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Can Eating Too Much Sugar Give You Diabetes


Try To Cut Back On Hidden Sugar

Does eating too much sugar cause diabetes? | 60 Secs Fact-checking

We all know that chocolate-covered donuts, three scoops of ice cream drowned in caramel sauce, and a thick slab of strawberry shortcake are sugar bombs. But sugar can also be hidden, in salad dressing and ketchup, tomato sauce, cereal or granola, flavored yogurt, and bread. Unlike sugars that naturally occur in foods like fruit, these added sugars are put in foods during production.

Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, recommends becoming a savvy sugar sleuth. I always suggest, she says, that you scan labels for ingredients such as monosaccharides, disaccharides, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, agave nectar, molasses, cane juice, cane sugar, date sugar, and evaporated cane juice. Any of these could be added sugars. The Food and Drug Administrations new food label requirements make it a cinch to find how much sugar has been added during processing: Just look for the line that says added sugars.

Check Your Blood Sugar Regularly

It’s important to understand the severity of being in a state of hyperglycemia if you have diabetes. It can have very dangerous consequences, so it’s extremely important to monitor your blood sugar and ensure that it is stabilizing over time. The general recommendation for a person with diabetes is to check your blood sugar every four hours. If you enter a state of hyperglycemia, it is advised to check it more often, until your blood sugar has stabilized. However, this is unique to the individual. Have a conversation with your doctor about how often you should monitor your blood sugar after eating too much sugar.

Fatigue And Low Energy

Sugar is easily absorbed and digested, so if youre feeling fatigued, it could be due to the amount of sugar youre getting in your diet.


Sugar is a very quick energy source, so regardless of how much you eat, in 30 minutes youre going to be hungry again, low on energy, or looking for energy again, Stoner-Davis says.

Large swings of blood sugar and insulin can also cause energy levels to plummet and affect your overall energy level, Li says.

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So Does Eating Sugary Foods Cause Diabetes

Whether or not a person develops type two diabetes is based on a number of factors including:


  • Your diet
  • How physically active you are
  • Your age
  • Whether or not you smoke
  • And so much more

While sugar intake can be a major factor that puts people at risk of diabetes, there is no “one thing” that will determine whether or not a person will develop diabetes. There are many more factors at play. Here are a few questions you can ask to decrease your likelihood of becoming diabetic.

  • Do you eat a lot of carbs, sugar, and processed foods?
  • Do you rarely exercise?
  • Do your parents or siblings have diabetes?
  • Do most of your friends have diabetes?

That last one might seem confusing because clearly diabetes isn’t “contagious” in itself, so why is that a question to ask? The reality is that people tend to live similar lifestyles to those in our social circles, and if many of the people you spend a lot of time with have diabetes, the same “lifestyle risk factors” that contributed to their diabetes may also contribute to an increased risk for you.

How Refined Sugars Are Linked To Diabetes

7 Warning Signs that Youre Eating Too Much Sugar

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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Can Eating Too Much Sugar Cause Diabetes

Posted by Avery Chernin on May 09, 2022

If you struggle with diabetes you already know that controlling blood sugar levels is a fundamental part of managing the progression of diabetes.

You probably also know that avoiding sugary foods can help you avert unwanted blood sugar spikes.


But can eating too many sugary foods actually cause diabetes in the first place?

In this article we will explore the role that sugar plays in diabetes, and if eating sugary foods can actually cause type two diabetes.

Where Do I Find Added Sugars On Food Labels

Learning how to read food labels can help you manage the amount of sugar in your diet. Labels tell you if any sugars have been added, as well as the total amount of sugar in a product.

Check the:

  • ingredients list ingredients are listed in order of weight. The higher up the list, the bigger the proportion of that ingredient. Sugars may be listed as sucrose, glucose, dextrose, maltose, golden syrup, maple syrup, molasses, coconut sugar, agave syrup or others. High-fructose corn syrup is another added sugar, but its not common in Australia.
  • nutrition information panel sugars are listed under Carbohydrates. The amount of sugar per 100g is an easy way to compare products for their sugar content. For example, if one cereal brand has 10g of sugar per 100g and another has 5g of sugar per 100g, the second option may be the better one.

    The amount of sugar per serve shows how much sugar you will consume in one suggested serve of the product. This is a measure of total sugar both naturally-occurring and added sugar.

