Does eating sugar make you more likely to get diabetes? It is natural to wonder about this since the two conditions often go together. However, experts say it is only one piece of the puzzle. Other important factors include a healthy lifestyle and genetics. Still, eating too much sugar can cause weight gain and lead to prediabetes. It is also easy to skip fruit, whole grains, and other healthy foods when eating dessert.
People often wonder whether eating sugar can cause diabetes. While it is true that eating large amounts of added sugar may increase your risk of diabetes. Many other factors — including overall diet, lifestyle, and genetics — also impact your risk.
Sugar can have a devastating effect on diabetes if you are diagnosed with the disease and know how to prevent it.
There is a lot to know about blood sugar and how it affects diabetes. Read on to find out how high glucose levels damage your body and what you can do to keep things under control.
How does too much sugar affect diabetes? The short answer is not enough insulin. When you have a lot of glucose in your blood, your body must keep delivering insulin to deal with it. And the more insulin that is floating around, the higher you think your glucose is.
What is Diabetes?
There are two main types of diabetes, each with different causes. Diabetes is a disease that affects the way the body processes glucose or blood sugar. Glucose comes from the foods we eat, and it is produced by the liver, muscles, and other cells in the body. Normally your body uses glucose for energy — it is like gasoline for your cells. But if you cannot use glucose properly, it builds up in the blood, which eventually leads to serious problems.
Overall, diabetes is a worldwide epidemic. In most cases, people with diabetes take multiple medications to keep their blood sugar within an acceptable and safe range. This can be very costly as well as bad for your health since over-medicating creates negative side effects.
Insulin is the hormone required to move sugar out of your bloodstream and into your cells. If you have diabetes, then your body does not produce enough insulin or does not respond to it normally — both scenarios result in chronically elevated blood sugar levels. Diabetes can take a serious toll on your health if not properly managed.
It is important to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range to avoid complications from both short-term and long-term diabetes. Sugar helps with the release of the hormone insulin, which helps the body use glucose for energy. High levels of glucose in the blood can eventually lead to pancreatic damage and an increased risk of heart disease and other complications if not treated properly.
You have likely heard that diabetes is a disease that affects how your body processes sugar. If you are considering ways to prevent, or even reverse this disease, you may wonder what role sugar plays in the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
There are two main types of diabetes, each with different causes:
Diabetes is a disease where your blood sugar levels are abnormally high. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin – the hormone that helps to control blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells do not react to insulin as they should, so glucose (a form of sugar) cannot be used as fuel by the body’s tissues but is released into the bloodstream instead, resulting in high blood sugar levels.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels?
Normal blood sugar levels are below 100 mg/dL after not eating for at least 8 hours and below 140 mg/dL 2 hours after eating. Staying within these normal ranges can prevent complications of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Check your blood sugar when you wake up and use that number as a benchmark for the rest of the day. If your blood sugar is consistently too high or too low, talk to your health care professional.
Normal blood sugar levels fall in a narrow range, from 70 to 80 mg/dL. At these levels, the body will make insulin as needed. If a person’s blood sugar level falls below 60 or rises above 90, diabetes is likely.
Normal blood sugar levels vary from person to person. Many people’s sugar levels do not go below 60, even with a big meal and sometimes even with prolonged fasting. Your liver converts fat and muscle into sugar when you diet or fast. The liver keeps your levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar. Sometimes your blood may fall somewhat lower than 60 mg/dl.
Your healthcare provider will check your blood sugar level using a glucose meter. The results tell you if your blood sugar is higher than normal (diabetes), or not.
- Doctors use tests to find out if you have diabetes. An important test is the fasting plasma glucose test. They do this fasting. Doctors use your fasting blood sugar. If it is 126 milligrams per decilitre higher than normal, you have diabetes.
- Diabetes often starts with high blood sugar. Doctors have several tests that can help them find out if you have diabetes. Two common tests are called the oral glucose tolerance test and the fasting plasma glucose test. If you get either test and your results are 200 or higher, it could mean you have diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease where there is too much sugar in the blood. Blood tests for diabetes are easy and fast to do. To diagnose diabetes, the doctor does a fasting blood sugar test. It checks your level of glucose when your blood sugar is at its lowest level, about 8 hours after you last ate. If it is higher than 200, you have diabetes.
Any sugar — in the form of glucose, fructose, sucrose, or lactose — that you consume raises your blood sugar level. Health experts are especially concerned about excessive fructose intake. Their concern is not because all sugars are bad, but because consuming excessive amounts may tip the scales of normal blood sugar control and contribute to prediabetes and diabetes.
Your blood glucose level might be high right now because you have prediabetes. Prediabetes is your body’s early warning system for diabetes, which can cause heart disease, blindness, and loss of limbs. But you can keep it from getting worse by choosing to have fun with exercise!
Does Sugar Increase Your Risk of Diabetes?
Sugar and diabetes have a special relationship. Type 2 diabetes is a diet-dependent disease. In other words, the foods you eat affect your risk of developing this condition. One food that appears to have a particularly strong connection is sugar. Why? Sugar has contributed to an increase in the percentage of calories we get from food.
Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) have been linked to weight gain, obesity, and an increased risk of several chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease. A large number of studies have found that people who regularly drink sugar-sweetened beverages have a roughly 25% greater risk of type 2 diabetes. Drinking just one sugar-sweetened beverage per day increases your risk by 13%, independent of any weight gain it may cause.
Research suggests that too much sugar can increase your risk of diabetes. There are two types of diabetes. And while both involve high blood glucose, type 2 is more common and is usually associated with obesity and physical inactivity.
Our bodies are designed to metabolize glucose from other foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to produce energy. Sugar and other forms of fructose may not be broken down as efficiently, however. This is why high-fructose diets have been linked to unhealthy weight gain and increased risks for obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer.
Sugar’s direct effect on diabetes risk is related to blood sugar levels. With regular exposure to high amounts of sugar, the liver can develop insulin resistance, which raises blood sugar levels and increases diabetes risk. However, eating foods that contain refined sugars can increase your diabetes risk in several other ways.
Sugar and Your Body
Glucose is precious fuel for all the cells in your body when it is present at normal levels. But too much glucose over time can behave like a slow-acting poison. Sugar complications not only can harm diabetic patients but also can affect almost everyone.
- Do not let high sugar levels damage your body. Sugar and Your Body shows you how too much sugar can affect your blood sugar levels—and how to eat a better diet.
- While sugar has its own set of health problems, it also affects your diabetes. That is because your body deals with sugar in different ways than it does with other nutrients such as protein and fat.
- Sugar is a source of calories that can make you gain weight, and if you have diabetes or prediabetes, sugar can disrupt your body’s delicate balance of blood sugar, causing serious health problems.
Diabetes can cause serious problems throughout your body if your blood sugar levels are not well controlled. High blood sugar levels occur when the body does not get enough insulin or if the cells ignore its presence.
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