Sunday, February 9

Sugar Will Kill You -- Literally

Read an interesting article on about the deleterious effects of sugar on the human body. Here are the salient points, pretty much word-for-word, (albeit with grammatical edits):

1. Sugar Is As Addictive as Crack. In a 2007 study via James Cook University (, researchers discovered cocaine-addicted mice actually preferred sugar water as a reward over cocaine. The intense euphoria from sugar consumption can be a powerful driving factor in use reaching for it--often and obsessively.

2. Sugar Makes You Fat. We once thought fat made us fat. Turns out, sugar is the culprit ( An abundance of sugar puts the liver into overdrive--it works frantically to rebalance your system--quickly storing sugar as fat so your blood sugar and insulin rates can stabilize. Eat sugar once and your body will brilliantly balance itself out. Eat sugar every day, at every meal, and over time, your body ends up with an excess of belly fat.

3. Sugar is Sucking Your Energy. You already know about sugar crashes. But there may be another reason sugar is making you tired. A recent study by the CDC ( found increased consumption of added sugars, has been linked to a decrease in intake of essential micronutrients. In other words, when you fill up on sugar, you're less likely to eat the nutrients your body really needs.

4. Sugar is Altering Our Kids' Future. Professor Andrew Prentice revealed a staggering truth in 2002 to a group assembled for the British Association for the Advancement of Science ( annual meeting--the rise in childhood obesity means that, for the first time ever, there is a generation of children that may be outlived by their parents. Modern diets laced with sugars aren't just making us fat; they're making our kids fat and sick for life.

5. Sugar Is Keeping You Hungry. No, you're not making it up. You are always hungry. Sugars--especially in the forms of liquids like sodas--don't satiate. Suck them down and you're not just consuming empty calories, you're inviting constant hunger into your life. Source: Effects of Carbohydrates on Satiety ( via PubMed

6. Sugar Is Everywhere. Sugar is added to dozens of foods you didn't know about, especially "healthy" options. Nature Valley granola bars contain 2 teaspoons of added sugar, and a six ounce container of Yoplait yogurt contains nearly 7 teaspoons! The back of your cereal boxes, mini muffins, and health food snacks may surprise you. Find more foods with sugar contents that may surprise you at WebMD (

7. Sugar Feeds Cancer. Scientists have long noted sugar molecules are present in high numbers near cancer cells. A 2013 study by the University of Copenhagen shows that sugar actually aids the growth of malignant cells. (

8. Sugar Accompanies Other Things You Don’t Want in Your Body. Sugar is often consumed with prepacked foods, many of which are made with additives, preservatives, and potentially toxic colorings (, some of which have been banned outside of the United States. (

9. Sugar is Making Us Sick. Are you one of those people that always seems to be sick? Sugar may be making illness more common. Sugar can actually suppress your immune system ( causing your body to get common sicknesses more often

10. Sugar Is Costing Us Money. The U.S. healthcare system spends about $1 trillion yearly fighting ( the effects of excess sugar consumption. With sugar linked directly to coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes, health care costs related to sugar are exorbitant.

11. Sugar Goes Straight to Your Belly. When sugar gets processed by your liver, excess sugar gets turned into fat ( Belly fat. The kind that can lead to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Not to mention, it looks rather nappy in a bikini.

12. Sugar is Causing Your Cravings. Sugar intake spikes your blood sugar, so your body quickly works to rebalance itself. Insulin is released; the liver starts storing the sugar as fat. All this work from your body lowers your blood sugar, and as your blood sugar dips, you get ravenously hungry ( So, you eat again, and get stuck in a vicious hunger cycle fueled by sugar cravings.

13. Sugar Is Sneaky. Sugar is listed on food labels under many names. Though the back of a granola bar may not list sugar as an ingredient, your body responds the same to sugar in all its forms. Here's a quick list of the many names sugar can hide under, via Harvard School of Public Health ( Agave nectar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, crystalline fructose, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, sucrose, and syrup.