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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.

Related podcast

Learn more about diabetes in kids on the Children’s Health Checkup podcast.

Quick Myth Check What About Low

Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?

Low-carb diets, like the Paleo diet and the ketogenic diet, originated from a mistaken understanding of human evolution, and a flawed understanding of the function of insulin.


In individuals living with existing insulin resistance, high-carbohydrate diets can cause spikes in blood glucose, especially when those carbohydrates come from processed foods.

As a result, some doctors recommend high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, with the goal of eliminating these blood glucose spikes.

However, its actually high-fat diets that cause insulin resistance in the first place, decreasing the ability of your liver and muscle to uptake glucose from your blood.

So while the short-term results of reducing your carbohydrate intake can lead to decreased fasting blood glucose, decreased fasting insulin, and a lower A1c, the long-term result is an increase in insulin resistance, which in turn increases your risk for chronic disease.

You can learn more about the topic in our article on 7 misleading claims about low-carbohydrate diets.


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Are You Eating Too Much Sugar

The recommendations for limits on added sugars vary among industry groups. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 20202025, which are published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, recommend limiting calories from added sugars to no more than 10 percent each day. For someone who consumes 2,000 calories a day, thats a maximum of about 12 teaspoons worth.

The American Heart Association, however, recommends limiting the amount of daily added sugars to no more than 100 calories for women and children and 150 calories for men. That works out to be about 6 teaspoons for women and children and 9 teaspoons for men.

Both groups agree that toddlers and infants under 2 shouldnt consume any added sugars.

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If youre not getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet and not eating balanced meals made up of lean protein, healthy fat, and unrefined carbohydrates, its possible that added sugars may be displacing other good-for-you foods. Not only are you likely missing out on vitamins, minerals, and fiber but all that added sugar could manifest itself in other surprising ways.

The following 12 signs might mean youre eating too much sugar.

Does Sugar Cause Diabetes Fact Vs Fiction

Since diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels, many people wonder whether eating sugar can cause it.

While its true that eating large amounts of added sugar may increase your risk of diabetes, sugar intake is just one piece of the puzzle.

Many other factors including overall diet, lifestyle and genetics also impact your risk.


This article reviews sugars role in developing diabetes and provides tips for preventing the disease.

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Use Insulin If You Need It

Depending on the type and severity of your diabetes, you may take insulin to help manage it. After eating excess sugar and experiencing hyperglycemia, you may require insulin to help your blood sugar stabilize. However, this is unique to every individual. The type of insulin, dosage, and time of dosage is different for everyone. You must consult with your doctor or endocrinologist about your specific insulin needs, and follow the recommendation they provide you. If dosed and used correctly, insulin helps to stabilize the blood sugar after eating too much sugar.

Not Getting Enough Support

Can You Cause Diabetes By Eating Too Much Sugar

“Have ‘scaffolding’make sure that everyone in your household is on the same page about your health,” says Rettinger. “It’s hard enough to eat healthfully sometimes. You don’t want a family member bringing in doughnuts or making late-night ice-cream runs. It’s easier to stick with healthy habits when others around you are as well.” Likewise, if you’re confused, struggling or frustrated about how to stick to a healthy lifestyle, ask your healthcare provider for help. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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Changing The Sugar Conversation: Your New Key Definitions

Natural Sugars The term natural sugars refers to the carbohydrate chains found in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. They can still be sweet, but their chemical structure is very different to that of refined sugars.

Natural sugars are sometimes called complex carbohydrates, because they are long-chain molecules that take time to digest, cut, and absorb. As a result, natural sugars take a longer time for your body to process, resulting in a more sustained release of energy over time.

Natural sugars are eaten in whole foods that also contain valuable micronutrients that are essential for optimal nutrient absorption, transport, and storage. These micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, antioxidants, and phytochemicals and can be thought of as information for tissues throughout your body.

Refined Sugars Refined sugars are artificial sweeteners that are added to processed and prepared food, including table sugar , high fructose corn syrup , maltodextrin, dextrose, and many others. Refined sugars are added to foods and beverages to increase sweetness and consumer appeal.

Glucose Glucose is a monosaccharide sugar that is the predominant building block of most whole carbohydrates found in nature. In addition, glucose is also the only monosaccharide found in fiber. Glucose is the primary fuel for your liver, muscles, and brain, and is the most important fuel in your entire body.


