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Myth busted: Diabetes is NOT caused by eating meetha

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

Diabetes is NOT caused by eating meetha

People with a sweet tooth must have surely been advised by many, “Itna meetha mat khao warna diabetes ho jaegi” (Eating too much sugar will cause diabetes). But does that really happen? While it’s true that you are advised to avoid sugar if you are suffering from diabetes, can eating too much actually lead to diabetes? Read on to know if your love for meetha can lead to not so meetha results.

What is sugar?

Sugar is naturally found in vegetables, fruits and dairy products. It is consumed by us when we directly eat these or when it is added to food or drinks by us. The sugar that we add in our teas and drinks is called added sugar. Added sugar includes table sugar, which is used by us in making tea etc, and caster sugar (superfine sugar), which is used to make breakfast and sugar hidden in ready to eat meals, cakes and sauces.

Diabetes and sugar

There are two types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. To clear the difference between both in simple terms, in type 1 diabetes, insulin-producing cells are destroyed by your immune system while in type 2 diabetes, your body is unable to use the insulin produced by your pancreas. And just to make it clear, neither of them is caused by having sugar.

Type 2 diabetes -

However, type 2 diabetes can be linked with obesity, which can be due to sedentary lifestyle, eating junk and more. This type of diabetes can indirectly be linked to sugar (present in junk food and sugary drinks).

So, eating junk that includes those sugar-filled beverages definitely increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes by making you obese. But type 2 diabetes is much more complex and sugar is not the only reason responsible for it.

Can people suffering from diabetes eat sugar?

If you have diabetes, it doesn’t mean you have to cut down on sugar completely. It’s not problematic if you include a little of it in your healthy and balanced diet. In fact, for some people, glucose tablets are essential to treat a hypo, that is, when your blood sugar levels get too low (this can happen when the balance of diabetes medication you take, exercise you do and food you eat sometimes isn’t right).

But having too much sugar can lead to obesity, which in turn can lead to many other diseases.

Normal sugar intake

For an adult who has normal BMI, 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of sugar per day is recommended by the WHO.

Hidden sources of sugar

Much of the sugar that you eat comes from processed foods, says WHO. A can of soda has around 10 teaspoons of sugar, which exceeds total daily recommended intake. A tablespoon of ketchup has around one teaspoon of sugar. Frozen meals, cereal bars, juices, junk food and BBQ sauces are some other hidden sources of sugar.


People who consume foods and drinks with added sugars end up having more calories than people who don't eat much of these foods, says National Institute of Health. Reading the nutrition label before you buy anything can give you knowledge about how much-added sugar you are having.

Note: The article is taken from Times of India News- Lifestyle section. Retrieved on 31-01-2022


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