Can I Eat Sweets or Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?
My sugar weakness: fruit snacks. I hoard fruit snacks like a fat kid does candy. I like to think it stems from my elementary school days when I routinely attempted to trade my carrot sticks and cucumber slices for a pack of the artificial heaven. Yet today I struggle between my deep love for fruit snacks and my knowledge of the bitter fact that the sugar content alone deems them unhealthy. When I do indulge though I like to sing a little upbeat jingle my sister once taught me: “Diabetes here I come!” (Assuming sugar causes diabetes.) But this little ditty has got me thinking… does sugar cause diabetes?
My Fruit Snack Dilemma: Does Eating Sugar Cause Diabetes?
No, eating sugar once in a while is not going to give you diabetes.
Photo credit: f1uffster (Jeanie)
Your body is amazing. It is equipped with this hormone called insulin that counteracts high blood sugar levels. So, when you go on a sugar binge and your blood sugar sky rockets, a ton of insulin is pumped out that basically tells the cells to take in the sugar so your blood sugar stays at a healthy level. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are chronically elevated and your cells become insulin resistant. This means they won’t respond as well to take in the sugar to maintain your blood sugar level. So, can too much sugar cause diabetes? Even if you think you eat enough sweets to keep your blood sugar chronically elevated, studies have not been able to directly connect sugar to the cause of type 2 diabetes.
Some research suggests that a diet with a high glycemic index may actually be behind the problem of insulin resistance. The glycemic index rates different foods based on how much they raise your blood sugar; foods high on the glycemic index raise your blood sugar more than those lower on the list. And foods such as white bread and potatoes are higher on the glycemic index than sugar!
But Don’t Go Stock Up On Those Fruit Snacks Just Yet…
Although sugar does not directly cause diabetes, excess sugar means excess calories which may lead to becoming overweight or obese. And being overweight or obese greatly increases your risk for type 2 diabetes.
What’s The Moral Then?
Eat a healthy well balanced diet. But that’s the answer to everything isn’t it?