Sugar consumption is contributing to over 35 million deaths worldwide every year and causes diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Sugar is not just ‘empty calories’ (calories without any nutritional value) because in the amounts that are taken daily are three times more than the average consumption that was 50 years ago. Sugar is toxic, it does not do any good to the blood pressure, damages the liver and impacts hormones. Unlike cigarettes, the warnings about sugar are not as loud as they should, although sugar does the same, if not worse damage than cigarettes. It is eight times more addictive than cocaine. Most of the sugar is hidden in processed foods and sweetened drinks.
Added sugar contains no nutrients and is bad for the teeth. Everybody knows that sugar is your teeth’s worst enemy. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with absolutely no essential nutrients. For this reason, they are called “empty” calories. There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar, it is just pure energy. When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar (or more), this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies. Sugar provides easily digestible energy for the bacteria in your mouth.
Added sugar is high in fructose, which can overload your liver before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract; it is broken down into two simple sugars – glucose and fructose. Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If people do not get it from their food, their bodies will produce it. With fructose, the case is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amounts. And this is not an issue for the liver if we take small amounts and in natural form (such as from fruit). In this case, the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it. But, if the liver is full of glycogen, eating a lot of fructose is forcing it to turn the fructose into fat. Regular intake of sugar leads to fatty liver.
Sugar can cause insulin resistance, which leads towards metabolic syndrome and diabetes Insulin is a very important hormone in the body. Insulin allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and commands the cells to start burning glucose instead of fat. Having too much glucose in the blood is toxic and one of the reasons for complications of diabetes, like blindness.
Sugar can cause cancer. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells. Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth. For this reason, many scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels can lead to cancer. The metabolic problems associated with sugar consumption are a known cause of inflammation, another potential cause of cancer. Multiple studies show that regular intake of sugar (and in high doses) will surely lead to cancer.
Sugar causes extreme dopamine release in the brain which leads to addiction Sugar can be addictive for a lot of people. Just like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain. Just like junk foods, sugar causes massive dopamine release and people are known to get easily addicted to it. The saying that any food is okay if it is taken in moderation should not be taken for granted. Sugar addiction is a real thing.