Diabetes is when your blood sugar levels are too high, so, naturally, people would think the cause is eating too much sugar.
It is true that eating a lot of sugar increases diabetes risk, but that’s just one part of it.
There are more factors like diet, genetics, and lifestyle.
This article will tell you the part of sugar in diabetes and give you tips on how to prevent the disease.
What Diabetes Is Exactly
Diabetes happens when your body can’t regulate your blood sugar levels anymore.
This will happen when your pancreas halts its production of insulin or when your cells start to be resistant to insulin.
Insulin is what the body needs to move sugar out of your bloodstream and in your cells.
Both kinds of diabetes lead to abnormally high blood sugar levels.
When you have chronic high blood sugar levels, you start to develop complications like your immune system attacking your pancreas, your pancreas not making enough insulin, or your body not responding to the insulin it produces.
Type 1 diabetes is rare and is likely caused by genetics. It happens in 5-10% of diabetes patients.
Type 2 diabetes happens to 90% of diabetes patients, and is caused by your diet and lifestyle.
The Mechanism of Sugar
When people speak of sugar, they’re mostly talking about sucrose, or table sugar, which is from sugarcane.
Sucrose has one molecule of glucose and fructose bonded together.
When you consume sucrose, these two molecules become separated by enzymes in your small intestine before its absorbed in the bloodstream.
This raises your blood sugar levels and tells your pancreas to start releasing insulin. Insulin will move the glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells where it can be converted into energy.
A tiny amount of fructose will also be absorbed by cells for energy, but most goes to the liver where it’s converted to glucose for energy or it becomes fat for storage.
Excess sugar becomes fat in your body.
Because fructose is converted to fat, a high consumption means increased triglyceride levels, which increases heart disease risk and fatty liver.
Too much fructose also leads to high uric acid. If uric acid crystals stay in your joints, gout can happen to you. And gout is super painful.
Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?
Research shows that people who drink sugar-sweetened drinks on the daily have a greater risk of getting type-2 diabetes.
A sugar-sweetened beverage per day will increase your risk of getting diabetes by 13%.
Countries who consume the most sugar have high rates of type 2 diabetes.
Consumption of sugar and diabetes are still inextricably linked, as well as weight gain.
They say that eating a lot of sugar is linked to diabetes, but the rules don’t normally apply to natural sugars.
Natural sugars can be found in fruits and vegetables and aren’t subjected to manufacturing and processing.
These sugars are linked to fiber, antioxidants, water, and extra nutrients. They’re digested differently, and are less likely to cause spikes in your blood sugar.
Honey and maple syrup are not as unhealthy as table sugar and corn syrup. But other sweeteners that are natural are also labeled added sugar like agave syrup, coco sugar, and cane sugar.
Drinking 100% fruit juice has been researched to increase your risk for getting diabetes, because of its high sugar content and being low fiber.
Artificial sweeteners have been linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Drinking one diet soda a day is associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes, compared to not drinking any at all.
Artificially sweetened products are said to increase your craving for sweet foods. They also interrupt your body’s ability to compensate for calories.
Research shows that artificial sweeteners change colon bacteria, which plays a role in glucose intolerance and weight gain.
Other Diabetes Risk Factors
You have to watch out for your body weight, whether or not you exercise, whether or not you smoke, whether or not you have sleep apnea, or if any of your family members have had type 2 diabetes.
To prevent diabetes, you need to follow a diet of whole foods, eat green and leafy vegetables, avoid alcohol, and start drinking healthy coffee.
Reading nutrition labels should become your habit if you don’t want to taste it before knowing how it’s going to affect your body and health.
Sugar is associated with type 2 diabetes risk, because of negative effects on liver and obesity risk.
Artificial sweeteners are also linked with diabetes. Natural sugars in fruits and vegetables aren’t exactly linked to diabetes.
It’s best to turn over a new leaf, and start liking eating fruits, vegetables, coffee, nuts, and drop the alcohol and cigarettes. It wouldn’t be the most difficult thing you’ve done in your life, and it would be the start of a new chapter.
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