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, it’s all too easy to think eating too much sugar is the cause. But what’s the truth about sugar and how does it affect diabetes?
In this article we’ll explain whether sugar causes diabetes, how to cut down on sugar and how to read food labels to make informed decisions about your diet.
Choose Foods With Less Than 10 Grams Of Sugar And More Than 5 Grams Of Fiber
Cereals and granola bars can be sugar minefields. But instead of banning them altogether , Hyland says to look for products containing less than 10 grams of sugar, and if possible, more than 5 grams of fiber.
“Fiber is beneficial in many ways. It helps with satiety, decreasing cholesterol and lowering the risk for diabetes and prediabetes,” she says. “A lot of products that have natural sugars, such as fruits and veggies, have a high fiber content.”
Eating Too Much Sugar In One Go: This Is What Is Happening In Your Body
It happens to the best of us. You open a family-sized packet of gummy bears and a few Friends episodes later you’ve reached the bottom of the packet.
For most adults and kids, eating a whole bag of lollies — or block of chocolate, for that matter — is an easy feat. But consuming this much sugar isn’t great, for both long term and short-term health.
“Sugar is very calorie dense with hardly any nutrients, so lollies are empty calories and provide too many at once in terms of your daily intake. This can lead to obesity, which leads to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancers,” Simone Austin, accredited practising dietitian and spokeswoman for the Dietitians Association of Australia, told The Huffington Post Australia.
Sugar is a form of carbohydrate that the body converts to glucose. While some sugar is absolutely fine, your body is not going to love it when you down a whole packet of lollies in one go. Here’s what happens.
“Carbohydrates start to be digested in the mouth straight away as you’ve got digestive enzymes in your mouth. So some of the sugar basically enters through your cheeks,” Austin said.
This, dear friends, is not a good thing. Yes, your dentist is right, however much we wish they weren’t.
“Sugar is bad for your teeth,” Austin said. “It feeds bacteria in your mouth that then break down the enamel on your teeth.
At this point you’re probably not feeling so great because you’ve had a massive amount of sugar and not much else.
You’re Experiencing Digestive Issues And Irregular Bowel Movements
Some research suggests that sugar might decrease the diversity of healthy bacteria in your gut within as little as a week, making your digestive system sluggish. “Too much white sugar won’t help you if you’re trying to promote healthy bacteria in your system,” adds Zeitlin. Foods naturally high in fiber have a positive impact—and people eating lots of sugar generally aren’t eating a lot of fiber, says Ansel.
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 “!”
Always Avoid Sugar Imposters That Taste Sweet But Aren’t Sugar
The most common non-artificial sugar replacements are Stevia Extract and Monk Fruit Sweetener.
You should avoid these at all costs.
Because your body can’t tell the difference between these and real sugars!
What Happens When You Eat Something Sweet?
When you eat something that tastes sweet, your body releases insulin to help get the pending sugar out of your bloodstream. Insulin coming to the rescue is a totally NORMAL metabolic response!
But nowadays there are ‘natural’ sugar substitutes that taste sweet but aren’t sugar.
The problem is your body doesn’t know you didn’t eat REAL sugar – so you release insulin – even though you didn’t need to.
What happens to this insulin when there is no sugar to be found?
It zips around your bloodstream causing insulin resistance.
All this insulin zipping around your bloodstream makes you feel hungry too, so you tend to eat more later…that’s why these sweet-tasting non-sugar sweeteners are linked to weight gain and overeating.
Trying to eat healthy all on your own is too darn hard.
In the Healthy U Group we encourage each other to eat better…
Stevia is also a known hormone disruptor, so that doesn’t sound good either.
It’s Not Just Sugar: Other Diabetes Risk Factors To Consider
Although this newfound knowledge on sugar, and specifically added sugar, may prompt you to ditch the soda, juice, and processed foods, be mindful of the other factors that can similarly influence your risk for type 2 diabetes. Obesity, a family history of diabetes, a personal history of heart disease, and depression, for instance, are other predictors for the disease, according to the NIH.
People who exercise fewer than three times a week, and women who’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, or diabetes that develops while a woman is pregnant, also have an increased chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, certain ethnic groups, including American Indians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics, are more likely to get diabetes than white people — a phenomenon researchers have attributed to lifestyle factors and genetics.
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.
What To Do If You Eat Too Much Sugar When You Have Diabetes
These five things can help if you’ve overdone it on the sugar, according to a dietitian.
So you’ve overdone it on the sugar. We’ve all been there—we’ve all gone a little too hard at the dessert table, or the donuts at work, or the nighttime bowl of sweet cereal. You’re not alone in that. But, since you have diabetes, the consequences can be a bit more intense, and it’s important to take action to get your blood sugar stabilized. Don’t worry—this dietitian is going to walk to through some steps you can take to recover from a sugar overdose.
Related:Blood Sugar Basics for Diabetes
Are You At Risk For Type 2 Diabetes You Might Be Surprised
My friend Annie has been struggling with elevated blood glucose and a multiple serious health conditions. She’s been pre-diabetic for years, then had a dangerous spike recently after sugar-bingeing on vacation. She was on the brink of diabetes, so I asked her to completely abstain from sugar and processed grains for one week.
