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Does Eating Too Much Sugar Cause Diabetes


How To Cut Down On Sugar

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

You dont have to cut sugar out of your diet completely. Sugar is found naturally in fruit, vegetables and dairy foods, and most of us in the UK are not getting the recommended five fruit and veg a day so its important we dont cut these out as they are so good for you.

Its better to eat whole fruit and vegetables rather than having juices or smoothies, as even the pure fruit juices contribute to free sugar intake. If you do have juice, keep to just one small glass 150ml a day.

Its the free sugar that we all need to cut down on. And its not just the obviously sweet things like biscuits and chocolate. Its the hidden sugar lurking in many foods, such as baked beans, pasta sauces, tomato ketchup, yogurts and ready meals. Some drinks are packed with sugar, too.

Simple changes can dramatically reduce the amount of free sugar in your diet. This could include:


“Low-fat foods, such as yogurts, can be higher in sugar, so always check labels for ingredients.Margaret, 73, who has type 2 diabetes

Added Sugar Is High In Fructose Which Can Overload Your Liver

In order to understand what is so bad about sugar, you need to understand what it is made of.

Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars glucose and fructose.

  • Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we dont get it from the diet, our bodies produce it.
  • Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it.

The thing with fructose is that it can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amounts.

This is not a problem if we eat a little bit or we just finished an exercise session. In this case, the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it .

However, if the liver is full of glycogen , eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the fructose into fat .


When repeatedly eating large amounts of sugar, this process can lead to fatty liver and all sorts of serious problems .

Keep in mind that all of this does NOT apply to fruit. It is almost impossible to over-eat fructose by eating fruit.

There is also massive individual variability here. People who are healthy and active can tolerate more sugar than people who are inactive and eat a Western, high-carb, high-calorie diet.

Try To Cut Back On Hidden Sugar

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.


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Food Items Without Sugar For Diabetics

Your choice of food matters a lot when youre a diabetic. Nothing is off-limits totally. Even the worst products could be occasional treats if consumed in small quantities. However, they wont help you with having a lot of nutrition. Hence, sticking to the best food items that either do not contain sugar or contain less sugar is the greatest way to control your diabetes.

  • Whole grains
  • Shirataki noodles

Sugar And Diabetes And Your Diet

10 Signs You are Eating Too Much Sugar

We all enjoy eating sugary foods occasionally, and theres no problem including them as a treat occasionally as part of a healthy, balanced diet. And, for some people with diabetes, sugary drinks or glucose tablets are essential to treat a hypo, when your blood glucose levels get too low.

However, we are eating too much free sugar and harming our health as a result. Being overweight can make it difficult to manage your diabetes and increase your risk of getting serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke in the future. Too much sugar is bad for your teeth too.

The maximum recommended daily amount of sugar is 30g for adults which works out at just seven teaspoons a day. Given that a tablespoon of ketchup contains around one teaspoon of sugar, a chocolate biscuit has up to two, and a small serving of baked beans almost three, you can see how quickly the teaspoons tot up.


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Due To Its Effects On Hormones And The Brain Sugar Has Unique Fat

Not all calories are created equal.

Different foods can have different effects on our brains and the hormones that control food intake .

Studies show that fructose doesnt have the same kind of effect on satiety as glucose.

In one study, people drank either a fructose-sweetened drink or a glucose-sweetened drink.


Afterwards, the fructose drinkers had much less activity in the satiety centres of the brain and felt hungrier .

There is also a study where fructose didnt lower the hunger hormone ghrelin nearly as much as glucose did .

Over time, because the calories from sugar arent as fulfilling, this can translate into an increased calorie intake.

Labels On The Front Of Packaging

There are labels containing nutrition information on the front of some food packaging.

This includes labels that use red, amber and green colour coding, and advice on reference intakes of some nutrients, which can include sugar.


Labels that include colour coding allow you to see at a glance if the food has a high, medium or low amount of sugars:

  • red = high
  • amber = medium
  • green = low

Some labels on the front of packaging will display the amount of sugar in the food as a percentage of the RI.

RIs are guidelines for the approximate amount of particular nutrients and energy required in a day for a healthy diet.

The reference intake for total sugars is 90g a day, which includes 30g of “free sugars”.

For more information, see Food labels.


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Risk Factors For Diabetes

The link between sugar and diabetes is very clear. It can lead to many health problems such as an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and even fatalities. Moreover, people who consumed more than 25% of their daily calories from sugar are more prone to dying from heart diseases. On the other hand, those who are consuming 10% or fewer calories from sugar are less prone to risks of any heart diseases. That is why it is important to take sugar carefully for diabetics. Some of the risks which includes while eating too much sugar are:

  • Liver disease
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Obesity

These are a few chronic conditions that people with diabetes might undergo if they do not monitor and optimize their blood sugar levels. However, below are other risk factors that are even more complicated for diabetics.

The Sugar And Type 2 Diabetes Story: Not So Sweet

DOES EATING TOO MUCH SUGAR CAUSE DIABETES?

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.

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A Lot Of Physical Exercises

Physical exercises are important, but excess of everything is absolutely dangerous. Individuals who are active to a great extent and those who have a sedentary lifestyle have approximately twice the chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes. Just 150 minutes of moderate activity per week can help minimize the risk of diabetes. People need to understand that they should maintain a healthy lifestyle rather than focusing on doing excessive exercise. In general, diabetics are less active. They need to be more active in their daily lifestyle to lower the risks of diabetes.

