Because It Causes Massive Dopamine Release In The Brain Sugar Is Highly Addictive
Sugar can be addictive for a lot of people.
Like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward centre of the brain .
The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature .
For this reason, people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become strongly addicted to sugar and other junk foods .
The everything in moderation message may be a bad idea for people who are addicted to junk food because the only thing that works for true addiction is abstinence.
Sugar Can Give You Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells.
Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth.
For this reason, many scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels can contribute to cancer .
In addition, the metabolic problems associated with sugar consumption are a known driver of inflammation, another potential cause of cancer .
Multiple studies show that people who eat a lot of sugar are at a much higher risk of getting cancer .
Different Types Of Diabetes
Heres what to know about each of the main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes : This autoimmune condition is when your pancreas is no longer able to produce any or enough insulin to help you naturally regulate your blood sugar levels. You must take insulin so your body can move the glucose into your cells from the bloodstream for energy. Roughly
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What Happens In Your Body
With diabetes, eating too much sugar can cause more than just the jittery feelings of a sugar high. It can cause several other symptomsand it’s important to understand what you’re feeling, and to understand what is happening in your body.
After consuming an excess amount of sugar, you might enter a state of hyperglycemia. Hyper means high or above, and glycemia refers to the amount of glucose in the blood. Being in a state of hyperglycemia cause a few different things to happen. A common symptom people with diabetes experience is intense thirstthey feel like they can’t get enough to drink. This is called polydipsia. Paired with polydipsia, you may also experience polyuriathe frequent need to urinate. These are both tell-tale signs that your blood sugar is high. Further, you may experience headache, blurred vision, and possible feelings of fatigue.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, I recommend checking your blood glucose. If you monitor your blood sugar , your blood sugar will likely be above 180 mg/dL after a sugar binge. This value can be different for different people and it’s important to talk to your doctor or endocrinologist about your unique blood sugar targets.
Sugar Substitutes And Diabetes Risk
can be of natural origin like stevia or of synthetic origin like saccharin , aspartame , and sucralose . They add no to very few calories to your diet.
While they may not increase blood sugar in the short term, studies looking into their long-term effect on weight gain and diabetes risk have showed mixed results. Therefore, it has been recommended that sugar substitutes are not used in excessive amounts.
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It’s Not Just Sugar: Other Diabetes Risk Factors To Consider
Although this newfound knowledge on sugar, and specifically added sugar, may prompt you to ditch the soda, juice, and processed foods, be mindful of the other factors that can similarly influence your risk for type 2 diabetes. Obesity, a family history of diabetes, a personal history of heart disease, and depression, for instance, are other predictors for the disease, according to the NIH.
People who exercise fewer than three times a week, and women who’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, or diabetes that develops while a woman is pregnant, also have an increased chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, certain ethnic groups, including American Indians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics, are more likely to get diabetes than white people a phenomenon researchers have attributed to lifestyle factors and genetics.
Added Sugar Contains No Essential Nutrients And Is Bad For Your Teeth
Youve probably heard this a million times before but its worth repeating.
Added sugars contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients.
For this reason, they are called empty calories.
There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar just pure energy.
When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar , this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies.
Sugar is also very bad for the teeth, because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth .
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Do Artificial Sweeteners Increase Diabetes Risk
Artificial sweeteners are man-made, sweet-tasting substances that cannot be metabolized by humans for energy. As such, they provide sweetness without any calories.
Though artificial sweeteners dont spike blood sugar levels, they have still been linked to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes .
Drinking just one can of diet soda per day has been associated with a 2567% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to drinking no diet soda at all .
Its unclear why artificial sweeteners increase diabetes risk, but there are a variety of theories.
One thought is that artificially sweetened products increase cravings for sweet-tasting foods, leading to higher sugar consumption and weight gain, which increases diabetes risk .
Another idea is that artificial sweeteners disrupt your bodys ability to properly compensate for calories consumed from sugar since your brain associates the sweet taste with zero calories .
Some research has found that artificial sweeteners can change the type and number of bacteria that live in your colon, which may contribute to glucose intolerance, weight gain and diabetes .
While there does appear to be a link between artificial sweeteners and diabetes, more research is needed to understand exactly how theyre related.
What Vegetables Are Good For People With Diabetes And Which Arent
Vegetables are an important food group to include in any healthy diet, and a diabetes diet is no exception. Veggies are full of fiber and nutrients, and nonstarchy varieties are low in carbohydrates a win for people with diabetes who want to gain control over their blood sugar level, Massey says.
