Is Your “Healthy” Diet Leading to Diabetes?


Low-fat, seemingly healthy diets could actually be contributing to a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes in overweight adults. The hidden sugar content in foods that you think are healthy can build up in your system quickly, causing excess glycogen production.

According to nutrition expert Rebecca L. Montrone, most people eating diets they think are healthy are actually increasing their odds for gaining weight and developing Diabetes. She surprises clients regularly by breaking down the sugar content in their daily diets to demonstrate how their low fat, high carb choices are dumping large amounts of glucose into their systems on a regular basis.

Foods that Seem Healthy Could be Deceiving

Granola, yogurt, and other low fat foods have enjoyed favor for years as healthy alternatives to other types of snacks, even though they contain high levels of simple sugars and carbohydrates that your body converts to glucose almost immediately. Some fruits are also higher in sugar content, like apples.

Montrone explains that a simple breakfast of low fat yogurt, low fat granola, and a medium apple can contain more sugar than a can of regular root beer. She likes to provide this comparison to prove how important it is to set aside commonly accepted ideas of healthy eating and examine the nutritional value of each item on the menu.

Cycle of Hunger and Snacking Throughout the Day

When someone relies on these seemingly healthy high sugar foods for snacking between meals, they usually find that they are hungry most of the day. Montrone says that the quick hunger is the result of the speed with which the body can break down the sugars and send them out into the system. Simple sugars are broken down much faster, so your body is ready for more food more quickly.

As a person eats more snacks, that person will become hungry more often, which leads to eating even more often. The excess sugars build up in the body’s system until they begin to be stored as fat.

Extra Glucose Converted to Fat

The type of sugar that you consume makes a difference in how quickly your body converts the sugar to glucose. Fructose enters the liver in its original form, unlike other sugars your body processes into glucose as they travel through the small intestine. The glucose travels from the liver into the blood stream, where it finds its way to the parts of the body that need it.

When extra glucose is present, it is stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen, which is liquefied glucose. If the glycogen is stored long enough, the body puts it into long-term storage in the form of fat.

Type 2 Diabetes Linked to Excess Weight

The National Diabetes Information Clearing House states that overweight individuals have a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, or Adult Onset Diabetes. Since they are already storing excess fat, their bodies have fewer places to deposit excess glucose produced by diets with high sugar content.

When the glucose levels become too high for the insulin levels to control, Type 2 Diabetes can result. A study funded by the federal government showed that overweight individuals who lost between 5 and 7 percent of their weight reduced or delayed their risk of developing Diabetes.

Understanding Sugar Content in Foods is Key

The best way to avoid increasing your risk of Diabetes is to understand exactly what is in the foods you eat. Learn about the nutritional content of all of your regular menu items, no matter how healthy you might think they are. Cut down on foods that contain high levels of sugar and increase your complex carbohydrates and proteins.

Fruits like berries tend to have lower sugar content. A little research into sugar contents could help you create a truly healthy diet that can help you avoid food-related diseases such as diabetes.

Jessica Bosari contributes to the online health site, The site seeks out scientifically proven weight loss strategies and helps readers fit these findings into their low fat diets.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Pink Sherbet Photography

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    One Response to “Is Your “Healthy” Diet Leading to Diabetes?”

    1. Rebecca Montrone Says:


      Thanks so much for using some of my material for “Is Your Healthy Diet Leading to Diabetes.” I’m glad you found it useful! I would just like to point out that in the first paragraph it says the low-fat/high-sugar diet can lead to “excess glycogen.” This is wrong. It leads to “excess insulin” production. When high insulin levels are needed to process a meal with high sugar content, glycogen is not made, and it glycogen that signals the liver to burn fat. We keep the need for insulin low so that the pancreas can, instead, produce glycogen. If you can change the word “glycogen” to “insulin,” I would be grateful! Thanks so much, Rebecca L. Montrone

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