14. You’re Eating Way Too Much of It. 4 grams of sugar is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar, and the USDA recommends ( a total of 6 grams of sugar per day as a healthy amount. A 2009 American Heart Association study found most adults are consuming more than 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. That's 88 grams of sugar daily, 14 times more than the recommended dose!

15. Sugar Is Ruining Your Teeth. Nearly 100 years ago, a dentist named Weston A. Price was shocked by the rise in childhood cavities, and the growing demand for orthodontic braces. Wondering about the link between diet and tooth health, he quit his practice and travelled around the world with his wife, visiting tribes far removed from agricultural advancements and industrialized society and discovered nearly nonexistent levels of decay--even among groups of people not brushing their teeth. Since then, multiple studies have linked tooth health to sugar consumption ( Bacteria in the mouth feed off of sugar, and increases the likelihood of cavities.

16. Sugar Contains No Nutritional Value. You don't need sugar ( It contains no nutritional value, nutrients, or minerals. It contains only calories.

17. Sugar Withdrawals Are Real. Sugar encourages the body to release opioids and dopamine. It has an actual effect on your body chemistry, and your body likes that. So it wants more. And more. And when the chemical lending the effects is taken away, it goes into withdrawal ( It's not uncommon to experience headaches, fatigue, mood swings, and other detox effects ( as you come off sugar.

18. Sugar May Be Making Your Mood Swing. Mood and energy swings can be related to a lot of things, but sugar is among the possible precursors of moodiness ( Insulin in a hormone. And when this hormone is secreted into the body to ward off excess sugar consumption, it can affect the other hormones in your body. The swings is blood sugar related to sugar consumption can also contribute to adrenal fatigue, making your mood rollercoaster as your body tries to balance itself.

19. Sugar Demands Attention. It may sound conspiracy-theorist, but think about it. How many holidays do we have devoted to sugar? Halloween, Valentines Day, and Christmas revolve around sugar-laced foods in many American homes. A recent study by the CDC ( found we're consuming more sugar in our homes than we are away from our homes. Our personal sanctuaries and celebrations have been infiltrated by our need to feed sugar cravings.

20. Sugar Isn’t Helping Your Skin. A 2011 study funded by Unilever ( found a connection between blood sugar levels and healthy, youthful skin. Want to avoid wrinkles, breakouts, and bad skin days? Cut the sugar, and you might just cut years off your appearance.

21. Sugar Is Affecting Our Kids. A 1986 study from Journal of Abnormal Psychology ( showed decreased learning performance in groups of preschoolers given sugary drinks. Couple this with other known effects like potential mood swings, cravings, and rising childhood obesity rates and a dire picture is painted for our kids if sugary diets continue to be the norm.

22. You Don’t Actually Need Any Calories from Sugar. Fruit and starchy vegetables easily provide more than enough calories for a healthy adult diet. Sugar is the ultimate empty calorie (; it lends no nutritional value at all to your plate. No matter how many ads you see for electrolyte drinks, fruit juices, or protein bars, the added sugars in the products are entirely unnecessary in the average adult diet.

23. Sugar Is Connected to Many Major Health Concerns. Sure, sugar is bad. But giving it up entirely would be weird, right? Who wants to be that crazy mom that won't let her kid eat cupcakes at the party? If the previous 22 points haven't made you want to start making changes in your diet, take a look at these 76 harmful effects of sugar ( Dr. Nancy Appleton, author of Lick the Sugar Habit has outlined. From depression to Alzheimer's disease, and food allergies to blood pressure, sugar may do more harm than we ever originally imagined. Learning about the effects of sugar is the first step in learning how to limit it from our diets.

24. Sugar Affects Your Brain. High blood sugar has been linked to memory loss and cognitive decline in a study released by the American Academy of Neurology ( In layman's terms, sugar consumption can lead to a domino effect in a body which can prematurely age the brain.

Source: McLay, Brooke. "You’ll Stop Eating Sugar After Reading This Post," Babble. January 28th, 2014.