Excess Sugar Intake Can Be A Reason for Diabetes, But It’s Not Always The Case!
When your body cannot effectively regulate blood sugar levels, the condition is known as diabetes. It is a common belief that diabetes is linked with sugar intake which is not entirely true.
You cannot just pinpoint one reason that causes diabetes. It is not that simple, hence in this article, we are going to explain diabetes and whether excess sugar intake causes diabetes or not. Let’s get started:
What is Diabetes?
It is a metabolic disease that more than half of the world is suffering from.
Diabetes is of two types:
Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes occurs when the autoimmune system of your body attacks the pancreas, disrupting its ability to produce insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin or when the body’s cells stop responding to insulin. This leads to an uncontrolled amount of sugar in the bloodstream.
Insulin is a hormone that helps sugar move in and out of cells and is crucial for efficient cell functioning all across the body.
Type 1 diabetes is genetic and hence quite rare. While 90% of the diabetics suffer from type 2 diabetes.
How Sugar is Absorbed in your Body?
Apart from the sugar that is naturally present in fruits and vegetables, the most common sugar we use is table sugar which is actually sucrose.
When you take sucrose, its molecules (glucose and fructose) are first separated in the intestines by the action of enzymes and then enter into the bloodstream. The brain signals pancreas to produce insulin to combat the sugar molecules and direct them to the body cells where they are metabolized to produce energy.
The cells take up sugar as per their needs and the rest of it is carried to the liver where it is metabolized into glucose for generating energy or into fat for storage.
Consequently, these accumulated fat molecules may lead to several health disorders like heart problems, fatty liver, and high uric acid to name a few.
Does Sugar Intake Cause Diabetes?
The answer to this frequently asked question is both yes and no.
Intake of excess sugar doesn’t cause diabetes all of a sudden but it does increase the risk of type-2 diabetes.
A study was carried out which analyzed the association of type 2 diabetes and sugary beverages, it was found that people with regular intake of sweetened beverages are at a 25% higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Another study has shown that if you drink one high-sugar beverage per day, your risk of having diabetes type 2 increases by 13%, without considering the weight gain.
Intake of increased sugar leads to increased weight gain and fatty liver which is an indirect way of how excess sugar cause diabetes.
There is a direct link as well. When you take sugar in higher amounts over a long time, it may lead to disrupted insulin resistance which may lead to diabetes type 2.
But this does not mean one should avoid sugary foods altogether. It is totally fine to enjoy your favorite desserts every once in a while but be moderate with your intake.
RDA of Sugar:
American Heart Association has put some limits on the sugar intake per day. These are:
Average Adult Male: up to 9 teaspoons per day
Average Adult Female: up to 6 teaspoons per day
With a recommended intake of 30g of sugar per day, you can satisfy your sweet tooth. Excess sugar intake over longer periods of time may increase the risk factors that can cause type 2 diabetes. So watch out for your portion sizes.