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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Can You Reverse Or Cure Diabetes

Unfortunately, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Physicians and researchers are still learning why the condition occurs, so no cure is available yet though current studies are underway to find the cause.

However, type 2 diabetes can be reversed and stopped with healthy lifestyle changes.


“If kids with type 2 diabetes eat healthy foods and lose weight, we can stop using insulin to treat them,” says Dr. Choudhary. “Sometimes we can even take them off medication completely. Type 2 diabetes can be reversed if the family is on board with healthy eating and exercise changes.”

However, Dr. Choudhary warns that not all cases of type 2 diabetes can be reversed. If the pancreas is too damaged, the child will live a life with diabetes. That’s why early diagnosis and diet and exercise are so important.

How To Avoid Developing Type 2 Diabetes

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To avoid type 2 diabetes, the best thing you can do is keep your weight within a normal range and eat a clean balanced diet, says Dr. Dixit. Whats normal depends on your height and age. Its important to keep your body mass index within a healthy range, which is between 18.5 and 24.9, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

As far as nutrition, there is no specific diet solution, but its important to maintain a healthy weight and watch your carbohydrate intake. If you are concerned about your risk for diabetes and are overweight, changing your diet can help you lose weight and lower your risk for developing diabetes, Dr. Dixit says, offering these tips for lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes:

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Labels On The Back Of Packaging

It’s important to look for the “of which sugars” figure on nutrition labels, which is part of the carbohydrate information.

While this does not tell you the amount of free sugars, it’s a useful way of comparing labels and can help you choose foods that are lower in sugar overall.

Look for the “Carbohydrates of which sugars” figure on the nutrition label.

Products are considered to either be high or low in sugar if they fall above or below the following thresholds:

  • high: more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g
  • low: 5g or less of total sugars per 100g

If the amount of sugars per 100g is between these figures, that’s regarded as a medium level.

The “of which sugars” figure describes the total amount of sugars from all sources free sugars, plus those from milk, and those present in fruit and vegetables.

For example, plain yoghurt may contain as much as 8g per serving, but none of these are free sugars, as they all come from milk.

The same applies to an individual portion of fruit. An apple might contain around 11g of total sugar, depending on the size of the fruit selected, the variety and the stage of ripeness.

But sugar in fruit is not considered free sugars unless the fruit is juiced or puréed.

This means food containing fruit or milk will be a healthier choice than one containing lots of free sugars, even if the 2 products contain the same total amount of sugar.

You can tell if the food contains lots of added sugars by checking the ingredients list.

Do Artificial Sweeteners Increase Diabetes Risk

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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Yellowish Scaly Patches On And Around Your Eyelids

These develop when you have high fat levels in your blood. It can also be a sign that your diabetes is poorly controlled.The medical name for this condition is xanthelasma.

Take action
  • Tell your doctor about the yellowish scaly patches around your eyes.
  • Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes. Controlling diabetes can clear the scaly patches.

Understanding The Difference Between Starches Fiber And Sugars

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Like fiber, starches are complex carbs, but our bodies can break these complex carbs down and turn them into glucose.

Fiber is a complex carb that our guts are unable to break down as easily as sugar. Fiber is made of long chains of carb molecules that come from plants. It holds things in the gut, such as cholesterol, simple carbs and water. Holding cholesterol in the gut makes fiber heart healthy, helping to fight atherosclerosis, which leads to plaque build-up in the arteries.

Keeping simple carbs from being digested also helps dull a spike in blood sugar. This is why consuming fruit juices isnt as healthy as real fruit. Juicing removes the pulp, which contains all of the fiber, and this leads to blood glucose spikes. Keeping water in the gut also allows for the smooth passage of stool and can help prevent colon cancer and diverticulosis, a condition that occurs when pouches form in the colon or large intestine. The recommended amount of fiber varies according to age and sex, but the average 2,000 daily calorie diet should include at least 28 grams of fiber per day.

Similar to fiber, sugar alcohols are a form of carbohydrates that are not readily digested. They are small molecules that have an alcohol added to them . Sugar alcohols often are used in sugar-free foods. They do contain calories, but much less than sugar and with less of an effect on insulin levels.

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