As for packaging, frozen veggies without sauce are just as nutritious as fresh, and even low-sodium canned veggies can be a good choice if youre in a pinch. Just be sure to watch your sodium intake to avoid high blood pressure, and consider draining and rinsing salted canned veggies before eating, per the ADA. If possible, opt for low-sodium or sodium-free canned veggies if going that route.
Follow this general rule: Aim to fill one-half your plate with nonstarchy veggies, as recommended by the NIDDK. And if youre craving mashed white potatoes, try mashed cauliflower, Massey suggests.
Best veggie options, according to the ADA:
- Greens, like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard
- Cruciferous veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower
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How Can I Manage Or Prevent Diabetes And Gum Disease
Before you’re caught in the loop of diabetes and gum disease, follow your doctor’s and dentist’s recommendations regarding your overall physical and oral health.
For diabetes, your doctor might advise medicine and major lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced, healthy diet in normal portions and exercising more. We noted that the American Diabetes Association developed a nutrition therapy meal plan, which includes a diet with less added sugar and less processed foods. It’s better to eat fresh and lean: fruits, vegetables, plant-based protein sources, and lean meats.
Your dentist and dental hygienist might set you up with a special oral hygiene routine and a personalized schedule for gum disease checkups. You could also receive a referral to a periodontist.
Between visits to your dental professional, a good oral home care routine is essential:
- Brush your teeth twice daily using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once daily. Flossing aka interdental cleaning helps remove plaque brushing might miss.
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash daily.
And then there’s your sugar consumption. Does eating too much sugar cause diabetes? The answer is maybe, so why risk loading up on sugar and carbs that factor into tooth decay and diabetes? Moderation in all things can translate into a healthy body, mouth, and smile to last a lifetime.
How Do I Manage My Diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, its important to work with your healthcare team to create a management plan.
This can include taking medication, making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy diet and being physically active, and monitoring your blood sugar levels.
Each of these can be integral to managing your diabetes and we will explore each one below.
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Diet Foods Are The Best Choices
MYTH. You might be paying more for “diet” food that you could find in the regular sections of the grocery store or make yourself.
Read the labels to find out if the ingredients and number of calories are good choices for you. When in doubt, ask your doctor, diabetes educator, or a dietitian for advice.
Tipping The Scales To A Diagnosis
So there can be no direct line drawn from your daily Dr. Pepper habit to a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, but increasing your risk, if youre already in a high-risk group for developing type 2 diabetes, can spell trouble.
The following are risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a family history of type 2 diabetes
- Are African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
- Have hypertension
- Have low HDL or high triglycerides
- Have a history of gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby over 9 pounds
- Have a history of heart disease and/or stroke
- Have depression
- Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Have Acanthosis Nigricans
- Have diagnosed prediabetes
- Have high fasting blood glucose levels
If you have one or more of these risk factors, you need to be careful with the amount of added sugar you consume in your diet.
It can tip the scales into developing insulin resistance and prediabetes, which over time can develop into type 2 diabetes.
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People With Diabetes Need Low Gi Foods
The glycaemic index is a useful tool for people with diabetes to help regulate their glucose levels. People with type 2 diabetes need the glucose in their diet to be absorbed slowly. They need to eat foods with a low GI. At least one low GI food is recommended at each meal.The quality and quantity of carbohydrate foods eaten will also affect blood glucose levels. Talk to your dietitian about the recommended quantities of carbohydrate-based foods you need.People respond differently to different foods, regardless of the foods glycaemic index. If you have diabetes, you will need to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly.
The Insulin Resistance Can Progress To Type Ii Diabetes
When our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, the beta cells in our pancreas make more of it.
This is crucial, because chronically elevated blood sugars can cause severe harm.
Eventually, as insulin resistance becomes progressively worse, the pancreas cant keep up with the demand of producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down.
At this point, blood sugar levels skyrocket and a diagnosis of type II diabetes is made.
Given that sugar can cause insulin resistance, it is not surprising to see that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages have up to an 83% higher risk of Type II diabetes .
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Fact Or Myth: Can You Get Diabetes From Eating Too Much Sugar
Diabetes is an incredibly common disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about one in ten Americans have it. But even though many people know of diabetes , there are a lot of misconceptions about the condition.
One question that stems from misinformation is: Can you get diabetes from eating too much sugar?
Lets look at the correct answer.
