Friday, September 18, 2009

76 Reasons to Avoid Sugar

I recently received an email that included a list of 76 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health. The list was compiled by Dr. Nancy Appleton, who has written several books about America's destructive affair with sugar. Her most recent book is entitiled Suicide By Sugar: A Startling Look at our #1 National Addiction.

Do you think that sounds a bit extreme? I thought so at first... but you've got to check out this list she compiled. Each has a corresponding published clinical study (or more) to support her claim. Pretty interesting stuff...

[AE's Note: I have the extra long list of medical journals and other scientific publications that corresponds to the endnotes for each of these claims. If you would like to know which journal to refer to for each item, please email me with "Sugar Notes" in the subject line and I will attach the file to send to you.]

76 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D

  • Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.1,2
  • Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium. 3,4,5,6
  • Sugar can cause can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.7,8
  • Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.9,10,11,12
  • Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.13
  • Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.14,15,16,17,18,19,20
  • Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.21,22
  • Sugar can weaken eyesight.23
  • Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.24,25,26,27,28
  • Sugar can cause premature aging.29
  • Sugar can lead to alcoholism.30
  • Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.31,32,33
  • Sugar contributes to obesity.34
  • Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis.35,36,37
  • Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)38
  • Sugar can cause gallstones.39
  • Sugar can cause appendicitis.40
  • Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.41
  • Sugar can cause varicose veins.42
  • Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.43
  • Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.44
  • Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.45,46,47
  • Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.48
  • Sugar can increase your systolic blood pressure.49
  • Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.50
  • High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar molecules attaching to and thereby damaging proteins in the body).51
  • Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.52
  • Sugar causes food allergies.53
  • Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.54
  • Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.55
  • Sugar can cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.56,57
  • Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA.58
  • Sugar can change the structure of protein and cause a permanent alteration of the way the proteins act in your body.59,60
  • Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.61
  • Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.62,63
  • Sugar can cause emphysema.64
  • High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in your body.65
  • Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.66
  • Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson's disease.67
  • Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide and it can increase the amount of liver fat.68,69
  • Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney such as the formation of kidney stones.70,71
  • Sugar can damage your pancreas.72
  • Sugar can increase your body's fluid retention.73
  • Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.74
  • Sugar can compromise the lining of your capillaries.75
  • Sugar can make your tendons more brittle.76
  • Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.77
  • Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders.78,79
  • Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves which can alter your mind's ability to think clearly.80
  • Sugar can cause depression.81
  • Sugar can increase your risk of gout.82
  • Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease.83
  • Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances such as: increasing estrogen in men, exacerbating PMS, and decreasing growth hormone.84,85,86,87
  • Sugar can lead to dizziness.88
  • Diets high in sugar will increase free radicals and oxidative stress.89
  • High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.90
  • High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration and is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.91,92
  • Sugar is an addictive substance.93
  • Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.94
  • Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.95
  • Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.96
  • Your body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.97
  • The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.98
  • Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).99
  • Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.100
  • Sugar can slow down the ability of your adrenal glands to function.101
  • Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual and to promote chronic degenerative diseases.102
  • I.V.s (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to your brain.103
  • Sugar increases your risk of polio.104
  • High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.105
  • Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.106
  • In intensive care units: Limiting sugar saves lives.107
  • Sugar may induce cell death.108
  • In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior.109
  • Sugar dehydrates newborns.110
  • Sugar can cause gum disease.111
If you are still reading, you may want to consider a Sugar Fast. I gave six reasons your body will benefit from a Sugar Fast here.

For your health,


kristilea said...

WOW! I had started reading Sugar Blues and haven't had a chance to get too far into it lately. I do believe that sugar is NOT good for us. My own body has told me that. I truly believe it's addictive...I just have such a hard time staying away from it. It doesn't help that they put it in so many foods. This is truly a reinspirational post to keep trying to kick the sugar habit!

Christian Frugal Mama said...

I'm curious about the sugar fast. Is it just from refined white sugar? Honey? Maple syrup. Do you need to watch fruit intake as well? Thanks for the info!

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Janeen,

A sugar fast can be as simple or as extensive as you'd like it to be. Personally, we usually avoid all sweetened foods minus fruit... so this would include rapadura or honey baked goods, but not smoothies.

It's a good exercise just in getting back to reading labels and seeing just how much stuff has added sweeteners!

Hope this helps!
Amy Ellen

pinecone304 said...

I am on a mission to reduce our family's sugar intake. I only use cane juice crystals and honey at home. But I would even like to reduce that. Does eating honey and fruit reduce your immune system just as regular refined sugar does?

Anonymous said...

Hi AE!

I enjoy reading your blog so much. Although I am always overwhelmed at the stuff I am learning. I just printed off the sugar list and posted it to my fridge. I failed my glucose test last week and have to do the long test this Wednesday to test for Gestational Diabetes. I need to clense sugar from my life, but honestly am too stressed out to do it right now(having a baby, 1st year homeschooling, husband deploying soon). If only you could come to my house, clean out my cabinets and teach me how to cook! I need a "Food Makeover". Help! :) Thanks for all of your info. Great stuff!

Stacy (Lance) Ruska

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Pinecone,

I'm so glad to hear that your family is reducing sugar. Raw honey in it's natural state contains enzymes -- as does fruit. Honey and fruit also contain healthful substances that sugar is devoid of. Both of these are good choices in moderation... they will not supress the immune system. However, too much of them to the exclusion of other nutrients will cause blood sugar or energy issues.

Cane Juice Crystals are a different matter. If they are crystalized, they have undergone a refining process similar to white sugar... except maybe they still have some color and some minerals left. You might want to look for Rapadura or Sucanat, which are brands of evaporated cane juice... evaporated instead of crystalized. You can tell the difference by looking at the granules, which are not shaped evenly like crystals.

Hope this helps! Amy Ellen

busymomof10 said...

Wow -- after reading that list Sugar doesn't sound like such a Sweet deal! I guess it is like a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Noel said...

Ancient Egyptians considered sugar a poison! I can understand why. I read Sugar Busters once and was surprised to see it even affects cholesterol. Wow!

Kathryn said...

As bad as sugar is, sugar-substitutes are even worse!

I got Splenda poisoning at a church picnic Sunday & was miserable. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

Thanks for sharing. This is a wonderful list.

Peggy said...

sugar is so evil but I still crave it! I am back to my "pure" ways of trying to avoid it after falling off the wagon!!