How did I get diabetes?
  • If I have diabetes, will my children develop it, too?
  • Will I need to take insulin?
  • If I dont have a family history of diabetes, can I still get it?
  • Can your diabetes get worse even if you do everything right?
  • Can I prevent gestational diabetes?
  • If I had gestational diabetes while pregnant, will I get type 2 diabetes later?
  • Will the babies of a mom with gestational diabetes develop diabetes?
  • How can I tell the difference between Charcot foot and gout in my foot?

Watching For Symptoms Isnt Enough


Although you may think youll know from experience when your blood sugar is out of whack, regular monitoring is the only way to truly make sure.

Its important to keep in mind that the symptoms of high or low blood sugars may fade away after several years of living with diabetes, especially if your blood sugars havent been well controlled, says Garvey.

Also, some of the symptoms of high blood sugars and low blood sugars are the same, so its important to check your blood sugar first, if possible, before treating it, she says.

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Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes: Whats The Difference

Type 2 diabetes is not the same as Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make any insulin. In Type 2, your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, and the insulin it is making doesnt always work as it should. Both types are forms of diabetes mellitus, meaning they lead to hyperglycemia .

Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, though its becoming more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can get it.

Refined Sugars Obesity Diabetes And How They Relate

Coming now from the perspective of two, very different types of sugars, the question should instead be which sugars can potentially cause diabetes?

And the answer is clear refined sugars increase your risk for diabetes, while natural sugars from fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains actually help reduce your risk for diabetes.

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Will I Need Medication Or Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes

Some people take medication to manage diabetes, along with diet and exercise. Your healthcare provider may recommend oral diabetes medications. These are pills or liquids that you take by mouth. For example, a medicine called metformin helps control the amount of glucose your liver produces.

You can also take insulin to help your body use sugar more efficiently. Insulin comes in the following forms:

  • Injectable insulin is a shot you give yourself. Most people inject insulin into a fleshy part of their body such as their belly. Injectable insulin is available in a vial or an insulin pen.
  • Inhaled insulin is inhaled through your mouth. It is only available in a rapid-acting form.
  • Insulin pumps deliver insulin continuously, similar to how a healthy pancreas would. Pumps release insulin into your body through a tiny cannula . Pumps connect to a computerized device that lets you control the dose and frequency of insulin.

How Refined Sugars Are Linked To Diabetes

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The relationship between refined sugars and diabetes can be complicated. The direct effects of refined sugars include blood glucose spikes and liver insulin resistance, but there are also many interrelated secondary effects.

Diets high in refined sugars are clearly linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes, resulting from a rapid rise in blood glucose values that can overwhelm your liver in the post-meal state, resulting in fat and cholesterol synthesis in your liver.

Obesity, in turn, leads to a higher risk for insulin resistance, which is the underlying cause of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. But this relationship is not always a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

The big picture is whats important to understand: a diet high in refined sugar is a strong risk factor for weight gain, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes whereas a diet high in natural sugar from whole carbohydrates decreases your chronic disease risk.

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Don’t Cut Sugar Out Of Your Diet Completely

Some people with diabetes get hypoglycaemia, when their blood glucose levels get too low. So, don’t cut sugar out of your diet completely, instead cut down your intake of added sugars.The maximum recommended daily sugar intake is 30g for adults which is around seven teaspoons a day.

While added sugars, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, are strongly linked to diabetes, natural sugars found in fruit, vegetables and dairy foods don’t have the same effect. As these types of sugar come along with fibre, water, antioxidants and other nutrients, they are digested and absorbed more slowly. This means they are less likely to cause blood sugar spikes.

What you need to cut down on are ‘free sugars’ which are present in table sugar, sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sugary drinks, tomato ketchup, pasta sauces, honey and syrups, etc.

Even the pure fruit juices and smoothies contribute to free sugar intake. Therefore, it’s recommended to eat whole fruit and vegetables rather than having juices or smoothies. If you do have fruit juice, limit it to just one small glass 150ml a day.

How Is Type 2 Diabetes Managed

Theres no cure for Type 2 diabetes. But you can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication if needed. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your:

  • Blood sugar: A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring can help you meet your blood sugar target. Your healthcare provider may also recommend regular A1c tests, oral medications , insulin therapy or injectable non-insulin diabetes medications.
  • Blood pressure: Lower your blood pressure by not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood pressure medication such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.
  • Cholesterol: Follow a meal plan low in saturated fats, trans fat, salt and sugar. Your healthcare provider may recommendstatins, which are a type of drug to lower cholesterol.

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Are Some People More Likely To Develop Type 2 Diabetes Than Others

A person who has a highly inflammatory diet and carries excess adiposity around their central organs is more likely to get type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Christofides. Excess weight and obesity are risk factors for type 2 diabetes, but how your body stores and manages weight can also be an early indicator of risk.

Research has shown that people who carry too much fat around their middle are more prone to health risks such as type 2 diabetes. Certain communities also show a greater propensity for developing type 2 diabetes, including people who are Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous.

Factors that can put you at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes include:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Family history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • A diet high in processed foods and added sugars
  • History of heart disease or stroke
  • Elevated triglyceride levels in your blood
  • Higher waist to hip ratio
  • Systemic inflammation

Another Powerful Ally: Exercise

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Dont let perfection be the enemy of better when it comes to taking steps to lower your type 2 diabetes risk. Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to lowering your risk.

Just ask Zaira Ortega, MD, a family medicine physician in East Los Angeles, a community where type 2 diabetes is a pressing health concern. When patients have a family history of diabetes or prediabetes, she says, we tell them that they have the power to change the course of their future health.

Among her simple tips: Switch from drinking juice to eating whole fruit. Instead of eating five tortillas for dinner, cut back to two. Swap white rice for fiber-rich quinoa. And while, Dr. Ortega says, 80 percent of weight loss takes place in the kitchen, exercise plays an important role, too. She tells her patients to aim for 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, five days a week.

In fact, exercise is as powerful as some diabetes medications when it comes to lowering blood sugar. It boosts insulin sensitivity and encourages body cells to absorb blood glucose. While its not always easy to find the time or motivation to exercise, you might want to invite a friend to join you for a brisk walk to help maintain your blood sugar levels and body weight. Both the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association recommend going on a 30-minute walk at least five days per week.

Read the article here: Does Eating too Much Sugar Cause Diabetes?

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