7 Unknown Reasons Why Sugar is a No-No - 8 Things You Need to Know

By Summer Banks on Feb 20, 2017

There is nothing worse for you than added sugar.

Added sugars are syrups and sugars added to foods like soft drinks, candy, and cookies. They are not the sugars that occur naturally in some foods like fruits and milk. [1]

Too much added sugar can have a multitude of harmful effects on your body.

Here are 7 reasons to cut added sugars from your diet.

Does fructose affect heath?

#7 Added Sugar Affects the Liver

Sugar is composed of glucose and fructose.

Glucose is a simple sugar that can be processed by every cell in the body to create energy. However, fructose is only dealt with in the liver. [2]

When you eat a little sugar, like the natural sugar found in fruit, or if you eat sugar after exercising, your body will turn the fructose into glycogen and store it in the liver until your body needs it. [3]

But, because added sugar is present in so many of the foods we eat, our liver is often already filled with glycogen. When that happens, sugar turns to fat. [4]

If you continue to eat more sugar than your body can use, your liver will keep converting it to fat, and that could lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. When left untreated, the liver can become inflamed and develop cirrhosis, a life-threatening illness. [5]

Remember this does not mean eating fruit, which contains sugar, is dangerous. It’s nearly impossible to get too much fructose from eating fruit – the problem is in all of the added sugar that is present in other foods.

Also, there is a lot of variation between people. If you’re healthy and you exercise, your body will be able to handle more sugar than someone who lives a sedentary life and follows a traditional Western diet of high calories and high carbs.

Bottom Line: “One of the primary reasons that a good cleanse should begin with sugar detox, is that sugar is high in fructose, which goes directly to the liver upon consumption. As opposed to glucose, which is found in nature and is a type of sugar that the body actually needs (to a certain extent), there is no physiological need for fructose. refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup causes a fatty build up that can lead to liver disease. Many studies actually even show sugar can be as damaging to the liver as alcohol.” states Becca Tebon, CHHC, CPT which holds a Certification in Holistic Health.

Diabetes and Weight Loss

#6 Sugar, Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

Insulin is a hormone that is crucial to your body.

Insulin is responsible for signaling the liver to release glucose and maintain the bloodstream’s blood glucose levels. [6]
Some studies indicate that consuming too much sugar may be linked to a condition called insulin resistance. [7] [8]

When the body does no use insulin effectively, the result is insulin resistance, so the pancreas has to generate more and more of it to maintain blood glucose levels and energy for cells.

In time, the demand for insulin from the body causes the cells that create insulin to wear, making the pancreas work harder. [9]

Insulin resistance can eventually turn into type 2 diabetes. [10]

Sugary drinks, like sugar-sweetened soft drinks, has been proven to increase the risk for type 2 diabetes. [11] [12] [13]

  • Bottom Line: Insulin resistance results from eating too much sugar, which can later develop into type 2 diabetes. “When you eat sugar, your blood sugar levels increase and your body secretes the hormone insulin to help regulate the levels. A diet filled with sugar causes the cells to become deaf, or resistant, to insulin, and insulin resistance, as it is termed, can lead to metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes.” states Mira Calton, CN, FAAIM, DCCN, CMS, CPFC, BCIH and founder of Calton Nutrition.

#5 Added Sugar and Dental Hygeine

Added sugar is nothing but empty calories, unlike a supplement such as Biotrust Low-Carb Protein.

Added sugars, often thought of as empty calories, don’t contain essential nutrients. They’re nothing more than calories and energy, which you can get from other healthy foods.

What’s worse is that eating too much sugar can cause deficiencies in certain nutrients, like magnesium, calcium, and chromium. [14] [15]

As your dentist will tell you, sugar is also not good for your teeth.

Sugar promotes the growth of oral bacteria, which can change the pH balance in your mouth and lead to tooth decay. [16]

In fact, one study showed that sugar is the primary cause of tooth decay. In the United States 92% of adults experience tooth decay while in Nigeria, where sugar comprises a minuscule part of the daily diet, only 2% of adults and children have tooth decay. [17]

Bottom Line: Eating too much sugar depletes stores of certain nutrients in the body and provides no essential nutrients. Sugar is also the number one cause of tooth decay.

Sugar Health Risks

#4 Health Risks of Sugar

Cancer is a disease in which cells multiply in an abnormal manner and crowd out the growth of healthy cells. It is proven to be a leading cause of death worldwide. [18]

One of the main hormones that regulate cell growth is insulin, which we’ve already learned is affected by sugar.

Because insulin regulates cell growth, scientists think that high insulin levels may be a factor in cancer. [19] [20]

Eating sugar also leads to metabolic problems that promote inflammation, which may also be a cause of cancer. [21]

Several studies have indicated that people whose diets include a lot of sugar have a higher risk of getting cancer. [22], [23] [24] [25]

Bottom Line: Numerous studies show too much sugar can lead to cancer due to its effects on metabolism.

Controling Blood Sugar

#3 Sugar Promotes Weight Gain

The fact that sugar can make you fat probably comes as no surprise, but why does sugar make us fat?

Sugar affects our brains differently than other foods and can cause feelings of hunger. Unlike Contrave, that supposedly suppresses appetite.

One study showed that people who had drinks sweetened with fructose showed much less brain activity in the areas related to satiety than those who had drinks sweetened with glucose. [26]

What this means is that after eating foods that contain fructose, you may feel more hungry than you would if you ate a healthier food with the same calorie count. As a result, you’ll reach for more food.

Several studies have shown that sugar consumption is directly linked to obesity. [27] [28]

Sugar is especially suspect in the obesity epidemic among children. Evidence suggests that the consumption of just one sugary drink per day increases the risk of obesity in children by 60%. [29]

Bottom Line: Because sugar has been proven to cause weight gain, if you need to lose weight, it’s important that you cut your sugar consumption.

Food addiction

#2 Sugar Is Addictive

Eating sugar causes dopamine to be released into the pleasure center of your brain, just like an addictive drug. [30] [31]

Sugar can lead to massive amounts of dopamine being released. These dopamine levels are much higher than those from eating other natural foods. [32]

Because sugar stimulates the pleasure center of the brain, it can be a problem for those who are susceptible to addiction. [33]

While most people can just reduce their sugar intake to a moderate level, if you suspect you are addicted to sugar, you may have to treat the problem as any other addiction and abstain from eating sugar altogether.

Bottom Line: Eating sugar leads to a release of dopamine to the pleasure center of the brain, which can lead to sugar addiction.

#1 Sugar and Heart Disease

Saturated fat has long been blamed for causing heart disease.

However, recent studies show that saturated fat is not the culprit. In fact, it has no effect on cardiovascular health. [34] [35]

Recent studies show that sugar may be more of a risk factor for heart disease because of the way fructose harms metabolism. [36] [37]

There is evidence that fructose can elevate triglycerides, bad cholesterol, blood glucose levels, and insulin levels in just 10 weeks. Heart disease was a major risk factor. [38]

Bottom Line: Sugar consumption has a detrimental effect on cardiovascular health because it increases several of the major risk factors for heart disease, including raising bad cholesterol levels.

The Final Word on Sugar

Sugar is just empty calories.

Not only can eating too much sugar ruin your teeth and add to your waistline, but there’s also the risk of serious health conditions. “Another tip is to take a look at the ingredients listing on food—if it contains chemicals like fake sugars (aspartame, saccharin and sucralose), just say NO!” states Donna Sonkin Shaw a Holistic Health Coach & Chef.

Take steps to reduce or even eliminate your sugar consumption. Read labels and avoid foods that contain added sugars.

Article Sources
About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.