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Sugar Intake in Diabetes Type 2: What Is The Recommended Amount?


Diabetes type 2 is a type of metabolic disorder in which there is high level of sugar in the blood. It is also characterized by conditions such as insulin resistance or lack of enough production of insulin in the body.

Higher levels of sugar in the body for a long period of time leads to the occurrence of more serious diseases, such as heart problems, kidney issues, strokes and weakness of eye vision. The common symptoms of diabetes type 2 are increased hunger, sudden weight loss, weakness in limbs, frequent urination, lethargy and fatigue.

Diabetes type 2 is a type of metabolic disorder in which there is high level of sugar in the blood

The Impact of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition as its long term impact may cause life threatening issues. People suffering from type 2 diabetes need to make significant changes in their lifestyle for proper management of this disorder.

One such change is related to restricting the amount of sugar they consume in their diet. A major factor which causes diabetes is consumption of too much sugar, mostly as part of sugary drinks or a high calorie diet which also converts into a lot of sugar.

What Makes Sugar So Bad

Sugar is obtained from carbohydrates which are converted into glucose after digestion. It has its effect in raising the blood sugar level. Unlike complex carbohydrates which add glucose gradually in the blood, simple carbohydrates add glucose instantly.

There are many foods that contain sugar in different forms. For example, sugar in fruits is present in the form of fructose, while sugar in granulated form is called multi-purpose sugar or table sugar. Glucose is a type of sugar present in the blood.

Sugar is obtained from carbohydrates which are converted into glucose after digestion

Natural sugar present in fruits is less dangerous as compared to added sugar. Sugar added in drinks or foods by manufacturers is not healthy because even small amounts of this sugar carry a lot of calories. Also, and most importantly, it is not nutritious in content.

If a major portion of carbohydrate in any food item is derived from sugar, then that food item is considered as high in sugar. If consumption of sugary foods is causing increase in weight than this weight gain is not healthy because it is also increasing sugar level in your blood.

How Much Is Safe To Consume

Suffering from diabetes type 2 does not mean that sugar shall be cut entirely from the diet. Small proportions of sugar in food is considered healthy for consumption. According to recommended guidelines for sugar intake, a balanced diet should have 5% of its intake from sugar. 5% of RDA means about 30 grams or 2 tablespoons of sugar per day. This is the recommended intake of sugar for adults or children more than 12 years of age. This guideline is same for people suffering from diabetes and people not suffering from diabetes.

Suffering from diabetes type 2 does not mean that sugar shall be cut entirely from the diet. Small proportions of sugar in food is considered healthy for consumption

Sugar cannot be cut entirely from diet as small amounts are required to be consumed for stabilizing the sugar level in the blood. Not to forget, we are talking about 5% RDA of sugar obtained through consumption of both simple and complex carbohydrates.

Percentage of sugar in complex carbohydrates is different as compared to simple carbohydrates. The sources of complex carbohydrates are beans, whole wheat, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, corn, oats and peas. Sources of simple carbohydrates are soda, cereals, table sugar, juices, white bread, maple syrup and corn syrup.

As per requirements of a 2000 calorie diet, diabetic people should consume about 250 grams of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates have fiber, sugar and starch in them. These complex carbohydrates contain very little sugar.

For example, 250 grams of kidney beans contain only 6 grams of sugar, while the amount of sugar in 100 grams of oats is about 1 gram. The amount of sugar present in simple carbohydrates is very large. For example, sugar in one glass of soda is 12 grams and sugar in 1 table spoon of maple syrup is 14 grams.

Therefore, a person suffering from diabetes needs to measure the amount of sugar he is obtaining through his diet. It is better to include large portions of complex carbohydrates in the diet because they are not only low in sugar but also add sugar in blood gradually throughout the day.

This maintains the sugar level in blood and also energy is available for the whole day. Sugar from simple carbohydrates gives instant glucose boost in the blood and energy is available readily in the body. However, after the release of this energy, a person feels exhausted and tired because energy from simple carbohydrates is not sustained for a long period of time.

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