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Sugar is Killing Us

Updated on December 28, 2015

What we are not Told

Added sugar sneaks into so much of food from spaghetti sauce to salad dressing, the average American ate 4 teaspoons of sugar a day in 1990 and today eats over 22 teaspoons of sugar today.

Watch anything labelled 'low fat'.

In fact there are 30% more obese people in the world than undernourished. Nobody chooses to be obese, certainly not children, however since the advent of 'low fat', the problem burgeoned into what it is today. Take out the fat and to replace the resultant cardboard taste they added sugar in its various forms.

The part of the label on the product that reads "glycamic carbohydrates of which sugar is...", that is the part that is worrying. Yes, it is the sugar on your table, the fructose and corn syrup too. The body makes glucose but the glucose you body makes is not the same as the fructose on the label.

A McDonald’s milkshake contains an incredible 16 cubes of sugar; a ‘healthy’ salad contains two cubes. The unhealthiest forms of added sugars are table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and a liquid sweetener made from maize.

The phenomenal amount of sugar added to food and drinks adds the calories with no nutritional value, and this is particularly true for sugary soft drinks, and alcohol such as ciders, mixed drinks like gin and tonic, and light beers, etc.

Do we need the Sugar Police?

Consumers are mostly in the dark concerning the amount of added sugar they are eating, but while we wait for government to set a lower dietary standard for consumption, which may take sometime as the entrenched monetary interests of the food, drink and farming industries are blocking the changes, such as the sugar barons in the electorally key swing state of Florida.

However, the rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer – all diseases with authoritative strong links to sugar intake – continue to rise.

Added sugar is the key word to worry about, as a healthy diet includes naturally occurring sugar in fruits and whole grains.

In processed foods and drinks it is the added sugar, rather than fat, which is responsible for ever-rising levels of obesity, leading to fatty liver, heart disease, diabetes and the increase in Alzheimers.

Sugar - White Poison - Lucas Hanson

Risk of Serious Disease

Is is now an unrefuted fact that eating too much added sugar increases the risk of heart disease, liver damage and dementia and makes your skin age faster.

The more sugar you take in the more your body stores it as fat – the link to obesity. What is emerging is how much of it we eat – we know about cakes, fizzy drinks, sauces, yoghurts, cereals, fruit juices even fruit itself.

I calculated that my breakfast of porridge, banana and honey plus a glass of pineapple juice contains around 10 spoons of sugar.

Confusion on the issue of fruit and fructose – moderation in the fruit you eat, and the riper a piece of fruit, e.g. banana is the more fructose it contains.

The box of cereal says it’s healthy yet contains 20,9g per 100g or 5 tsp of sugar!

The World Health Organisation recommends just 6 teaspoons or 25g sugar per day for adults, the NHS in the UK says it should be reduced to 5 teaspoons. (Roughly, you can divide the grams by four to get the teaspoons).

The higher up sugar is on the label “glycamic carbohydrates of which sugar is” the higher the sugar content is in that particular product. Check packet flavours such as Boeuf bourguignon, curries, etc., and they will be out as sugar is too high.

A significant amount of added sugar intake comes from bread, rice, fruit yoghurt, and white wine. When you make the changes to a truly low sugar diet, you will feel fatigued and a little ratty. The low energy is just your body recalibrating its metabolism and switching its system of fuel from carbs to fats and proteins.

Death by Candy - Pick your Poison

Fat is not inherently fattening. The Pancreas which releases insulin plays a major role in fat storage and the more insulin you secrete the more likely you are to become insulin-resistant. Sugar is the fat exploding all over your body.

Once you actively cut out sugar and eat wholefoods such as lean meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, cheese, butter, natural yoghurt, milk, cream, oats, pulses, nuts, whole meal bread, brown rice and whole wheat pasta.

To wean and retrain your body and palate to accept natural foods without the added sugar, will probably take around a month. After that time, bread may be heavy, and rice, pasta, and chocolate biscuits won’t taste as good as they used to.

I stopped sugar in my tea and coffee by dropping half a teaspoon a week, so from 2.5 teaspoons I am now down to naught, nothing nada. Just that change made my family and me aware of how sweet most things are and those items just naturally dropped away.

Sugar is addictive

All the treats we used to keep for birthdays and special celebrations are now part of the everyday diet. Our tastebuds have become flooded with sweet foods and drinks and as the sweet taste is quite addictive, the naturally sweet food didn’t taste so great and now are paying the price. Adding one teaspoon of regular jam on wholegrain bread is okay.

