Diabetes and Sugar: What’s the Link?

There’s so much information out there when it comes to diabetes and what causes it. One of the most common culprits is sugar. But does it actually cause diabetes?

What is diabetes?

Before we attack other aspects of diabetes, it’s important to understand what it is.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can occur when the body has problems producing any or enough insulin. This leads to an excess of sugar in the blood. Insulin is a hormone, produced by the pancreas, which helps the cells of the body use the glucose in food. Cells need this energy in order to function properly.

High blood sugar levels are caused by too much glucose in the bloodstream. This can lead to a variety of different complications. These complications can vary, but they’re known to be particularly bad for the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.


Added vs. natural sugars

Recently the World Health Organization recommended that everyone should restrict themselves when it comes to added free sugar intake to only 25 grams (6 teaspoons) a day. But what exactly does this mean?

Simplified, this means that sugars naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables, and dairy are okay but the sugars removed from their original source and added to foods, are the ones to avoid

Sugar and Diabetes

The current diabetes epidemic lies in an overall dietary pattern emphasizing meat, dairy products, and fatty foods, along with sugary foods and beverages, rather than simply in sugar alone. A diet emphasizing vegetables, fruits, and whole grains helps prevent diabetes and improves management once it’s been diagnosed.

While eating sugar does not cause diabetes, it’s still very important to avoid added sugars.