Diabetes and Sugar: The Facts
You might have heard that eating too much sugar can lead to diabetes. But its not that simple.
The truth is that diabetes results from too much sugar in the blood:
- Your pancreas creates insulin, the hormone that controls the amount of sugar in your blood.
- Insulin then unlocks your cells to move sugar from the blood into the cells.
- But when someone has diabetes, that sugar is not able to move into the cells. Blood sugar or blood glucose rises and can damage other organs.
Extra sugar in the blood happens because theres an issue with insulins ability to control blood sugar.
In the words of endocrinologist Ayushi Dixit, type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is a combination of insulin resistance and pancreatic failure. So, its not all about eating too much sugar.
How Sugar Intake Might Contribute to Diabetes
While eating sugar does not directly lead to diabetes, there are some important connections.
Eating an excess of sugars can lead to unhealthy levels of weight gain, which contributes to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes
The Sugar And Type 2 Diabetes Story: Not So Sweet
After the suspicion that sugar was the cause of diabetes, the scientific community pointed its finger at carbohydrates. That makes sense, notes Grieger, explaining that simple and complex carbohydrates are both metabolized as sugar, leading blood sugar levels to fluctuate.
Yet carbs are processed differently in the body based on their type: While simple carbs are digested and metabolized quickly, complex carbs take longer to go through this system, resulting in more stable blood sugar. It comes down to their chemical forms: A simple carbohydrate has a simpler chemical makeup, so it doesnt take as much for it to be digested, whereas the complex ones take a little longer, Grieger explains.
Sources of complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat bread and brown rice, legumes like black beans, and quinoa. These foods contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are appropriate for any eating plan, regardless of whether you have prediabetes, have diabetes, or are perfectly healthy. In fact, experts know including complex carbs in your daily diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, among other health benefits.
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Try To Cut Back On Hidden Sugar
We all know that chocolate-covered donuts, three scoops of ice cream drowned in caramel sauce, and a thick slab of strawberry shortcake are sugar bombs. But sugar can also be hidden, in salad dressing and ketchup, tomato sauce, cereal or granola, flavored yogurt, and bread. Unlike sugars that naturally occur in foods like fruit, these added sugars are put in foods during production.
Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, recommends becoming a savvy sugar sleuth. I always suggest, she says, that you scan labels for ingredients such as monosaccharides, disaccharides, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, agave nectar, molasses, cane juice, cane sugar, date sugar, and evaporated cane juice. Any of these could be added sugars. The Food and Drug Administrations new food label requirements make it a cinch to find how much sugar has been added during processing: Just look for the line that says added sugars.
So What Actually Causes Diabetes
What causes diabetes then? Type 1 diabetes happens when the body cannot produce insulin and the cause is unknown. Well, the cause is that our own immune system mistakenly attacks insulin-producing cells, but the cause of the cause is unknown. Anyway, since insulin is necessary to keep blood sugar in a normal range we must take insulin injections daily.
Type 2 diabetes happens when insulin isnt working effectively to lower blood sugar levels even though enough is being produced. This is called insulin resistance. There are many factors that may put us at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, like ethnicity and excess body weight, and eventually, its likely that natural insulin production will fall off or stop.
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Dont Drive When You Have Low Blood Sugar
It’s dangerous. If you’re driving and you have hypoglycemia symptoms, pull off the road, check your blood sugar, and eat a sugary food. Wait at least 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and repeat these steps if needed. Eat a protein and carbohydrate source before you drive on. Be prepared. Keep a sugar source, such as glucose tablets, in your car at all times for emergencies.
Healthy Eating Is About More Than Just Sugar
Sugar is not the only culprit contributing to the rise of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. The overall quality of the standard American diet is responsible for the development of diabetes type 2 or prediabetes, says UCLA dietitian Dana Hunnes. The typical diet is high in processed carbohydrates, fat, animal proteins, and salt, and low in fiber, water, fruits, and vegetables. That high caloric tally promotes weight gain. Meanwhile, all those simple carbsin things like French fries, chips, sugar-sweetened beverages, pasta, and bread made from white flour lead to a fast rise in blood sugar. When that happens, your body struggles to churn out more and more insulinwhich fails to lower blood glucose because the cells are ignoring it.
Over time, those spikes tend to wear out your insulin-producing cells altogether and the body stops making insulin. If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, that means that each time you eat, blood sugar just keeps climbing higher and higher unless you control it with diet, exercise, and medication.
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