Does Eating Too Much Sugar Lead To Diabetes?

A spoonful of sugarThere are many misconceptions regarding the causes of diabetes. One of these is that excessive sugar intake leads to the development of type-2 diabetes. The general scientific consensus is that sucrose (table sugar) itself doesn’t cause diabetes although products with added sugar are typically calorie dense and therefore may contribute to the development of obesity if consumed to excess. Therefore, providing that an individual is a healthy weight, moderate consumption of foods rich in sucrose, or any other sugars, is unlikely to increase that individuals risk of developing diabetes.

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Is Honey A Better Option Than Table Sugar For Diabetics?

A honey jarA common question asked by diabetics is whether they should substitute honey for table sugar in their diet. This is generally motivated by the belief that a “natural” product like honey will be better for their health than a refined product such as table sugar.

In general, I am of the belief that better management of diabetes comes not from eating a single food or focusing on a particular food group, but instead from the combined effect of numerous lifestyle and dietary changes such as weight-loss, a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and increased physical exercise.

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Low GI Diets And Diabetes Risk

The Glycemic Index (GI) measures the impact a particular food has on an individuals blood glucose levels. GI is defined as the area under the two-hour blood glucose response curve after consuming a fixed portion of a particular food. A high GI value indicates that consumption of a particular food increases blood glucose levels both faster and to a higher peak than a low GI food.

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What Fruits Can A Diabetic Eat?

Assorted citrus fruitDiabetics often ask whether it is safe for them to eat large quantities of fruit. Many diabetic patients avoid eating fruit because they are worried that the high sugar content found in most fruits will worsen their condition. Fortunately, there are many fruits a diabetic can enjoy which do not significantly affect blood glucose levels, in fact certain fruits may actually improve glucose control and insulin sensitivity over time.

Good Fruits For Diabetics

Fiber rich foods are generally safe for diabetics to eat because they tend to have a lower glycemic index (GI) and therefore do not spike blood sugar levels to the same extent as high GI foods. This is because fiber delays the emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine which slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. Fiber rich fruits tend to be fruits with edible skins and seeds as it is these parts of the fruit that are highest in fiber.

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Nine Myths About Diabetes

There are many misconceptions about diabetes, here are nine of the more common ones.

Diabetes is an inherited disease – although having first-degree relatives with diabetes is considered a risk factor, a. person can develop diabetes even if they have no relatives with the disease

Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar - sugar does not play a significant role in a person developing diabetes because it only moderately raises blood sugar levels. Diabetes risk factors are both genetic and lifestyle related. The main lifestyle risk factor is being overweight.

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