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Myth: Eating Sugar Causes Diabetes

TRUTH: Eating sugar does not cause diabetes.  First, let’s be specific.  Diabetes is the disease that results when the body’s ability to convert sugar into energy is impaired.  Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is required for this process because it helps sugar move from the blood into cells (where it’s converted to energy). There are two types of diabetes:Type 1 Diabetes: The pancreas of a type-1 diabetic does not produce insulin, which is genetic.  In this case, the diabetic needs to careful monitor their own blood sugar levels since the body can’t regulate it in the absence of insulin.Type 2 Diabetes: There are two main ways that someone may develop type 2 diabetes: the body’s cells do not produce enough insulin or they become resistant to insulin.  It is caused by both genetic and lifestyle factors.

BOTTOM LINE: While eating sugar directly effects your blood sugar, eating lots of sugar does not necessarily mean that you will develop diabetes.  Excess calories, from fat or sugar will cause weight gain and being overweight or obese is a risk factor for developing diabetes.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

  1. American Diabetes Association: www.diabetes.org
  2. Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes/DS01121

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