Added sugar in processed food linked to type 2 diabetes

Fri, 30 Jan 2015
Eating processed foods and fizzy drinks with added sweeteners is a primary cause of soaring levels of type 2 diabetes, a new review has confirmed.

Published online in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute concluded that drastic changes need to be made to dietary guidelines.

Fructose is usually found in fruits and vegetables, but it is found in abundance in processed foods, fruit juice concentrates and fizzy drinks.

Sugar study

Researchers at Saint Luke's raised concerns that up to 25 per cent of total daily calories is allowed as added sugar, with trials suggesting that swapping fructose-containing table sugar for glucose-only starch had significant adverse effects.

Lead author Dr James DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist at Saint Luke's, believes fructose in the form of high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar is a serious and growing health problem.

"At current levels, added-sugar consumption and added-fructose consumption in particular are fuelling a worsening epidemic of type 2 diabetes," said DiNicolantonio.

Experts have recommended that processed foods consumption in diets should be limited and replaced with fresh fruit and vegetables, which is far healthier.

"By limiting sugar to 5 per cent to 10 per cent of total caloric intake, the harmful effects of sugar, particularly fructose, on insulin resistance could be minimised. This may protect against diabetes and its complications, including early mortality from cardiovascular causes," concluded DiNicolantonio.
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