Is it possible to get diabetes by not consuming sugar?
Doctors address the popular myth and spill the beans on whether it possible to get diabetes by not consuming sugar
Diabetes can be caused by a variety of lifestyle factors, including the amount of sugar that a person consumes, the type of sugar and the autoimmune condition of the person. Eating lots of sugar can increase the risk of developing diabetes but it's not the only thing that can cause the disease.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr A Sharda, Consultant - Endocrinologist and Diabetologist at Manipal Hospital on Millers Road shared, “Type 2 Diabetes is more closely linked to genetic predisposition than to dietary habits like the consumption of sugar. So, if a person has a genetic predisposition (a family history) of diabetes and consumes excess sugar in their daily food intake, resulting in obesity, they have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes at an earlier stage than others. However, we can delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by many years even if we have a family history by adopting a few lifestyle measures that include regular exercise, a healthy diet and weight maintenance.”
According to Dr Sandeep Reddy, Senior Endocrinologist at Kamineni Hospitals in Hyderabad, many people believe that it is possible to get diabetes by not consuming sugar but this is not true. He explained, “People with diabetes also have a higher risk of developing other autoimmune conditions, such as Crohn's disease or lupus. Consuming sugar indirectly through the foods that you eat can also increase your risk of developing diabetes. For example, eating processed foods that are loaded with sugar can increase your risk of developing diabetes.”
Highlighting that prediabetes is a condition in which you have higher blood sugar levels but no symptoms of diabetes, he cautioned, “If you have prediabetes, you're at an increased risk of developing diabetes later on. Time is the key factor in whether or not you'll develop diabetes. If you have prediabetes, your blood sugar levels may stay high for a long time without causing any symptoms. This means that it may take a long time for your blood sugar levels to reach the level that's considered to be a sign of diabetes.”
He elaborated, “Natural sugars are found in food sources like fruits, vegetables, and milk. These sugars are broken down by the body and used as energy. Large amounts of added sugars are sugars that are added to foods and drinks outside of the natural sources. These sugars can increase your blood sugar levels quickly. Piece, puzzle. It's possible to get diabetes by not consuming sugar, but it's not easy. Previous research has shown that people who don't consume sugar are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Levels of sugar consumption can have an impact on your risk of developing diabetes. A wider population is needed to accurately assess the risks associated with sugar consumption. Total calorie and alcohol consumption are also important factors to consider when assessing your risk of developing diabetes.”
He revealed that there is a particular type of sugar that is associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes and said, “High fructose corn syrup is the name of this kind of sugar. Studies suggest that people who consume high fructose corn syrup are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. A lot of people are consuming high fructose corn syrup without knowing it. This is because fructose corn syrup is found in many processed foods. If you are not consuming sugar on a regular basis, then it is possible to get diabetes by not consuming sugar. However, it is important to be aware of the risks that come with not consuming sugar. This includes the risk of developing hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. If you are not able to balance your food intake, then you are at a higher risk of developing these conditions. Certain diabetes medications can also increase your susceptibility to developing diabetes.”