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.


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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.

Coaches Are Here To Help You

Does Eating Too Much Sugar Cause Diabetes?

The world of nutrition is complex. There are many types of foods that can be risk factors, but may not depending on how much you eat and in which combination.

This is why we focus on the foods that you can eat without restriction, no matter what type of diabetes you may be living with, and provide recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks to help get you started.


Still, we understand that adjusting to a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet can be a big, complicated change.

To help you along the way with every step of improving your diabetes help whether thats your diet, integrating daily movement, or starting intermittent fasting our coaches are here to help.

With years of experience and the entire wealth of Mastering Diabetes resources, our coaches can help you to take the steps to transform your health, and join our community of thousands of people who have already done the same.

Stop Guessing What to Eat

Get Delicious Recipes Sent to Your Inbox Every Week!


Discover the custom-designed Weekly Meal Plan that gives you clarity on what to eat and how to shop to simplify your journey to lower blood sugar, weight loss, and your best A1c

Gestational Diabetes Guide: What to Do, Eat, and Avoid

+ References

Healthline. 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting, August 16, 2016. .

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Sugar Vs Added Sugar: How Each Affects Your Bod

The fundamental distinction that is important to make when talking about sugar is using the word natural or refined before the word sugar. Simply talking about sugar is not descriptive enough.

Natural sugars are found in plants, and are excellent for your body. Your digestive system slowly cuts natural sugars into their monosaccharide building blocks, which are then absorbed into your blood to be burned for energy or stored for later use.

The human body has evolved over millions of years to thrive on a diet high in plants, which have historically been the food thats most widely available throughout human history.

The shift to a diet high in meat and added sugars has only been possible incredibly recently on the time scale of human evolution, and the research shows that diets high in meats and high in refined sugars have coincided with the drastic increase in obesity and diabetes.

Refined sugars are manufactured in a laboratory, and are the results of a manufacturing process. They are designed to make foods taste unnaturally and addictingly good.

These hyper-concentrated sweeteners, like HFCS, table sugar, and aspartame are often found in foods that are also high in trans fats, like donuts, pastries, chips, cookies, and ice cream.

Fiber Helps Fight Type 2 Diabetes

From brown rice to black beans, whole-grain cereal, fruits, vegetables, and popcorn, fiber is a powerful ally in the fight against type 2 diabetes. Fiber-rich foods are digested more slowly, says Licalzi, so your blood sugar doesnt spike and you stay fuller longer. A 2019 review in The Lancet that included nearly 250 studies found that people who ate the highest amount of fiber had a 16% to 24% lower risk of dying from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and colon cancer, compared with people who ate very little fiber.

However, Americans are not getting enough fiber in their diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams a day for men, up to the age of 50. After 50, women should aim for 21 daily grams and men, 30 grams. The average American only eats an average of 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day.

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Carbohydrates Are Bad For Diabetes

MYTH. Carbs are the foundation of a healthy diet whether you have diabetes or not.

They do affect your blood sugar levels, which is why youâll need to keep up with how many you eat each day. Some carbs have vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So choose those ones, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Starchy, sugary carbs are not a great choice because they have less to offer. Theyâre more like a flash in the pan than fuel your body can rely on.

What Happens In Your Body

Does Eating Too Much Sugar Cause Diabetes?

With diabetes, eating too much sugar can cause more than just the jittery feelings of a sugar high. It can cause several other symptomsand it’s important to understand what you’re feeling, and to understand what is happening in your body.

After consuming an excess amount of sugar, you might enter a state of hyperglycemia. Hyper means high or above, and glycemia refers to the amount of glucose in the blood. Being in a state of hyperglycemia cause a few different things to happen. A common symptom people with diabetes experience is intense thirstthey feel like they can’t get enough to drink. This is called polydipsia. Paired with polydipsia, you may also experience polyuriathe frequent need to urinate. These are both tell-tale signs that your blood sugar is high. Further, you may experience headache, blurred vision, and possible feelings of fatigue.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, I recommend checking your blood glucose. If you monitor your blood sugar , your blood sugar will likely be above 180 mg/dL after a sugar binge. This value can be different for different people and it’s important to talk to your doctor or endocrinologist about your unique blood sugar targets.

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Is Diabetes Reversible In Early Stages

But experts say diabetes can be reversed early on. If you follow the advice of your doctors and nutritionist and make an effort to lose weight, diabetes can be reversed by normalizing your blood sugar levels without medication early in the course of the disease, that is the first three to five years, Dr.

Tooth Decay And Sugar

Sugar and tooth decay are closely linked. Dental plaque is a clingy film made up of food particles, bacteria and mucous. The bacteria in plaque depend on sugars to produce acids, which break down the enamel and start tooth decay.All carbohydrates contribute to this process, not just sugar, but large amounts of sugar in sweets and soft drinks are most likely to contribute to decay. Other nutritious foods also allow the bacteria in plaque to produce acids. Sticky sugars that cling to the teeth are worse than sugars that are easily swallowed, such as fresh fruit.Ways to reduce the risk of tooth decay include:

  • Cut down on sticky, sugary foods like lollies.
  • Drink water instead of cordials, soft drinks and juices.
  • Allow at least two hours between meals.
  • Brush and floss regularly and after meals.
  • Drink fluoridated water or use fluoride treatments.
  • Visit the dentist regularly.

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