Keep your Teeth for life

Another plus for cutting our sugar by at least half, which would minimize the risk of dental caries, means that we would get to keep our teeth for life and won’t have to pay out big dental bills.

Sugar and inflammation

Added sugar promotes inflammation in the body, in particular refined carbohydrates, which increase cytokines, the inflammatory messengers. Nuts, vegetables, fish all reduce inflammation.

Sugar makes you hungrier

Sugar can make you feel hungrier and eat even more according to Yale School of Medicine. Glucose the good ‘sugar’, represses that part of the brain that makes us want to eat; fructose does not and as it’s unable to suppress food-seeking behavior, we will want to eat more. When these brain cells are blunted by sugar, you start asking for seconds, thirds and look for midnight snacks.

Your brain and sugar

Overeating, poor memory formation, learning disorders, depression have all recently been linked to our over-consumption of sugar.

The average American consumes 156 lb of added sugar per year or 27.5 teaspoons per day. We chronically consume added sugar in processed foods, that lowers the levels of the brain chemical BDNF, and then it begins contributing to insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes. Once that happens, your brain and body are in a cycle that’s difficult if not impossible to reverse.

A Few Things to Remember

· Sugar is a form of carbohydrate that the body converts to glucose

· Limit soft drinks as they are linked to obesity in children

· Small amounts of sugar, such as jam, as part of a meal, are okay.

· Limit food and drinks with high amounts of added sugar – choose foods with naturally occurring sugars such as fresh fruits.

· Try to eat one low GI food with each meal. Often there is no direct relationship between a food’s glycaemic index and degree of processing or sugar. So check carefully.

· Starchy foods like refined bread and breakfast cereal negatively affects the blood glucose levels.

· Sugars are found together with fats in commercially produced foods


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    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      Maggie.L Thank you for stopping by. I have a sweet tooth but have cut sugar out of my tea and coffee to try to balance it. Also buy less processed food - usually less expensive to make you own anyway.

    • Maggie.L profile image


      4 years ago from UK

      Really useful info here. I'm a bit of a sugar addict myself, but I'm trying to cut down. Voted up and useful.

    • Cherylann Mollan profile image

      Cherylann Mollan 

      4 years ago from India

      Informative hub. Got to learn a lot from here. It's very difficult to cut down on sugar, probably because it is so addictive. I must start with reducing spoons in tea like you did. Voted up useful and interesting.

    • mochirajackson profile image


      4 years ago from Liverpool, United Kingdom


      You're welcome - I enjoyed reading it x

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      mochirajackson, thank you so much for stopping by and for you comments which add dimension to my article.

    • mochirajackson profile image


      4 years ago from Liverpool, United Kingdom

      Great Hub, Cybershelley.

      The Government here in the UK says they are going to start doing something about the high amounts of sugar that manufacturers add to our food, particularly those which you wouldn't expect to contain sugar. So I hope that this situation starts to change around the world, too.

      I didn't know that riper fruits contained more fructose. I have stopped eating biscuits and feel all the better for it - I limit myself to a few squares of chocolate every now and then but, as you rightly said, since I stopped eating biscuits (I was eating at least one every day) I have not really craved sugary things. Thanks for sharing x

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      DDE, thank you for commenting and the visit. Always glad to see your name.

      Alphadogg16 - Thank you for stopping by and your kind comments. Glad your metabolism is working properly, mine used to then started to slow down as I grew older.

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Very good & informative article on sugar Cybershelly. I personally am well aware if the dangers if sugar, I do have a sweet tooth, however I am one if those blessed individuals who's body metabolizes extremely fast & don't gain a lot of fat. I eat sugar in moderation. Thumbs up on your hub.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I don't take sugar and have learned how sugar can kill us slowly it is a problem with many people. I don't drink fizzy drinks instead water your hub is very useful and informative.

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      Rebecca Furtado, thank you for visiting. I too enjoy the sweet stuff, but it's amazing what else sugar is added to, no wonder cutting sugar from my tea and coffee didn't achieve much!

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      billybuc, You can see how healthy your are by looking at you! We know the law against smoking made sense, the diseases that wrought and the medical costs, but now we need something against sugar, as those costs are spiraling. The growing number of obese people all over the world didn't decide to eat-up all at once - they had help. Anyway, I'll get off my soap box now LOL - thanks for stopping buy I appreciate your visits.

    • Rebecca Furtado profile image

      Rebecca Furtado 

      4 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

      Still somewhat of a sugar addict. It is in so much . Very informative article. I am happy to share it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Twenty years ago I would have been angry about this article and refused to listen. Today I know it is the truth and sugar is practically non-existent in my life. Good information, Shelley!


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