No foods actually cause diabetes. It is a myth that sugar causes diabetes, there is no evidence to support this commonly held belief.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease caused by an immune attack on the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. There are no known food groups implicated in this process.

The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is not associated specifically with sugar intake. Excessive sugar intake, however, can contribute to a diet high in calories and being overweight. These are definite risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. Consistently eating a diet with a calorie content above that which your body requires will result in weight gain. The increased risk of diabetes in this situation seems to be associated with the weight gain and occurs whether the excess calories are from sugar or from fat.

There are quite a few research studies currently investigating the association of various types of foods in our diet with a risk of diabetes. Several studies have focused on processed meat products, trans fats in cooking oil and high fructose syrups in the soft drinks industry. With all of these studies it is important to review the results by also considering the possible contribution from the traditional risk factors, that simply of weight gain and physical inactivity.

If you have a history of Type 2 diabetes in the family, the best advice in order to reduce the risk yourself and based on current scientific evidence, is to eat a mixed and balanced diet which in combination with regular exercise maintains an ideal body weight.

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