We’ve all been there. Feeling the will to live slowly drain away as your Mum tells you she won’t be buying you that McFlurry, because if you eat too much sugar you’ll get diabetes. But science tells us all that emotional turmoil was for nothing, because it isn’t solely the intake of too much sugar that will make you contract type II diabetes. This myth stems from the fact that being overweight is a contributing factor to the cause of type II diabetes, and so many people have come to associate that roll-up you wanted for school lunches with the disease.
However, type II diabetes is actually caused by a whole lot of different factors, such as your physical health, i.e. whether you’re overweight, your calorie intake, your glucose levels (which is where the sugar element of the myth comes in), and your genetic background. There are even studies to back this up, showing that within a group of approximately 39,000 women, the ladies who ate the most amount of sugar did not have a higher risk of getting diabetes. It is actually when a person’s blood sugar levels have risen so high that their body cannot respond to insulin that they contract diabetes. But to stop this, you can’t simply just stop eating sugar. You have to maintain a balanced diet, and even then you may still be at risk if you have a familial history of getting the disease.
However, even the myth that people who have type II diabetes can no longer eat sugar is wrong. When you have diabetes, you need to control your total carbohydrate intake in order to maintain your health levels, so you are still able to eat lollies, you just have to closely monitor how much you have. So at the end of the day, the myth is untrue. Eating too much sugar will not give you diabetes. But, in order to remain at a healthy weight, and therefore lower your chances of getting the disease, it’s probably best to not eat the entire tub of ice cream in one go, no matter how hard Ben and Jerry’s calls to you.