Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?
The recent film What the Health raised the question as to whether sugar or other carbohydrates cause diabetes. Because blood sugar levels are high in diabetes, a common notion has held that eating sugar somehow triggers the disease process. The American Diabetes Association and Diabetes UK have labeled this notion a “myth,” as has the Joslin Diabetes Center, which wrote, “Diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar.” These and other organizations have worked to educate people about the causes of diabetes and the role that foods play in the disease process.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Type 2 diabetes—the most common form of the disease—is caused by insulin resistance and pancreatic failure. Sugar can play an aiding and abetting role in diabetes, but the idea that “eating sugar causes diabetes” is simplistic and interferes with efforts to help the public understand the actual causes of the disease and how to protect themselves and their families. Here is what you need to know:
The human body runs on glucose, a simple sugar. Just as gasoline powers your car, glucose powers your muscles, your brain, and the rest of your body. Glucose comes from fruit and from starchy foods, such as grains, beans, and potatoes, and your body can also produce it when needed. Without it, you would die.
Diabetes means having higher-than-normal blood glucose values. It comes in three common forms:
Type 1 diabetes is caused by the destruction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, usually through an autoimmune process. The triggers for this process are under Continue reading