If I eat too many sweet things, will I become diabetic?


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There is not a straight forward relationship between eating sweet things and becoming diabetic so there is no easy answer to this question! When you eat sugary foods the sugar is absorbed from your gut into your blood stream. Your body recognises the fact that your blood sugar levels are high and secretes insulin (a hormone produced by the β cells in your pancreas) to allow the cells of your body to absorb the sugar in order to lower your blood sugar level. Generally, you will absorb more sugar from your blood than you initially put in by eating your sweet food. This may cause you to feel hungry again and causes a “spike” in your blood sugar level if you were to measure your blood sugar level throughout the day. In this way, eating sweet things can cause you to eat more than your body really requires. Any excess sugar that is absorbed by the cells of your body is stored as fat and this can cause you to put on weight. In this way, if you eat so many sweet things that it causes you to become obese then you will be increasing your risk of developing type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is caused when your body becomes resistant to the insulin that is produced. If you are already diabetic then eating too many sweet things can certainly make your symptoms worse as it will make it more difficult for you to control your blood glucose level and it has been shown that poor control of your blood glucose level increases your risk of heart disease and strokes (among other problems). However, you can enjoy sweet foods as part of a healthy diet (both as a diabetic and as a non-diabetic) as long as you do not eat them to excess!


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