Diabetes: Sugar vs. You

Sugar

Diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. The latest statistics released in 2011 show that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. Yearly, diabetes contributes to over 200,000 deaths. These statistics are daunting, but diabetes can be kept under control. At the Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic, we know that by being active, eating healthy, and keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control, you can prevent diabetes problems.  There are many publications and information out there regarding diabetes, but the general public can be confused on certain aspects of diabetes, specifically the largest culprit of diabetes problems, sugar.

Let’s pull back the curtain on the sugar myths and exaggerations and learn what you or someone you know suffering from diabetes can do to keep glucose levels in check.

From Men’s Health | by Mike Zimmerman

Sugar Doesn’t Cause Diabetes

Too much sugar does. Diabetes means your body can’t clear glucose from your blood. And when glucose isn’t processed quickly enough, it destroys tissue, Levitsky says. People with type 1 diabetes were born that way—sugar didn’t cause their diabetes. But weight gain in children and adults can cause metabolic syndrome, which leads to type 2 diabetes.

“That’s what diabetes is all about—being unable to eliminate glucose,” says Levitsky. “The negative effect of eating a lot of sugar is a rise in glucose. A normal pancreas and normal insulin receptors can handle it, clear it out, or store it in some packaged form, like fat.”

What matters: That “normal” pancreas. Overeating forces your pancreas to work overtime cranking out insulin to clear glucose. Eric Westman, M.D., an obesity researcher at the Duke University medical center, says that in today’s world, “it’s certainly possible that the unprecedented increase in sugar and starch consumption leads to pancreatic burnout.” But researchers can’t be sure; everyone’s body and diet are different, so generalization is iffy. One thing that is sure, Dr. Westman says, is that the rise in sugar consumption over the past 100 years is unprecedented.

Your job: Drop the pounds if you’re overweight, and watch your sugar intake. Research has shown for years that dropping 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight can reduce your odds of developing diabetes.

Sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Simply Avoiding High-Fructose Corn Syrup Won’t Save You from Obesity
In the 1970s and 1980s, the average American’s body weight increased in tandem with the food industry’s use of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a staple because it’s cheap. But it’s not a smoking gun. “This is a correlation, not a causation,” says Levitsky.

“Obesity is about consuming too many calories,” says Lillian Lien, M.D., the medical director of inpatient diabetes management at the Duke University medical center. “It just so happens that a lot of overweight people have been drinking HFCS in sodas and eating foods that are high on the glycemic index—sweet snacks, white bread, and so forth. The calorie totals are huge, and the source just happens to be sugar-based.”

Dr. Westman notes that the effect of a high-glycemic food can be lessened by adding fat and protein. Spreading peanut butter (protein and fat) on a bagel (starch, which becomes glucose in your body), for example, slows your body’s absorption of the sugar.

What matters: We can demonize food manufacturers because they produce crap with enough salt and sugar to make us eat more of it than we should—or even want to. But it comes down to how much we allow down our throats. “A practical guide for anyone is weight,” says Dr. Lien. “If your weight is under control, then your calorie intake across the board is reasonable. If your weight rises, it’s not. That’s more important than paying attention to any specific macronutrient.” Still, skinny isn’t always safe. (Keep reading.)

Sugar and Fat

Too Much Sugar Fills Your Blood with Fat

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic treats a variety of adult illnesses ranging from acute colds and flu to more serious conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiac diseases. Click here to see a list of medical specialties that Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic offers.

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2 Comments

  1. Yet another example why I stay clear from refined sugars . Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:)

    Reply

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