What is sugar and why is it so bad for you? Sugar is bad for you a because it has empty calories, and because if you have diabetes or a diabetes-related condition then having sugar will increase your blood sugar and your triglycerides, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Sugar is addictive due to blood sugar spikes and falls, causing you to want more of that so you can stay alert.
- Can Cause Weight Gain
- May Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
- Has Been Linked to Acne
- Increases Your Risk of Diabetes
- May Increase Your Risk of Cancer
- May Increase Your Risk of Depression
- May Accelerate the Skin Aging Process
- Can Increase Cellular Aging
- Drains Your Energy
- Can Lead to Fatty Liver
- Other Health Risks
How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake
- Swap sodas, energy drinks, juices and sweetened teas for water or unsweetened
- Drink your coffee black or use Stevia for a zero-calorie, natural sweetener.
- Plain Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen berries instead of buying flavored, sugar-
- loaded yogurt.
- Consume whole fruits instead of sugar-sweetened fruit smoothies.
- Replace candy with a homemade trail mix of fruit, nuts and a few dark chocolate
- Use olive oil and vinegar in place of sweet salad dressings like honey mustard.
- Choose nut butters, with zero added sugars.
- Look for cereals, granolas and granola bars with under 4 grams of sugar per
- Swap your morning cereal for a bowl of rolled oats topped with fresh berries, or an omelet made with fresh greens.
- Instead of jelly, slice fresh bananas onto your peanut butter sandwich.
- Use natural nut butters in place of sweet spreads like Nutella.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages that are sweetened with soda, juice, honey, sugar or
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, focusing on fresh, whole ingredients.
In addition, keeping a food diary is an excellent way of becoming more aware of the main sources of sugar in your diet.
The best way to limit your added sugar intake is to prepare your own healthy meals at home and avoid buying foods and drinks that are high in added sugar.
Focusing on preparing healthy meals and limiting your intake of foods that contain added sweeteners can help you cut back on the amount of sugar in your diet.
The Bottom Line
Eating too much added sugar can have many negative health effects.
An excess of sweetened foods and beverages can lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems and an increased risk of heart disease, among other dangerous conditions.
For these reasons, added sugar should be kept to a minimum whenever possible, which is easy when you follow a healthy diet based on whole foods.
If you need to cut added sugar from your diet, try some of these small changes. Before you know it, your sugar habit will be a thing of the past.
In 2008, people in the US were consuming over 60 pounds (28 kg) of added sugar per year — and this does not include fruit juices (1).
The average intake was 76.7 grams per day, which equals 19 teaspoons or 306 calories.
According to this study, sugar consumption went down by 23% between the years 2000 and 2008, mainly because people drank fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.
However, current intake levels are still way too high and probably haven’t changed since then. In 2012, the average adult intake was 77 grams per day (2).
Excess sugar consumption has been associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, tooth decay, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and a lot more.
“safe amount of sugar “
- Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)
- Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)
- What you eat Carbs your body turns into sugar therefore contributing
- to this
- Sugary junk foods stimulate the same areas in the brain as drugs of abuse (9).
- Sugar addiction
- For this reason, sugar can cause people to lose control over their consumption.
- That said, sugar is not nearly as addictive as drugs of abuse, and “sugar addiction” should be comparatively easy to overcome.
- If you have a history of binge eating, failure at setting rules about your eating (like cheat meals or days) and repeated failures with the "everything in moderation;" approach, then perhaps you are addicted.
- In the same way that a smoker needs to avoid cigarettes completely, a sugar addict needs to avoid sugar completely.
- Complete abstinence is the only reliable way for true addicts to overcome their addiction.
This being said not everyone is able to do this alone. I am a certified health coach I help busy people lose weight, balance blood sugar, get a healthy gut so they can have energy to deal with life. If this is something that is of interest to you please fill out the info in the back and I will be in contact with you.