Sweets, Obesity and Diabetes!Dr. Nitin Gupte
Eating Too Much Sweets, Obesity And Diabetes!
It was amply clear even when I started my then unique ‘Obesity Clinic’ in Pune, nearly 40 years ago, that our county was poised to be the world capital of diabetes and heart disease!
The three primary reasons for it were that we are genetically more prone to develop both diseases than people in the West and the increasing affluence of the Indian middle class meant that we are eating more calorie rich food and our lifestyles are getting more and more sedentary.
With the modern culture bringing in greater amount of sweets in our food with increasing temptations like rich deserts becoming available with mithai and cake shops and ice cream parlours springing up everywhere and the five star hotel culture introducing us to a rich dessert culture and the television and You Tube master chefs making the average house wives culinary experts, we are eating more and more sweets.
Sugar of course is nearly hundred per cent simple carbohydrate.
When we eat carbohydrates, they are digested and absorbed into the blood as sugar. When the blood sugar rises, the pancreas release the hormone insulin into the blood, to bring down the blood sugar to the normal levels and thus regulate the blood sugar.
The cells of every tissue in the body take up the sugar from the blood under the influence of insulin and use it for the energy that they need for their functions.
The liver also stores more sugar under the influence of insulin, for later use, when the body needs energy.
This brings down the blood sugar and in response, the pancreas cuts down on the insulin production.
This process is smooth and works seamlessly when we are healthy.
But when we eat too much of sweets or carbohydrates, a lot of sugar enters the blood.
This forces the pancreas to produce more insulin than normal, to influence the cells of various tissues to take up more sugar to control the blood sugar levels.
And if we continue to eat a lot of sweets regularly, after some time the various cells of the body respond less efficiently to the available insulin and do not absorb the sugar from the blood adequately.
This means that they become insulin resistant.
With the result, the blood sugar levels increase and so does the level of blood insulin.
This raised blood level of insulin is called hyperinsulinemia.
Under the influence of these raised levels of insulin, the liver and muscles store more sugar and when their capacity of storing sugar is full, this excess sugar is converted into fat and stored in various fat depots.
This leads to development of obesity.
This means our blood insulin, blood sugar and weight, all go up.
Over a period of time we tend to become obese and also develop diabetes.
This should explain how eating too much sweets leads to obesity and diabetes too!
Also read the articles ‘Abdominal Obesity, Diabetes And Heart Disease‘, ‘Preventing Diabetes’ and the ‘Dangers Of Eating Too Much Sugar’ and ‘Insulin Resistance And Diabetes’ on this website.
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