Is Sugar Bad for Your Health as Well as Your Waistline?

Excerpted and adapted from an article written by Dr. Josh Axe of “Dr. Axe, Food is Medicine”.

Is sugar bad for you? Can it really have an impact on the entire human body? When we’re talking about added sugar, the answer is definitely “yes.” