In the 1960s and 1970s, sugar manufacturers began to tell anyone who would listen that eating high-fat diets will make you fat. As you know, being overweight or obese can significantly increase your risk of developing heart attack and some cancers, diabetes, neurological disorders, and many less serious health problems.
Sugar manufacturers understood only too well that refined sugar was the main dietary culprit, leading to a dramatic increase in these and other health conditions. However, they had businesses to run and profits to make. So they began paying researchers to show that diets with high-fat levels were causing these and other problems and that sugar was safe and healthy to consume.
Even though they understood that healthy fats were a part of a smart diet plan, they said fats caused people to become fat. This makes sense to the consumer. They were dealing with similar words. They were taught that if they eat fat, they would get fat, and this sounded sensible. Unfortunately, it’s incorrect.
We know with absolute certainty that consuming sugar can lead to a ton of health problems, including those linked to overweight and obesity, two things fat is very good at creating. We now have leaked industry documents and whistleblowers to thank for the knowledge that refined sugar is not only unhealthy and potentially deadly, but it offers zero nutritional value as well. Your body doesn’t need it.
Those sources also show that refined sugar manufacturers were well aware of these problems and spent billions of dollars over the years to intentionally mislead the public simply so they could sell their products.
Eating the Right Sugar
Unfortunately, this is not common knowledge. In a time where more information is available to everyone than ever before, you would think most people would understand how bad sugar is for the human body.
We are not referring to natural sugars found in fruits or raw, organic honey. Sugars found in nature are usually accompanied by complex carbohydrates, fiber, and other elements that make them safe for consumption. This is not true with refined sugar.
By the way, the sugar sitting on your kitchen table right now is the sugar we’re discussing. It is the sugar you grew up adding to your cereal and using in baked goods recipes. While you may think you’re not eating too much sugar, if you eat a lot of processed foods, you are. Food manufacturers disguise sugar under a multitude of names, and they automatically add it to the foods you eat.
How Much Added Sugar Is Too Much?
This means you don’t need to add sugar to your meals to end up consuming far too much to be healthy. How much sugar is safe? If you eat a healthy 2,000 calorie per day diet, you should get no more than 25 grams (g) of sugar each day if you are a woman. That maximum daily number rises to 38 g for men or about 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
The problem is the average American scarfs down about 20 teaspoons of sugar (82 g) every day. That is over 3 times the safe daily suggestion for women and more than 2 times too much for men.
This is some rather sobering information if you consistently add a couple of teaspoons to your coffee each morning, as that is the same as adding 8.5 g of sugar. These are leveled teaspoons, not heaping piles of sugar!
For example, after two cups of coffee, a woman has consumed 65% to 75% of the recommended daily allowance of sugar, and a man has reached 45% to 60% of a safely suggested amount for the entire day.
Factor in all the hidden added sugar in the processed foods and drinks you consume, and it’s no wonder you suffer from a number of health problems. You limit these health problems when you limit your sugar intake.
* The American sugar consumption statistics mentioned above are at the low end of estimates. Multiple health authorities, such as the USDA, believe sugar consumption is as high as 50 teaspoons (208 g) daily.
Sugar is Highly Addictive
Sugar triggers the release of dopamine and other “feel-good” chemicals in your body and lowers stress and anxiety levels. You crash and burn soon after eating sugar, and you want to have those good feelings again. This is what makes you reach for the sugar bowl, soft drink, energy drink, or candy bar. See the cycle occurring here?
Sugar Robs Your Body of Nutrition While Damaging Your Immune System
A slight bit of sugar begins the leaching process of essential minerals like potassium and magnesium, calcium, and sodium. If you eat healthy foods with these and other essential minerals, nutrients, and vitamins, the sugar you eat with them does not allow you to absorb them properly.
Additionally, the empty calories in sugar damage the efficiency of your white blood cells, thereby compromising your immune system. Your natural immunity to disease and illness immediately begins to drop, meaning that eating sugar makes you more likely to fall prey to sickness and disease.
Sugar and Cancer Love Each Other
Multiple studies show that an excessive level of sugar consumption is directly linked to the development of pancreatic, endometrial, breast, colorectal, and colon cancer. There is a saying in fitness and medical circles that says, “Cancer loves sugar.”
Sugar Leads to Premature Aging, Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue, Mood Swings, and Irritability
Sugar may give you a short-lived rush, but it leads to eventual anxiety and mood swings. As sugar is withdrawn from your system, a whole host of negative emotions emerges. Sugar makes you look and feel older than you are by attaching to proteins in your bloodstream that create AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products). This immediately begins to damage how your body naturally produces elastin and collagen, which ruins your skin’s elasticity and health.
The human body doesn’t need one granule of refined sugar to exist. Unfortunately, this cheap and nutrient-poor sweetener is highly addictive. For all the reasons we just covered, do whatever it takes to limit the amount of sugar you get into your body, and your physical, emotional, and mental health and well-being will thank you.