Today’s article is all about the harmful effects of refined sugar. No, I don’t mean fruit. Whole, fresh fruit is very good for you when consumed in a balanced way. But what I’m talking about today is processed, refined, sugar.
Cane sugar, brown sugar, cane juice, dextrin, dextrose, corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, table sugar, and all the other names that are used when trying to disguise the real killer; refined sugar.
1. Sugar Makes You Gain Weight AND Hinders Your Ability to LOSE Weight
Many people know that too much sugar will make you gain weight, but what most people DON’T know (and I didn’t know this until I started researching myself) is that sugar actually HINDERS your ability to lose weight. You might be in the gym doing cardio for 5 days a week, but if you don’t cut your sugar, you won’t be giving your body the optimal chance to lose weight.
Sugar also doesn’t fill you up, so all those sugary drinks your consuming are adding to your calorie intake, but not contributing to making you feel full, so in order to feel full, you keep consuming more sugar, calories, fat etc.
2. Sugar Increases Your Appetite & It’s Incredibly Addicting
This goes hand-in-hand with my previous point, which was “sugar makes you gain weight.” And one of the reasons is because fructose can actually increase your hunger. Also, too much fructose can cause a resistance to leptin, which is a hormone that actually tells you to stop eating.
And to make things worse, sugar is incredibly ADDICTING. The more you eat, the more you want. So first, refined sugar increases your appetite, and then because it’s so addicting, you want more, and more, and more… Thanks, but I’ll pass.
3. Sugar is a Toxin and a Poison
Although sugar may seem harmless, it’s actually a toxin, which does significant harm to our bodies when consumed in high quantities. As you will learn in the rest of this article, sugar affects your body in a scary amount of ways; all of which we can control as soon as we cut out the refined sugar from our diet.
4. Sugar Messes with your Glucose Levels
I have blood sugar issues to begin with, so eating too much sugar is already way worse for me than the average person. But my doctors (back in the day) always told me that I could still have sugar, I just needed to eat more protein, and they recommended more animal protein to compensate for my sugar intake.
Like… seriously? EYE. ROLL. At the time, I blindly followed their advice, but after a decade of struggling with hypoglycemia (passing out when your blood sugar spikes), I started to do my own research. Turns out the doctor’s orders were actually the worst thing I could have been doing. Awesome…
5. Sugar Causes Diseases Like Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, Kidney Disease & Much More
Many of us are familiar with sugar causing Type 2 Diabetes, but it also can contribute to other diseases as well. Obesity is another obvious one, but heart disease is one I didn’t know about until recently. In the next point, we’ll also talk about how sugar contributes to a weakened immune system.
6. Sugar Can Cause Some Types of Cancer
Along with the association with increased obesity and inflammation, sugar can also cause a insulin resistance in some people, which can be associated with come types of cancer.
7. Sugar Causes Inflammation
If you suffer from any type of inflammatory diseases, sugar is not your friend. I suffer with chronic bloating and eczema, two inflammatory diseases, so any time I consume too much sugar, I see the unfortunate results instantly.
For example, I recently ate 2 gluten-free, dairy-free cupcakes (without the icing) for my daughter’s birthday. The next day I had another cupcake for dessert, knowing it wasn’t the best idea, but telling myself I only eat this way 2-3 times per year, so why not? Well, less than 2 hours later, I broke out with a rash all over my neck and chest, and another set of rashes on the top of my feet. I should have known.
8. Sugar Weakens Your Immune System
My entire life I’ve had a *not-so-great* immune system. I have multiple autoimmune diseases, so the amount of sugar I was consuming was only making those issues worse. Sadly, I had no idea.
Also, things like bacteria and yeast FEED on sugar. They literally live on it. I have a life-long virus called The Epstein Barr Virus (most people understand it as the virus that causes Mono), but for some reason I was one of the lucky ones that got a life-long version of the virus. In other words, I will forever have to live with it and watch what I eat, my sugar intake, alcohol intake, sleep patterns etc. or else the virus (which feels exactly like getting mono) will creep back into my life. Since I have this virus, consuming too much sugar will FEED that virus as well. It’s one of the worst things I could consume for my compromised immune system.
10. Sugar Makes You Age
A diet high in refined carbs and sugar will accelerate the aging process of your skin. I actually noticed a huge difference in my skin once I cut the sugar out of my life. I also noticed the dark circles under my eyes decreased significantly as well!
11. Sugar Makes You Sad
Sugar totally messes with your brain, and depression is nothing to mess around with. Studies show that blood sugar spikes and drops, as well as the inflammation that sugar causes, can all lead to mental health issues.
12. Sugar Makes You Stressed
Sugar increases your stress levels, which in turn causes stress on your adrenal glands. When the body is under stress, so many other areas of the body become compromised.
13. Sugar Makes You Tired
As well as causing stress, mental health issues, inflammation, etc., sugar also completely drains you of your energy. With your sugar levels constantly spiking and dropping, your energy levels will suffer as well.
14. Sugar Gets in the Way of Healthier Foods You SHOULD Be Consuming
When you diet consists of too much sugar, that just means that it’s replacing all the healthy options your body is so desperately wanting and craving. Your brain might crave the sugar, because it’s such an addictive substance, but your body is actually craving quality nutrients, NOT toxic sugar.
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I’ve done a lot of research over the past 6 months on the negative effects of refined sugar, but you’re interested, here is a great video explaining some logic behind the dangers of sugar. It’s an old video, but still extremely relevant!