Shout It From The Rooftops: Sugar Does Not Cause Diabetes

Someone experiencing dehydration is thirsty, because he hasn't been able to absorb water. Usually this is because he hasn't found any water to drink, of course, but there are other situations in which a person can become dehydrated no matter how much water he drinks. Usually this stems from an underlying electrolyte imbalance of some kind.

For example, if a person drinks nothing but sea water, he'll become dehydrated because sea water has too much salt in it. If you met someone who drank lots and lots of sea water, you would observe him to be dehydrated. You might even tell him to stop drinking sea water. But in the end, he'd need to drink some real fresh water in order to cure his dehydration.

Diabetic people crave sugar, but that doesn't mean sugar causes diabetes any more than water causes dehydration. The reason diabetics crave sugar is because they are unable to absorb the sugar in their blood stream, either because they don't produce enough insulin or because they are resistant to the insulin they do produce. Whatever the underlying reason, however, the point is that because a person is diabetic, therefore they crave sugar. Sugar doesn't cause diabetes; diabetes causes sugar cravings.

What causes diabetes? For type 1 diabetics, the root cause is organ failure. For type 2 diabetics, the root cause is visceral fat.

There are many people in the world who eat primarily high glycemic-index foods, but who never become obese and never acquire lots of visceral fat: The rice farmers of Vietnam, the mango farmers of Central America, the rural populations of Morocco, and so on. No matter how much sugar they eat, they do not get type 2 diabetes because they never acquire a large amount of visceral fat. They do not tend to have an obesity problem. Clearly it is not merely eating high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic-load foods that causes type 2 diabetes, contrary to the claims of Gary Taubes and his ilk.

As soon as a person acquires a lot of visceral fat, however, their risk of diabetes skyrockets. It may be a good idea to avoid high-glycemic-load foods if you have a weight problem, because these foods tend to also be high in calories, and high-calorie foods promote weight gain regardless of their glycemic load.

But it's important to remember that the relationship looks like this: excess calories --> weight gain --> visceral fat --> diabetes.
Feeding mice a high-fat, high-calorie diet leads to this type of inflammation, as a result of fat cells growing faster than the blood supply (a similar thing happens in humans with type 2 diabetes). So the fat cells begin to die off, spilling out their contents, which the immune system clean-up cells, the macrophages, come along and mop up.
Engleman said:
"This immune reaction causes havoc in the fatty tissue."
By studying the reaction more closely, the researchers found it involves not only the macrophages, but also the T cells and the B cells, which gradually inhibit the ability of the remaining fat cells to respond to insulin, causing fatty acids to seep into the blood.
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