Study Says Dietary Guidelines About Sugar Need Serious Revision

Carbohydrates are deemed by some "the main enemy" when it comes to diabetes. A new study suggests that sugar, specifically added fructose found in processed foods, is one of the main drivers of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Fructose is naturally found in fruits and vegetables but it is also a widely prevalent ingredient in packaged and processed foods, mainly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

Research suggests fructose may pose more of a health danger than glucose.

"At current levels, added-sugar consumption, and added-fructose consumption in particular, are fueling a worsening epidemic of type 2 diabetes," said James J. DiNicolantonio, lead study author and cardiovascular research scientist at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City. "Approximately 40 percent of U.S. adults already have some degree of insulin resistance with projections that nearly the same percentage will eventually develop frank diabetes."

Current guidelines can potentially worsen rate of diabetes if left unfixed

The authors say that current dietary guidelines about sugar, which suggest that 19 percent of calories can safely come from added sugars, needs to be revised.

According to the authors, having no more than 5 to 10 percent of daily calories coming from added sugars is a better approach. For women, this would mean consuming no more than 24 grams of sugar per day and no more than 36 grams per day for men.

"Most existing guidelines fall short of this mark at the potential cost of worsening rates of diabetes and related cardiovascular and other consequences," the authors said.

The research is published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Source: EurekAlert!

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