The sweet deprivation was nearly torture at first and made her realize just how much sugar she consumes on a daily basis. There were a lot of socially awkward moments when she had to say “no” to disappointed hosts, especially because it was Christmastime. But she persevered. By day 5 she was not craving sugar as much. After one week she woke up not really needing that sugar fix.
I was pleased with her progress and asked her to go a full month, to fully release her body from the clutches of sugar addiction. Excess sugar consumption leads to excess insulin in the blood and it makes you crave more carbs; this vicious cycle is hard to break. Annie said “No, I want my sugar back.” She reluctantly agreed to one more sugarless week, just till her upcoming doctor appointment. I anticipated a 10 point drop but was in for a bigger surprise:
The doctor was amazed, Annie was proud, and I danced a jig.
Other health markers in her blood also improved. This is not a surprise because:
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels
Signs of high blood sugar levels include:
- Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
- Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isn’t enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
- Feeling tired: Because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
A Final Word On Cutting Back On Added Sugar In Your Diet
While it’s simply not realistic to avoid all added sugars in your diet, it’s a good idea to read labels; focus on whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible; and make healthier food choices. “Companies are going to make their foods taste good — that’s part of their business — but as individuals, we’re becoming more conscious of our health, so we can decide how much of that stuff we put in our body,” Li says.
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.
What Happens When You Eat A Lot Of Sugar With Diabetes
What happens when you eat a lot of sugar with diabetes? This question diabetics may ask, which is like asking; what the worst that could happen? Or what is the worst-case scenario?
There are some symptoms and signs that hyperglycemia may cause if sugar isn’t at its normal levels. which the concerned person can notice during self-monitoring of his condition or in other ways, and among these symptoms are the following:
- Blood glucose level greater than 130 mg/dL before eatingl, or higher than 180 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal. Feeling thirsty more often than usual.
- Frequent need to urinate,as High level of sugar in the urine than normal.
Symptoms of high blood sugar in diabetics usually do not show any symptoms until glucose levels rise significantly. For instance, when it is higher than 180-200 mg/dL, or higher than 10-11.1 mmol/L.
Also, symptoms appear and develop slowly over several days or even several weeks.
However, some people with type 2 diabetes may not show any symptoms for a long time despite their high levels of sugar.
In fact, the longer the period of high blood sugar level, the more serious the symptoms caused by it, and here are some of these symptoms in detail.
Check out our latest posts:
What Do You Do If You Have Too Much Sugar In Your Body
As we’ve seen, it can be difficult to reset after eating too much sugar. But there are still certain things you can do to help get you back to feeling normal after a sugar crash. Here are our top recommendations.
- Refrain from guilt trips: Whether you normally eat healthy and had a one-off binge, or this is the thousandth time you’ve eaten poorly after swearing you wouldn’t, the time to stop mentally chastising yourself is now. Beating yourself up is only going to make you stressed, which in turn is only going to make you crave a pick-me-up.
- Drink water: If you’re feeling low on energy, you may be dehydrated as well as experiencing a sugar crash. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to help your body recover from a sugar overdose and to stay healthy in general.
- Eat whole foods: Whole foods — foods that have not been processed — can help provide your body with a stable, more regulated source of energy.
- Exercise: Have excess energy from a sugar high? Feeling low from a sugar crash? Either way, the endorphins from a good workout can help see you through an upcoming sugar crash or help lift you from the doldrums if you’re already in one.
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, they’re 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.
How Can I Manage Or Prevent Diabetes And Gum Disease
Before you’re caught in the loop of diabetes and gum disease, follow your doctor’s and dentist’s recommendations regarding your overall physical and oral health.
For diabetes, your doctor might advise medicine and major lifestyle changes – such as eating a balanced, healthy diet in normal portions and exercising more.
We noted that the American Diabetes Association developed a nutrition therapy meal plan, which includes a diet with less added sugar and less processed foods. It’s better to eat fresh and lean: fruits, vegetables, plant-based protein sources, and lean meats.
Your dentist and dental hygienist might set you up with a special oral hygiene routine and a personalized schedule for gum disease checkups. You could also receive a referral to a periodontist.
Between visits to your dental professional, a good oral home care routine is essential:
- Brush your teeth twice daily using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once daily. Flossing – aka interdental cleaning – helps remove plaque brushing might miss.
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash daily.
And then there’s your sugar consumption. Does eating too much sugar cause diabetes? The answer is maybe, so why risk loading up on sugar and carbs that factor into tooth decay and diabetes?
Moderation in all things can translate into a healthy body, mouth, and smile to last a lifetime.
If I Have Diabetes Will I Have To Stop Eating Sugar
What is that saying? Everything is good but only in moderation? Well this rings true when it comes to eating sugar with diabetes too.
You probably already know that eating a lot of sugar is not great for your body. The problem is that sugar comes in a natural form and in an added form, so sometimes you have no idea that you are consuming it.
Also, it is in many foods that you don’t even think to consider. Foods that you think are healthy, such as tomato sauce and protein bars, are packed full of sugar.
