Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is eating too many sweets a risk factor for diabetes?"
I'm a 30 year old woman who works in the food industry, worry about my diet, what is best way to avoid getting diabetes? I do overeat sometimes but I'm not overweight.
First of all, congratulations on trying to think about your health and how to eat healthy foods. The main risk factors that predispose to developing adult type diabetes (type 2 diabetes) include genetics. Therefore, if you have a family history of diabetes, you are at higher risk and have to take care of yourself. Other factors include being overweight, which decreases the ability of insulin to work in the body and leads to rising blood sugar. Eating sweet foods has some effect on raising the blood sugar directly, but more importantly is the fact that the consumption of empty calories is more likely to lead to weight gain. It is important to eat healthy, balanced meals. These can occasionally include sweets and fats, but rarely. The focus should be on fresh fruits and vegetables. Empty calories, especially things like sugared soft drinks, should be almost entirely avoided. Regular exercise is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent diabetes. The recommendation is that most people should exercises 30-60 minutes per day on most days of the week. Don't hesitate to talk to your primary care doctor if you have further questions about diet and exercise or how to prevent diabetes!