The idea that sugar is bad because it negatively influences our organism is commonly known. Unfortunately, it does not delve deeper into the facts that contrast this reasoning. As a result of this knowledge, most people consume sugar without knowing exactly what happens in their bodies when they take it.
Cholesterol was long demonized as a cause of cardiovascular disease and turned to sugar consumption, causing the global obesity curve to soar.
Today we won’t talk about cholesterol, although you can take an in-depth look at this topic in this article.
Today we will talk about why sugar is bad and how the myth originated that sugar is good. Fats are bad, what diseases sugar causes and how we can recognize refined foods, many of them characterized by excess added sugar.
According to WHO (World Health Organization), the recommendation is not to exceed 5% of the total calories needed in the basal state in sugar.
This would represent less than 25g of sugar per day (not carbohydrates) in an adult. However, the average consumption globally is above 90gr per day.
In this article, you will find:
- Sugar-related diseases
- Refined and ultra-processed foods
We can highlight current severe epidemics such as diabetes, obesity, or hypertension among the long list of diseases or pathologies that clearly show that sugar is bad for health.
Sugar is, without a doubt, one of the hardest habits to break. But why does sugar seem to have so much power? The answer: because sugar and diabetes are close friends. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society has concluded that only two sugary drinks a week are sufficient to increase the risk of diabetes in an adult significantly. Less than three if you’re an adult between the ages of 20 and 45.
Another 2016 study showed a link between added sugar consumption and hypertension. This same relationship is not observed in natural sugar sources such as fruits.
For a few years now, the relationship between increased risk of dementia and excess blood sugar has been studied.
Precisely one study showed that you are 18% more likely to develop dementia if your sugar intake is excessive. This study used a sample of adults with higher than standard blood sugar without developing diabetes.
Sugar consumption is also related to memory impairment. A 2012 study showed that excessive sugar consumption could shrink the brain and negatively influence people’s memory.
The negative effect of sugar on our brain is so strong that Alzheimer’s has started to be called Type 3 Diabetes in recent years.
This is because a direct link has been found between excess sugar consumption and a 20% increase in the level of beta-amyloid protein. This protein is directly related to the development of Alzheimer’s.
Sugar and gut
As we have already discussed in other articles, an excess in consumption promotes an imbalance in your gut microbiota. This generates a bacterial overgrowth that can lead to discomforts such as gas, pain, and diarrhea.
Sugar and Cancer
While within the benefits of the ketogenic diet, there is the great advantage of eliminating many precancerous cells that need glucose to survive, just dropping sugar can help.
According to a 2016 cancer research study, there is a direct link between excess sugar in the diet and the development of breast cancer.
For all these things, following a ketogenic diet is an option that will bring healthy changes in your life. And if you decide not to follow a ketogenic diet, eating a sugar-free diet is 100% recommended to improve your life in all aspects.
Refined and ultra-processed foods
Among the foods that contain the most sugar, we can highlight sugary drinks such as soft drinks, energy drinks, and fruit-flavored juices.
All treats would be included in this group, as their ingredients are practically composed of sugar.
This is especially important for children. They are completely oblivious that sugar is bad. Their diet usually includes sugary cereals and biscuits, among other ultra-processed foods.
👉 But is not only in those products that we can recognize as pastries or certain beverages.
Sugar is also in almost all sauces (ketchup, barbecue…), most sausages, processed meats (marinated steaks, burgers…). There are many more foods that include sweeteners in their ingredients to exploit their flavor and make them more palatable.
It is therefore essentially crucial that if we want to exclude added and refined sugar from our diet completely, we take into account these two points:
- Read food labels well to make sure they are as processed as possible. Ideally, your ingredient list should not be greater than 5. Neither sugar nor other sweeteners are present on this list.
- Bet on food and not products. These have a minimum or no processing level. Therefore sugar will not be added, but naturally present in its composition.