High Carbohydrate Eating Increases Risk of Diabetes

ResearchBlogging.orgThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported earlier this month that high consumption of carbohydrates, high-glycemic-index eating, and high-glycemic-load eating increases the risk of developing diabetes.  High fiber consumption, on the other hand, seems to protect against diabetes. 

The article abstract doesn’t mention type 1 versus type 2 diabetes, but it’s probably type 2, the most common kind.

The observational reseach was done in the Netherlands, but I bet the findings apply to other populations as well.  Australian researchers had established years ago that high-glycemic-index and high-glycemic-load eating is associated with onset of diabetes, at least in women

Is high carbohydrate consumption putting too much strain on the pancreas, which produces the insulin needed to process the carbs?

Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference:  Sluijs I, van der Schouw YT, van der A DL, Spijkerman AM, Hu FB, Grobbee DE, & Beulens JW (2010). Carbohydrate quantity and quality and risk of type 2 diabetes in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Netherlands (EPIC-NL) study. The American journal of clinical nutrition PMID: 20685945



Filed under Carbohydrate, Causes of Diabetes

3 responses to “High Carbohydrate Eating Increases Risk of Diabetes

  1. In answer to the last question – yes! The average American consumes between 350 and 600 grams of carbohydrate a day. That is overload for the pancreas. I would assume we are born with only a certain number of pancreatic cells. Surely we can wear them out?

  2. Hi, Jennifer.

    I like your theory of excessive carb consumption burning out the pancreas beta cells.

    I found a press release from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from way back in 2004, that addressed U.S. calorie consumption and carb intake. Doing some averaging, it looks like average adult carb consumption then would be about 300 g/day; lower for women, higher for men.

    Reference: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/04news/calorie.htm

    BTW, it was much quicker for me to find this by “googling” than by using Pubmed.gov’s search engine.


  3. Esther

    Hey Jennifer,
    It’s amazing how much attention is being focused on the type 2 Diabetic. Although most of the Diabetic population suffer from type 2, type 1 Diabetes has been growing. A high carb diet has an equal damaging affect not just for both type 1 and type 2 but for the rest of the population as well. I was so glad to read your blog, sharing your knowledge and expertise.