This section is from the book "Practical Dietetics With Special Reference To Diet In Disease", by William Gilman Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Practical Dietetics with Special Reference to Diet in Disease.
There is some doubt whether any one article of diet can determine an attack of diabetes, although inordinate eating of candy, preserves, raisins, fruit, confections, etc., may occasionally cause temporary glycosuria.
Fowler wrote some time ago: "I have been in the habit of supplying my classes with saccharine urine simply by taking about four ounces of dried dates or about a tablespoonful of pulverised glucose upon a fasting stomach".
The order of harmfulness of carbohydrates in diabetes may be stated as follows, commencing with the most injurious, ending with the least: 1, glucose; 2, saccharose; 3, starch; 4, lactose; 5, inulin; 6, laevulose.
Rich food of either an animal or vegetable nature keeps the liver constantly overtaxed, and unrestrained indulgence in sweets, new wines, and sweet fruits is said to excite diabetes. Sugar may be present in the urine in the proportion of from five to ten parts per thousand, but so long as its occurrence in this manner is of brief duration, and so long as it can be immediately traced to indiscretion in the abuse of saccharine foods, it is of little practical significance. It has been claimed that continued eating of predigested starchy foods containing too much glucose may result in diabetes.
In transient glycosuria the ingestion of excess of cane sugar does not, according to Worm-Muller and others, produce glucose in the urine, but saccharose.
In diabetes lactose reappears in the urine as glucose, but under normal conditions if eaten in excess it causes a transient lactosuria.
Achard and Weil proved experimentally that lactose injected hypodermically in solution is not assimilated in diabetes, and a plain milk diet almost always increases the glycosuria, in spite of which the patient may gain in weight, owing to improved digestion.