Because diabetes type 2 is linked to high situations of sugar in the blood, it may feel logical to assume that eating too much sugar is the cause of the illness. But of course, it’s not that simple. A theory about ingesting excessive sugar will directly cause diabetes type 2 has been talked about for long time, however the fact is, diabetes type 2 is a multifactorial illness with a number of different causes, and its been concluded that diabetes type 2 is extremely complex.
That said, some investigation does suggest that eating too many sugary foods can affect diabetes type 2 threat, and with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that 30.3 million Americans have the illness — and that millions of additional people are projected to develop diabetes type 2, too — understanding all the threat factors for the illness, which also includes sugar use, is absolutely essential to aid in reversing the diabetes epidemic.
The Sugar and Diabetes Type 2 Story: Not So Sweet
After the thought that sugar was the cause of diabetes, the scientific community aimed its focus at carbohydrates. That makes sense, that simple and complex carbohydrates are both metabolized as sugar, leading blood sugar levels to vary.
Yet carbs are processed very different in the body depending on their type While simple carbs are digested and metabolized hastily, complex carbs take longer to go through this system, behaving in more stable blood sugar. It boils down to their chemical markup. A simple carbohydrate has a much simpler chemical structure, so it doesn’t take as much effort for the body to digest it, whereas the complex carbs take a little longer.
Sources of complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat bread and brown rice, legumes like black legumes, and quinoa. These foods contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are suitable for any eating plan, regardless of whether you have prediabetes, have diabetes, or are impeccably healthy. In fact, experts know including complex carbs in your day-to-day diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, among other health benefits.
Examples of simple or refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, live in many forms — from the sucrose in the table sugar you use to baked goodies, to the many kinds of added sugar in packaged snacks, fruit drinks, pop, and cereal. Simple carbohydrates are natural elements of numerous fresh foods, too, alike as the lactose in milk and the fructose in fruits, and thus, a healthy, well- balanced diet will always contain these types of sugars.
The problem with sugar, regardless of type, is the sheer quantity of it that’s found in the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is the typical eating plan numerous people in the United States — as well as those in an accelerating number of modernized countries — have developed a taste for. When consumed in excess, foods in this class can lead to heart illness, stroke, and other serious health issues. Frequently, foods with added sugar also contain fat, noting that these factors go hand in hand when it comes to the threat for insulin resistance, the hallmark of diabetes type 2.
Insulin Resistance and Sugar: What’s 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 after use. Cells are resistant to insulin in people with diabetes; as a result from this insulin resistance, sugar will accumulate in the blood. While eating sugar by itself doesn’t prompt insulin resistance, foods with sugar and fat can contribute to weight gain, thereby reducing insulin sensitivity in the body.
Sources of processed or added sugar, including condiments, honey, and especially sugary drinks, are just a few of the possible offenders for weight gain, and it’s when they ’re consumed in excess that they can contribute to diabetes threat. The largest source of sugar added comes from drinks with additional sugar. They run the range of pop, sweetened tea, juices with added sugar, sports drinks — it’s a plethora. Almost everything we drink has sugar added to it, except for water of course
The problem with surgery 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 indeed further than a simple carb in solid- food form would. investigation supports this idea A review published in November 2010 in the journal Diabetes Care suggested adding only one serving of a sugary drinks to your diet may increase your threat for diabetes type 2 by 15 percent.
Diabetes Type 2 and Added Sugars: Other Types to Watch For
A specific form of sugar that has brought a lot of negative attention is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) — and for good reason, as multiple studies suggest HFCS can impact diabetes threat. Some investigation in people who are obese and overweight, for instance, suggests regularly consuming drinks sweetened with either fructose, a derivate of HFCS, or glucose can lead to weight gain, and drinks with fructose in particular may reduce insulin sensitivity and quickly increase blood sugar situations.
An essay published in November 2012 in the journal Global Public Health realized that countries with added access to HFCS tended to have advanced rates of the illness. Though it’s likely that these countries’ overall eating habits play a part in their populations’ diabetes threat, a study published in February 2013 in the journal PLoS One found limiting access to HFCS in particular may help reduce rates of the conclusion.
Because it’s a fairly cheap element, HFCS has turned into the most generally 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 tag.
Sugar Is Not The Only Risk Factor To Consider For Diabetes Type 2
Although this newfound knowledge on sugar, and specifically added sugar, may prompt you to leave behind the pop, juice, and processed foods, be aware of the other factors that can also impact your threat for diabetes type 2. Obesity, a family history of diabetes, a particular history of heart condition, and depression, for example, are other predictors for the illness, according to the NIH.
People who exercise less 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 diabetes type 2.
Likewise, certain ethnical groups, including American Indians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics, are more likely to get diabetes than white people — a phenomenon experimenters have attributed to life factors and genetics
The Bottom Line: Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?
It does not appear that anybody has put their hand on what the true cause of diabetes is, or that we ’re going to find a single cause. So if you ’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes or have other threat factors for the illness, avoiding any one food group entirely — indeed sugar — won’t fully neutralize your threat. Rather, it’s important to prioritize proper nutrition, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight — all key areas the American Diabetes Association recommends for precluding diabetes type 2.
But if you ’re having trouble with weight loss, eating lesser foods with added sugar and fat can be a step in the right direction for enhancing your health and potentially reducing your diabetes threat. In fact, if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, losing just 5 to 7 percent of your body weight can reduce your threat for diabetes type 2, according to the CDC.
How Much Sugar Should People With Diabetes Type 2 Have?
There is not a set recommendation for the quantity of sugar people with diabetes should or shouldn’t consume, as sugar is a subclass of carbs — and carbs are important to watch on a day-to-day 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 day-to-day calorie consumption. And the American Heart Association suggests consuming no further than 9 teaspoons (tsp) — equal to 36 grams (g) or 150 calories — of added sugar if you are a man, and 6 tsp — equal to 25 g or 100 calories — if you are a woman. Naturally occurring sugars do not count in these recommendations, which means you should worry less about those sugars in fruits and veggies, for example, 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 choosing rather for whole foods. Try eating an apple rather of applesauce, an apple desert, or apple juice.