Sugar: the white death. The processed poison. The toxic threat. In the last 20 years, we have increased our sugar intake from 26 pounds a year to 180 pounds of sugar per year today. This is not surprising, as sugar takes on many forms, and the sucrose, dextrose, and high-fructose corn syrup now found in a wide variety of foods are making their way into the bellies of the unsuspecting public through processed products and even foods you wouldn’t expect to contain sugar.
In her book Discover the Power of Food, Janet Jacks states: “Of course, most of us are aware that we, as a society, are eating too much sugar. When we look statistics squarely in the eye, the trend is staggering: the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. And the average child? Even more, at 32 teaspoons a day. Over the last decade, sugar consumption jumped 23%. Since 1900, it has increased by 3000%. And, it seems, there is no end in sight.”
We’re going to start looking at sugar closely: why it’s so dangerous, what it can do to your health, and some eye-opening facts that may make you want to avoid the white substance for good. Over the next couple weeks, we’re going to explore this “toxic threat” and find out what it’s really doing to you… and the information might surprise you.
Today, we’re going to kick this off by listing just 30 of the 146 reasons why sugar ruins your health. Some you might already know–some might surprise you. But all of them are real reasons that should make us all stop and think, ‘Do I really want white sugar in my diet?”
1. Sugar can suppress the immune system. Always getting sick? Kick the sugar to the curb.
2. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
3. Sugar can cause premature aging. And who wants that?!
4. Sugar contributes to obesity.
5. Sugar can cause arthritis.
6. Sugar can cause heart disease. Keep your ticker healthy by avoiding sugar.
7. Sugar causes food allergies.
8. Sugar can contribute to diabetes. And we all know the countless complications that can come from diabetes.
9. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
10. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA.
11. Sugar can make our skin age. Wrinkles and age spots, anyone?
12. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.
13. Sugar is the number 1 enemy of the bowel movement.
14. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
15. Sugar can cause depression. Lift your mood by ditching the sugar!
16. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
17. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance; some hormones become underactive and others become overactive.
18. Sugar feeds cancer.
19. Sugar is an addictive substance. Ever wonder why you want more goodies once you start eating them?
20. Sugar can exacerbate PMS.
21. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.
22. The body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch. Want less fat (who doesn’t?)? Skip sugary foods.
23. Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.
24. Sugar may induce cell death.
25. Sugar can increase the amount of food that you eat. Uh oh…
26. Sugar dehydrates newborns.
27. Sugar can increase the total amount of food consumed. Another uh oh… I’m seeing a pattern here with sugar and weight gain…
28. Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.
29. Sugar can cause asthma.
30. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.
Tune in tomorrow and next week for the next parts to this series! *Sugar stats from Kick the Sugar Habit by Nancy Appleton, PhD