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12 Diet Questions Answered

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Diabetes Concerns

Diabetes runs in my family. Should I steer clear of sweets?

If you're overweight and don't exercise regularly, yes. Limit your intake of simple carbohydrates, such as cookies, cakes, power drinks and soda, says Fran Kaufman, MD, immediate past president of the American Diabetes Association. These foods can cause blood sugar to rise rapidly and prime the pancreas to release insulin. Over time, the consistent release of this hormone can pave the way for type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin and the body's cells don't respond properly to the insulin produced. To prevent or delay the onset of this disease, lose weight if you need to and work out regularly, says Dr. Kaufman. Exercise helps metabolize excess circulating blood glucose; weight loss helps your body use insulin more efficiently.

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