This article breaks down the facts about eating sugar with diabetes and how you can make the best choices for your body in order to effectively manage your diabetes.
Do I Need To Count My Sugar Intake On A Daily Basis
Yes, you need to! Your intake needs to be consistent throughout the day. For example, don’t eat all of your daily allotted amount of carbohydrates for breakfast and expect to go the rest of the day without any carbs or sugars.
That is especially important if you are on medications for diabetes or use insulin. They can drop your blood sugar during the day and without any carbohydrate intake, you could be at a risk of having very low blood sugar levels.
Counting your carbohydrate and sugar intake daily and making sure that they are consistent for each meal helps ensure that your body has enough energy throughout the day.
To find out what your total daily allotted amount should be, consult with your doctor or your dietician. Talk to them about the best ways to count your intake and about how your medications will affect your blood sugar.
For more dietary advice regarding diabetes read the following:
Are Sugar Substitutes Okay For People With Diabetes
Because type 2 diabetes is linked to high levels of sugar in the blood, it may seem logical to assume that eating too much sugar is the cause of the disease. But of course, it’s not that simple. “This has been around for years, this idea that eating too much sugar causes diabetes — but the truth is, type 2 diabetes is a multifactorial disease with many different types of causes,” says Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDE, a nutrition coach in Prescott, Arizona, and a medical reviewer for Everyday Health. “Type 2 diabetes is really complex.”
That said, some research does suggest that eating too many sweetened foods can affect type 2 diabetes risk, and with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that 30.3 million Americans have the disease — and that millions of more individuals are projected to develop it, too — understanding all the risk factors for the disease, including sugar consumption, is essential to help reverse the diabetes epidemic.
Diabetes And Added Sugars: Other Types To Watch For
One particular type of sugar that has attracted a lot of negative attention is high-fructose corn syrup — and for good reason, as multiple studies suggest HFCS can influence diabetes risk. Some research in people who are overweight and obese, for example, suggests regularly consuming drinks sweetened with either fructose, a byproduct of HFCS, or glucose can lead to weight gain, and drinks with fructose in particular may reduce insulin sensitivity and spike blood sugar levels.
An article published in November 2012 in the journal Global Public Health found that countries with more access to HFCS tended to have higher rates of the disease. Though it’s likely that these countries’ overall eating habits play a role in their populations’ diabetes risk, a study published in February 2013 in the journal PLoS One found limiting access to HFCS in particular may help reduce rates of the diagnosis.
Because it’s a relatively cheap ingredient, HFCS has become the most commonly used sweetener in processed foods, from granola bars to fruit drinks, and more. To help reduce your own consumption, pay attention to the details on your food’s nutrition label.
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 doesn’t take as much for it to be digested, whereas the complex ones take a little longer,” Grieger explains.
Examples of simple or refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, exist in various forms — from the sucrose in the table sugar you use to bake cookies, to the various kinds of added sugar in packaged snacks, fruit drinks, soda, and cereal. Simple carbohydrates are natural components of many fresh foods, too, such as the lactose in milk and the fructose in fruits, and therefore, a healthy, well-balanced diet will always contain these types of sugars.
What Happens If You Eat Too Much Sugar In One Day
This means that one sugary drink a day can already put you over the recommended daily limit for added sugar. Consuming too much added sugar increases heart disease risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and inflammation. High-sugar diets have been linked to an increased risk of dying from heart disease.
Protein Is Better Than Carbohydrates For Diabetes
MYTH. Because carbs affect blood sugar levels so quickly, you may be tempted to eat less of them and substitute more protein. But take care to choose your protein carefully. If it comes with too much saturated fat, that’s risky for your heart’s health. Keep an eye on your portion size too. Talk to your dietitian or doctor about how much protein is right for you.
You Have To Give Up Desserts If You Have Diabetes
MYTH. You could:
- Cut back. Instead of two scoops of ice cream, have one. Or share a dessert with a friend.
- Consider using low-calorie sweeteners. Keep in mind, there might be a few carbs in these.
- Expand your horizons. Instead of ice cream, pie, or cake, try fruit, a whole wheat oatmeal-raisin cookie, or yogurt.
- Tweak the recipe. For instance, you can often use less sugar than a recipe calls for without sacrificing taste or consistency.
What Causes People With Diabetes To Get Diarrhea
The cause for the connection between diabetes and diarrhea isn’t clear, but research suggests that neuropathy may be a factor. Neuropathy refers to numbness or pain resulting from nerve damage. If you have diabetes, high blood sugar levels can damage your nerve fibers. This generally occurs in the hands or feet. Issues with neuropathy are common causes for many of the complications that accompany diabetes.
Another possible cause is sorbitol. People often use this sweetener in diabetic foods. Sorbitol has proven to be a potent laxative in amounts as small as 10 grams.
An imbalance in your enteric nervous system can also cause diarrhea. Your ENS regulates the functions of your gastrointestinal system.
Researchers have also looked at the following possibilities:
- bacterial overgrowth
- fecal incontinence resulting from anorectal dysfunction
- Celiac disease