5 Reasons Why Sugar Is Bad for You
By: Katie Simmons BS, NTP
The average American consumes around 19 teaspoons of sugar per day (1). That is close to a half a cup of sugar! Did you know that sugar is also hidden in most of the packaged/processed foods we buy? Your “healthy” protein bars, whole grain breakfast cereals, fruit juices, tomato sauce, and yogurt are all loaded with hidden added sugars. Each year, more and more people are diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and weight gain. Consuming too much added sugar over a long period of time can lead to your body not functioning at optimal levels. Here are 5 reasons why sugar is bad for you:
1. Weight Gain aka FAT gain:
Most of us know that eating sugar causes weight gain. But do we understand why? Eating sugar increases the levels of glucose in our bloodstream, this then signals the pancreas to release insulin to help regulate the amount of glucose our body can store. When insulin levels are raised, it causes the body to store more food calories as fat (1). Trying to lose that stubborn belly fat? Keep an eye on how much sugar is in the food you are eating!
2. Chronic Inflammation:
Studies have shown that over consumption of processed foods high in added sugars can lead to long term inflammation. Inflammation is measured through a blood test called C-reactive protein (CRP). When CRP is increased, it means an increase in inflammation (2). Sugary foods spikes insulin levels which then cause a wide range of biochemical reactions increasing the body’s production of inflammation. Key note, if you suffer with joint and/or muscle aches and pain, try eliminating sugar from your diet!
3. Heart Disease/ Cancer:
Weight gain, inflammation, and high blood pressure are all affected by sugar intake, which is all linked to an increased risk for a heart attack. Many studies have shown that individuals who have diets high in sugar are more prone to diseases, including cancer. The fact that cancer cells depend on readily available glucose may explain why evidence has shown that diabetics are more prone to cancer; particularly of the breast, colon, prostate, liver and pancreas. (3)
4. Mineral Depletion:
Sugar depletes necessary minerals that promote muscle contraction and relaxation. (2) Magnesium, potassium, and calcium are all key minerals that are critical in cellular function as well as the skeletal muscle contraction and function. If these minerals are imbalanced, the result of cramps or excessive muscle contractions can occur. So not only is sugar causing damage to your health independently, but it’s also removing essential minerals that are essential to your body’s proper function. One huge sugary snowball effect.
5. Acne/Unhappy Skin:
Eating an excess amount of sugar also increases chances of getting that unwanted acne. When insulin levels are spiked, it also causes an increase in the production of a hormone called androgen. The over-production of this hormone leads to the excess growth of pore-clogging cells as well as increased oil production and inflammation; all contributing to acne development (4). Sugar also accelerates the aging process! So if your health isn’t a great enough reason to kick your sugar habit, maybe your beauty will be a good enough reason!
How do I kick my sugar habit?!
By reducing processed foods and eating a “whole foods” diet you can begin to kick the sugar out of your system. For most of us, this process can be a lot harder than it sounds. What CAN I eat!? Where do I start?! Is what I hear from a lot of my clients.
Cutting sugar out of your diet is a great way to start on a better path to health. In my one-on-one sessions, I conduct grocery store tours, give out recipes, calculate your macro nutrient ratios, and provide endless advice and tips to cut sugar and eat healthier while guiding you every step of the way! If you are interested in scheduling a one-one-one session with me, call (541) 543-5032.
Join a Sugar Detox Program!
I am also teaching a 5-week RESTART sugar detox course beginning this fall! This course will include valuable information on how to kick your sugar addiction as well as focus on digestion, fats, and blood sugar regulation. In this course, you and your class mates will conduct a 3-week sugar detox to jump start your bodies into better health. By signing up, you will receive a cook book that you can use in your sugar detox as well as have access to a private Facebook group where I will be posting weekly recipes and advice during the detox phase.
If you are interested in joining this program, call (541) 543-5032!
If you’d like to learn more, click here.
It’s never to late to take control of your health! Every day is a new day, and a new beginning. Let me help you with your goals! 🙂
- “How Much Is Too Much?” SugarScience.UCSF.edu, University of California San Francisco, 27 Apr. 2018, sugarscience.ucsf.edu/the-growing-concern-of-overconsumption.html#.W4loGehKjie.
- Brady, Susan. “This Just In: Over Consumption Of Sugar Contributes To Muscle & Joint Pain!” Spinal Stenosis Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments, Virginia Therapy and Fitness Center, 6 Nov. 2015, www.spinemd.com/vtfc/news/this-just-in-over-consumption-of-sugar-contributes-to-muscle-joint-pain.
- “Sugar and Cancer.” Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, www.osher.ucsf.edu/patient-care/self-care-resources/cancer-and-nutrition/frequently-asked-questions/sugar-and-cancer/.
- Kubala, Jillian. “11 Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad for You.” Healthline, Healthline Media, June 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/too-much-sugar.