My Mother Was Right About Sugar Causing Diabetes

candy corn


When I was a little girl, I remember my mother telling me to not eat all my Halloween candy at once, because if I ate too much sugar, I would get “sugar diabetes.” When I went off to medical school in the 1980s, I learned differently. I learned that diabetes type II was caused by obesity, and that obesity was caused mostly by eating fat, because fat has the highest calorie density per gram. I informed her that “the getting diabetes from eating sugar thing” was an old wives’ tale, and proceeded to happily eat my bag of (fat free!) licorice whips.

...And Now

Fast forward through a few decades of low-fat eating. Now I have pre-diabetes, despite having worked hard to get and keep my weight below the obese level. I tried to lose more weight, but I was hungry and miserable, and the lab result (called Hemoglobin A1c) didn’t improve.

It wasn’t until I learned to minimize carbohydrate intake, especially those simple sugars like candy, that I was able to improve that lab result and place my pre-diabetes in remission. So, as much as it pains me to admit it, my mother was (sometimes) smarter than my medical school!

To learn more about how a low carb diet can be used to prevent and treat diabetes type II, check out my video: The Horse Analogy Of Diabetes. Keep in mind that this is only about type II diabetes. Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease which destroys the body’s ability to make any insulin at all.  Remember to always check with your own doctor about your medical conditions, especially before significant dietary changes.

Thanks Mom!

Dr. Chastanet hiking in the Grand Canyon Rachel Chastanet MD Dr. Chastanet is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. She practices at Chesapeake Weight Loss & Aesthetics in Chesapeake, VA.

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