Why Is Refined Sugar So Bad For Your Health?

Why Is Refined Sugar So Bad For Your Health? | sugar | General Health Special Interests

Sugar consumption has steadily risen in recent years and the USDA now reports that the average American consumes around 150 pounds of sugar per year. [1] Sodas are a major source of refined sugars in the American diet. Energy drinks are close behind, and even fruit juices are working against us. Don’t let the word “fruit” fool you. Some of these fruit drinks are stripped of all nutrients and have more additives and sugar (as much as 90%+) than soda.

Sugar Contributes to Diabetes

The World Health Organization recommendation for sugar consumption is no less than 10% of calories, [2] but arguably, this recommendation should be much less. Those that are overweight, pre-diabetic, or suffering from any kind of health issue should limit and/or avoid sugar. Free sugar, meaning sugar that isn’t bound to fiber in fruit, can lead to inflammation, blood sugar instability, and, over a period of time, type 2 diabetes. If you don’t have exercise in your life, then the likelihood you’ll develop these problems goes through the roof.

Sugar Affects Body pH

A daily dose of sugar causes altered internal pH levels resulting in a more acidic body. It is believed that an acidic environment is a breeding ground for disease, whereas an alkaline body promotes good health. [3] To correct any type of imbalance, the body draws on mineral stores. For example, to protect the blood, calcium is drawn from the bones and teeth — enough to weaken bones. This precipitates osteoarthritis.
Refined sugar may even be damaging to the digestive system, particularly for those who have difficulty digesting carbohydrates.

Sugar Has Many Hidden Sources

Around ¼ of the American diet is comprised of refined sugars, and when you take a look at the foods available at most supermarkets, this fact is hardly surprising. [4] Grocery store shelves are littered with junk foods–some of which are disguised as being healthy–that contain massive amounts of sugar. In fact, some prepackaged sports foods, like energy bars, contain more sugar than a candy bar! What’s more, many foods contain hidden sugar, or sugar that is masked by other names such as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and sucanat. While sucanat is probably better for the body than HFCS, the effects of sugar on blood sugar and internal organs are similar.

Do you avoid sugar? What have been your results? Please share with us your take in the comments!

References:

  1. United States Department of Agriculture. Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption, 1970-2005. USDA.
  2. World Health Organization. Healthy diet. World Health Organization.
  3. Gerry K. Schwalfenberg. The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health? J Environ Publc Health. 2012, 2012: 727830.
  4. Barbara V. Howard, PhD; Judith Wylie-Rosett, RD, EdD. Sugar and Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2002; 106:523-527. doi: 10.1161/01.CIR.0000019552.77778.04.
Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

About The Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

    Related posts

    • First and foremost, consumers can rest assured that our industry’s beverages are safe. It’s important to note that the sugars contained in beverages are actually so similar in structure to table sugar the body processes both the same.

      We would also add that, food, not beverages is the top source of sugars in the average American diet, according to CDC data. To further put this discussion in perspective, soda contributes a mere 4% of calories in the American diet, and all sugar-sweetened beverages combined attribute just 6%.

      In other words, pinning the blame on one source of calories for complex health conditions, such as diabetes, is inaccurate and misguided. If we truly want to change behaviors in a meaningful way, education about balancing overall diet with physical activity is key.
      -American Beverage Association