Writing an article that gives 144 reasons sugar ruins your health may seem like an excessive amount of reasons – maybe even over-kill to many. However, these reasons become more and more concerning each year as disproportionate numbers of food made with high amounts of refined sugar hit American grocery store shelves every year. Our obsession and overconsumption of refined sugar contribute significantly to the increasing obesity rates among adults and children. The overconsumption of sugar is associated with many health issues, particularly cancers such as breast, prostate, uterine, colorectal, and pancreatic. Consuming too much sugar is also connected to heart disease and, of course, diabetes.
It’s interesting to note that the average American ate only two pounds of sugar a year one hundred years ago. In 1970, Americans ate 123 pounds of sugar per year. According to the FDA, the average American consumes between 130-200 pounds of sugar yearly…. which equates to about 1/2 pound of sugar daily.
144 Reasons Sugar Ruins Your Health
Nancy Appleton Ph.D. & G.N. Jacobs | Excerpted from Suicide by Sugar | Used with permission
1. Sugar can suppress your immune system.
2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.
3. Sugar can cause juvenile delinquency in children.
4. Sugar eaten during pregnancy and lactation can influence muscle force production in offspring, affecting an individual’s ability to exercise.
5. Sugar in soda, when consumed by children, results in the children drinking less milk.
6. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses and return them to fasting levels slower in oral contraceptive users.
7. Sugar can increase reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage cells and tissues.
8. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, inability to concentrate, and crankiness in children.
9. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
10. Sugar reduces the body’s ability to defend against bacterial infection.
11. Sugar causes a decline in tissue elasticity and function – the more sugar you eat, the more elasticity and function you lose.
12. Sugar reduces high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
13. Sugar can lead to chromium deficiency.
14. Sugar can lead to ovarian cancer.
15. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
16. Sugar causes copper deficiency.
17. Sugar interferes with the body’s absorption of calcium and magnesium.
18. Sugar may make eyes more vulnerable to age-related macular degeneration.
19. Sugar raises the level of neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
20. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
21. Sugar can lead to an acidic digestive tract.
22. Sugar can cause a rapid rise in adrenaline levels in children.
23. Sugar is frequently malabsorbed in patients with functional bowel disease.
24. Sugar can cause premature aging.
25. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
26. Sugar can cause tooth decay.
27. Sugar can lead to obesity.
28. Sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
29. Sugar can cause gastric or duodenal ulcers.
30. Sugar can cause arthritis.
31. Sugar can cause learning disorders in school children.
32. Sugar assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).
33. Sugar can cause gallstones.
34. Sugar can cause heart disease.
35. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
36. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.
37. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
38. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
39. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
40. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
41. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
42. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E in the blood.
43. Sugar can decrease the number of growth hormones in the body.
44. Sugar can increase cholesterol.
45. Sugar increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs), forming when sugar binds non-enzymatically to protein.
46. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.
47. Sugar causes food allergies.
48. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
49. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
50. Sugar can lead to eczema in children.
51. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
52. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA.
53. Sugar can change the structure of protein.
54. Sugar can make the skin wrinkle by changing the structure of collagen.
55. Sugar can cause cataracts.
56. Sugar can cause emphysema.
57. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
58. Sugar can promote an elevation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL).
59. Sugar can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in the body.
60. Sugar lowers enzymes’ ability to function.
61. Sugar intake is associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease.
62. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.
63. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.
64. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
65. Sugar can damage the pancreas.
66. Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.
67. Sugar is the number one enemy of healthy bowel movements.
68. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).
69. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
70. Sugar can make tendons more brittle.
71. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
72. Sugar plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.
73. Sugar can adversely affect children’s grades in school.
74. Sugar can cause depression.
75. Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.
76. Sugar can cause dyspepsia (indigestion).
77. Sugar can increase the risk of developing gout.
78. Sugar can increase glucose levels in the blood much higher than complex carbohydrates in a glucose tolerance test.
79. Sugar reduces learning capacity.
80. Sugar can cause two blood proteins – albumin and lipoproteins – to function less effectively, reducing the body’s ability to handle fat and cholesterol.
81. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
82. Sugar can cause platelet adhesiveness, which causes blood clots.
83. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance – some hormones become underactive, and others become overactive.
84. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
85. Sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.
86. Sugar can lead to biliary tract cancer.
87. Sugar increases the risk of pregnant adolescents delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.
88. Sugar can lead to a substantial decrease in the length of pregnancy among adolescents.
89. Sugar slows food’s travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.
90. Sugar increases the concentration of bile acids in stool and bacterial enzymes in the colon, modifying bile to produce cancer-causing compounds and colon cancer.
91. Sugar increases estradiol (the most potent form of naturally occurring estrogen) in men.
92. Sugar combines with and destroys phosphatase, a digestive enzyme, which makes digestion more difficult.
93. Sugar can be a risk factor for gallbladder cancer.
94. Sugar is an addictive substance.
95. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.
96. Sugar can aggravate premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
97. Sugar can decrease emotional stability.
98. Sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese people.
99. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit disorder (ADD).
100. Sugar can slow the ability of the adrenal glands to function.
101. Sugar can cut off oxygen to the brain when given to people intravenously.
102. Sugar is a risk factor for lung cancer.
103. Sugar increases the risk of polio.
104. Sugar can cause epileptic seizures.
105. Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure (pressure when the heart is contracting).
106. Sugar can induce cell death.
107. Sugar can increase the amount of food that you eat.
108. Sugar can cause antisocial behavior in juvenile delinquents.
109. Sugar can lead to prostate cancer.
110. Sugar dehydrates newborns.
111. Sugar can cause women to give birth to babies with low birth weight.
112. Sugar is associated with a worse outcome of schizophrenia.
113. Sugar can raise homocysteine levels in the bloodstream.
114. Sugar increases the risk of breast cancer.
115. Sugar is a risk factor for small intestine cancer.
116. Sugar can cause laryngeal cancer.
117. Sugar induces salt and water retention.
118. Sugar can contribute to mild memory loss.
119. When given to children shortly after birth, sugar water results in those children preferring sugar water to regular water throughout childhood.
120. Sugar causes constipation.
121. Sugar can cause brain decay in prediabetic and diabetic women.
122. Sugar can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
123. Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.
124. Sugar increases neural tube defects in embryos when pregnant women consume it.
125. Sugar can cause asthma.
126. Sugar increases the chances of getting irritable bowel syndrome.
127. Sugar can affect central reward systems.
128. Sugar can cause cancer of the rectum.
129. Sugar can cause endometrial cancer.
130. Sugar can cause renal (kidney) cell cancer.
131. Sugar can cause liver tumors.
132. Sugar can increase inflammatory markers in the bloodstreams of overweight people.
133. Sugar plays a role in the cause and the continuation of acne.
134. Sugar can ruin the sex life of both men and women by turning off the gene that controls the sex hormones.
135. Sugar can cause fatigue, moodiness, nervousness, and depression.
136. Sugar can make many essential nutrients less available to cells.
137. Sugar can increase uric acid in the blood.
138. Sugar can lead to higher C-peptide concentrations.
139. Sugar causes inflammation.
140. Sugar can cause diverticulitis, a small bulging sac pushing outward from the inflamed colon wall.
141. Sugar can decrease testosterone production.
142. Sugar impairs spatial memory.
143. Sugar can cause cataracts.
144. Sugar is associated with higher rates of chronic bronchitis in adults.
So there you have it – 144 reasons sugar ruins your health. A bit frightening, isn’t it – or it should be, anyway. We have a sugar craze going on in America. The overconsumption of refined white sugar in Americans has made us fat, tired, and sick. I always tell my clients that refined sugar has become America’s “legal” white powder drug.
Now the good news. Most people who decide to cut out sugar (going cold-turkey) indicate they experience some detoxification symptoms; however, they also report weight loss, increased energy, increased focus, fewer sick days, clearer skin, and better sleep.
If too much sugar consumption is an issue in your life, I highly encourage you to find out if there are any things you can change to get your sugar addiction under better control. Are you eating a healthy diet full of organic vegetables and fruits? Are you incorporating exercise in your life every day? Would losing some weight put you in better health? When was the last time you cleansed your body? Sometimes these are important factors, but not always. At any rate, if your current lifestyle choices aren’t putting you where you want to be, I suggest reading Secrets to Beating Sugar Addiction and implementing some of the suggestions to help you get healthy and feel better.
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