ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Health Effects of Sugar

Updated on July 14, 2014

It tastes oh so good and associated with happy childhood memories. But sadly there are no benefits to sugar and it is a known cause and contributor to over 140 health problems.

From suppressing your immune system and cancer, to obesity and joint pain, sugar is more trouble than it's worth.

Sugar is commonly used as rewards and treats, but it is also cheap and freely available and it is a major contributor of the obesity and disease epidemic of the western world. Luckily there are some yummy alternatives. Keep reading to find out more~

Sugar Fact: Did You Know?

3oz (90g) of sugar will reduce your immune system to 50% for around five hours.

As little as 18grams (just over 1/2 ounce)~about half a can of regular coke~ is enough to reduce your antibody production.

Sugar Effects On Health

The reason sugar is linked to so many health problems is mainly because it disrupts hormones, suppresses your immune system and interferes with the absorption of nutrients.

Your immune system is a delicate machine where your lymph nodes and fluid work hard to eliminate toxins from your body. Because sugar is basically pure toxin, it overloads the lymph system. Not only this but sugar raises your insulin levels, blocking growth hormones and slowing down your immune system~ making you at more risk of becoming ill, from a common cold to cancer.

Nutrients are essential for us to be healthy, feel and look good. Sugar does not contain any useful nutrients itself and actually interferes with the absorption of vitamins and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. So for your body to digest sugar it has to look to the stores of nutrients your body already has. Instead of giving you energy, fighting illness or keeping your system clean, your nutrients are sent to combat the effects of sugar.

Depression is a big problem in the western world now and I think the fact we have such a big sugar dependence is no coincidence. Sugar increases insulin demand and as mentioned before prevents nutrients being absorbed, including B vitamins which are essential for hormone balance.

Obesity is now a pandemic and for the first time there are now more obese people in the world than starving. It is now the biggest health problem in the modern and developing world and it is completely man-made. Sugar is the biggest contributor to this. It inhibits the hormone that tells us when we are full, so we overeat. It also causes fatigue and joint pain, making us less likely to be active.

Health Problems Sugar Is Known To Cause Or Contribute To:

Joint Pain
Low Immune System
Cell Damage
Food Allergies
Gall Stones
Nutrient Malabsorbtion
Heart Disease
Tooth Decay
Fatty Liver
Fluid Retention

This is just an example of how dangerous sugar is and is by no means an exhaustive list. For more details please read 'Suicide by Sugar' by Nancy Appleton PhD & G.N. Jacobs

Look Out For Hidden Sugars

Any processed food probably has added sugars. One of the most scary is in baby formula. One UK supermarket brand, intended for new born babies, sell cartons for one complete meal and each one contains 7.2g of sugar. A baby will be feed every 2-4 hours, so that's 43.2-86.4g of sugar a day for a new born baby! The recommended amount for an adult is 90g a day which is still enough to cause a lot of damage.

Read labels carefully and try to avoid anything processed. Low fat foods and sodas are the worst, using sugar to make them more palatable. Junk food, salad dressings and seasonings also contain added sugar~ if in doubt, read the label!

Replacement For Sugar

So if sugar is a no-no what can you eat instead to get that sweet taste? The bad news is not much. You're best off getting your sugars from fruit and vegetables in their raw state as these will also contain a lot of nutrients and fibre to help you process them.

Sweeteners, such as Aspartame (Splenda) and Sorbitol are known to be extremely dangerous (more so than sugar itself) and cause health problems from headaches and irritability to brain tumors and fertility problems.

Honey, though high in nutrients, is still absorbed by the body quickly. There is much debate as to whether honey is a must for it's healing properties, or unhealthy because it is still regarded as a 'simple' sugar. I personally believe that raw honey in small quantities is beneficial and an ideal alternative.

Fruit juice, is not ideal as it has had the fibre removed and is a high dose of sugar in a small portion. Where your body does not have to work to break down the food (as that has already been done for you by juicing the fruit), you get an insulin spike and a massive sugar rush just as with table sugar.

Other sweeteners such as Xylitol and Stevia are much debated. Both from natural sources, many claim they are safe sweeteners. Xylitol in particular is claimed to be safe for diabetics due to it's low Glycemic Index and in fact protects teeth against decay.


Sugar Consumption

Back in 1700 the average person consumed about 7 1/2 pounds (lbs) of sugar every year and most of that would have come from pure and natural sources such as fruit.

Today the average is a shocking 150lbs a year! That's just under 3lbs every week, with most of it coming from highly refined sources such as white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup added to processed foods. One can of coke now contains the equivalent of 10 cubes of sugar. We don't taste it as too sweet because it is there to balance out the taste of salt, caffeine and phosphoric acid which are there to make us addicted and more thirsty to buy more of the product.

Then of course there's our obsession with all things candy and cake. It's never been trendier to open a cupcake shop or create huge dioramas covered in candy for special occasions.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)