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The 76 Dangers of Sugar

5 min read
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Nancy Appleton, PhD, author of “Lick the Sugar Habit” has put together a comprehensive list of the numerable health effects associated with sugar. Some of these health effects are not by eating sugar moderately over a long period of time but occur directly after eating any amount of sugar.

This list was the turning point that moved me into a natural, whole food, sugar free diet. When I create desserts, I use a blend of xylitol, steviaand sometimes coconut sugar, which has a low glycemic index rating. Give a quick look through this list, share it with others and start thinking…is sugar worth it? I don’t think so. There are too many natural options to create the same sweetening effect, that I haven’t looked at sugar in a couple of years.

The 76 Dangers of Sugar

Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.

Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.

Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.

Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.

Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.

Sugar can weaken eyesight.

Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Sugar can cause premature aging. In fact, the single most important factor that accelerates aging is insulin, which is triggered by sugar.

Sugar can lead to alcoholism.

Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.

Sugar contributes to obesity. Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.

Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)

Sugar can cause gallstones.

Sugar can cause appendicitis.

Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.

Sugar can cause varicose veins.

Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.

Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.

Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.

Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.

Sugar can increase your systolic blood pressure.

Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.

High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs),which are sugar molecules that attach to and damage proteins in your body. AGEs speed up the aging of cells, which may contribute to a variety of chronic and fatal diseases.

Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.

Sugar causes food allergies.

Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.

Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.

Sugar can cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA.

Sugar can change the structure of protein and cause a permanent alteration of the way the proteins act in your body.

Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.

Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.

Sugar can cause emphysema. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in your body.

Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.

Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide, and it can increase the amount of fat in your liver, leading to fatty liver disease.

Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney such as the formation of kidney stones.  Fructose is helping to drive up rates of kidney disease.

Sugar can damage your pancreas.

Sugar can increase your body’s fluid retention.

Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.

Sugar can compromise the lining of your capillaries.

Sugar can make your tendons more brittle.

Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.

Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect your children’s grades and cause learning disorders.

Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves, which can alter your ability to think clearly.

Sugar can cause depression.

Sugar can increase your risk of gout.

Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  MRI studies show that adults 60 and older who have high uric acid are four to five times more likely to have vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s.

Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances such as: increasing estrogen in men, exacerbating PMS, and decreasing growth hormone.

Sugar can lead to dizziness.

Diets high in sugar will increase free radicals and oxidative stress.

A high sucrose diet of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.

High sugar consumption by pregnant adolescents can lead to a substantial decrease in gestation duration and is associated with a twofold-increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.

Sugar is an addictive substance. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.

Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.

Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability. Your body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.

The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.

Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.

Sugar can impair the function of your adrenal glands.
Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in normal, healthy individuals, thereby promoting chronic degenerative diseases.

Intravenous feedings (IVs) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to your brain.

Sugar increases your risk of polio.

High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.

Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.

In intensive care units, limiting sugar saves lives.

Sugar may induce cell death.

In juvenile rehabilitation centers, when children were put on low sugar diets, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior.

Sugar dehydrates newborns.
Sugar can cause gum disease.

You can see the studies at Dr. Mercola’s website here, or look at the references in Nancy Appleton’s book, “Lick the Sugar Habit“. You can also find many sugar-free, natural recipes in my cookbook, “The Gluten Free Cookbook eBook”.

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6 thoughts on “The 76 Dangers of Sugar

  1. hey, love this… i’m wondering as someone who eat’s a fair amount of sugar (don’t drink soda, but do like those caramel macchiatos, etc.) how many grams of sugar should i try to stay under per meal/day? i’d like to completely eliminate it, but i’m trying to stay realistic. also is the raw turbinado sugar just as bad? thanks 🙂

    1. Hey Kristen,

      Thanks for stopping by! If you don’t want to become a complete fanatic and ditch sugar all together (I’m not that insane, I still use honey occasionally), you don’t have to. You can still reap the benefits of an overall healthy diet. If you eat a diet that is full of vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, herbs, etc., you will be receiving adequate intake of antioxidants and nutrients which will in turn help fight off the negative effects of the sugar that is consumed. Combining that with a healthy exercise program will almost knock them out of the park!

      That being said, I know of many professionals in the medical and nutrition fields who recommend no more than 4-6 tsp. per day, which is a total of 16-24 grams of sugar per day. This is ADDED sugar, so it does not include the sugar you find in fruits, some vegetables or dairy products, if consuming. This can come from honey, white sugar, turbinado sugar, etc. Turbinado sugar is marketed as being a healthier option, but only because (if it is organic, which it usually is) it contains no pesticide residue. Also, regular white sugar is processed with bone char (from animals like cows), so many vegetarians and vegans like to choose turbinado sugar for a cruelty free option (because it isn’t refined or processed with the char).

      I hope this has helped Kristen! Stop by again. 🙂

      -Brandon May

  2. Does this mean I should stop eating fruit which is very high in sugar? Does it also mean I should stop eating vegetables which are high in carbohydrates and gets converted to sugar. What about fats and proteins? If you don’t have sugar your body will convert fats and proteins to sugar to power your muscles and brain. Gee, are you sure about sugar being bad for you???

    1. Pure, refined white sugar is bad for you, yes. Our cells rely on glucose as our primary fuel, that’s correct, but not from pure refined sugar. Carbohydrates from vegetables are a great source of fibrous carbohydrates, and low-glycemic fruits, like berries, are definitely healthy for you.

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