What is Sugar Disease?
Most of us are consuming too much sugar
Sugar has become perhaps the most discussed dietary issue in recent years with more and more research studies linking the effects of sugar to greater risks of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Statistics show that most of us in the UK are consuming more sugar than is good for our health.
Many of us are unaware that starchy foods like bread, rice or potatoes are broken down by digestion into surprisingly large amounts of sugar; a small slice of wholemeal bread is equivalent to three spoonful’s of sugar. It’s important therefore that your diet does not contain too much carbohydrate either.
A major cause of this has come from the high amounts of sugars added to a wide range of processed foods.
Sugar has extra relevance to people with diabetes as sugar has a formidable effect in raising blood sugar levels.
Sources of sugar
Sugar in the diet can be found in 3 forms. Sugar can be:
Natural – as found in fruit and honey
Added – as found in biscuits or cereals
The product of the digestion of more complex carbohydrates (e.g. bread)
There are natural sugars found in fruit, milk based products and vegetables.
Added sugars, also called free sugars, refer to the sugars that are added to a whole range of processed foods and drinks, including microwave meals, pasta sauces, breakfast cereals, sweetened drinks and desserts.
Sugar and type 2 diabetes
Sugar is a form of carbohydrate that will quickly affect your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. All carbohydrate raises blood glucose levels and sugar has a very quick effect.
It is therefore important not to have too much sugar in your daily diet.
Type 2 diabetes was once referred to as sugar diabetes – because sugar is at the heart of the problem.
For somebody with diabetes, it is the total sugar burden from any of the three sources (natural, added or as a product of the digestion of complex carbohydrate) which need taking into account to keep blood glucose levels low.
Don’t worry, reducing sugar intake reduces the likelihood of needing medication and diabetes-related complications.
Research has shown a close association between sugar intake and development of type 2 diabetes. The more sugar in the diet, the higher the risk of type 2 diabetes.
This doesn’t mean that your type 2 diabetes has necessarily been caused by eating too much sugar although sugar intake is one of the most important factors.
Others include stress, lack of exercise and a genetic predisposition.