Does eating too much sweets give you diabetes? Myths and truths about the disease

By ganerationlmn 7 Min Read
Does eating too much sweets give you diabetes? Myths and truths about the disease

A study released this year by the scientific journal Lancet showed that, in the next 30 years, we will have twice as many diabetic people in the world compared to today. According to the publication, the projection is for 1.3 billion patients to be diagnosed with the disease in 2050.
Diabetes is a metabolic and chronic condition that is characterized by an increase in blood glucose. It occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to meet the body’s needs.
On this World Diabetes Day (November 14)Dr. Tassiane Alvarenga, endocrinologist, and metabologist at the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology, explains six myths and truths surrounding diabetes. Furthermore, the doctor also gives tips on how to know when it is necessary to investigate a suspicion and explains how the treatment is carried out. Look:


Diabetes has a genetic cause


If one of the parents has diabetes, there is a three times greater chance of the child developing the disease throughout their life. If both father and mother have this condition, the chance increases six times“, he highlights. It is worth remembering that type 2 diabetes has a greater genetic predisposition than type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes usually does not cause symptoms in the early stages


According to the endocrinologist, in around 50% of cases. The disease does not cause symptoms in its initial and intermediate phases. However, as the condition progresses, the patient may experience frequent infections, blurred vision, and wounds that take time to heal. The urge to urinate several times a day, constant thirst, frequent hunger, and tingling in the limbs.

Eating too much sweets causes diabetes


Around 90% of diabetes cases are type 2, which is triggered by combined factors, such as genetic tendency, weight gain, inadequate diet, and sedentary lifestyle. Eating sweets contributes to excess calories, the real reason for weight gain.

Still, even if the person does not consume many sweets, the endocrinologist points out that other foods, including bread, pasta, or any other rich in carbohydrates. It has the potential to stimulate weight gain and, thus, increase the risk of diabetes.

This means that excessive consumption of these products, along with genetic predisposition and a sedentary lifestyle, for example, can contribute to the disease. Therefore, the main risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes throughout life is weight gain.

All diet products are approved for diabetics


Diet foods are aimed at population groups with specific needs and are free from a certain nutrient. Most of the time, they are sugar-free, but it is necessary to check that the nutrient removed was actually sugar, and not fat, sodium, or anything else.

Dietary products without added sugar may also contain other forms of carbohydrates that also impact blood glucose, such as fructose, lactose, starch, or maltodextrin. “The most important thing is to use them in moderation and always keep an eye on the number of carbohydrates contained in the product“, recommends the endocrinologist.

I have diabetes and, as a result, I will have kidney, eye, and heart problems.


Good blood glucose control is capable of avoiding all complications“, guarantees the specialist.

Stress can raise glucose levels in diabetic people


Several reasons can cause stress to lead to uncontrolled glycemic levels. According to  Dr. Tassiane, the first is that chronic stress increases the level of the hormone cortisol, favoring an increase in abdominal fat, which, in turn, increases the chances of diabetes.

The second is revealed precisely through behavior. “Stress stimulates hunger, gluttony, and anxiety, which makes the patient look for foods rich in calories, such as cake, pizza, chocolate, and pasta, among others.


  • Every person over 45 years old 
  • Patients under 45 years of age who are overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2)
  • Sedentary people 
  • Those who have a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Patients with high blood pressure
  • People with dyslipidemia: high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood
  • Individuals with dark, velvety spots on the neck, groin, and armpits (may be a sign of pancreas overload)
  • Overweight children and risk factors.


The endocrinologist reveals that diagnosing diabetes involves a series of tests, the most commonly used of which are:

  • Fasting blood glucose test;
  • Oral glucose tolerance test: the patient drinks 1 glass with 75g of glucose and, two hours later, their blood glucose is measured.
  • Glycated hemoglobin: test that provides medical blood glucose levels for the last 3 months, helping to understand whether or not the disease is well controlled.
  • DXT test above 200, with lots of water intake, excessive peeing, hunger, and weight loss.


Diabetes treatment depends on five fundamental pillars, as mentioned by Dr. Tassiane: healthy eating, physical activity, correct medication, partnership between doctor and patient, and stress management.

For patients who use medication, the specialist warns that. “The most recommended option is to use a medication that controls sugar, but also helps you lose weight since obesity is one of the major factors that strengthen the disease.

For the endocrinologist, it is also important that the medication has other effects, such as reducing abdominal. Circumference, controlling blood pressure cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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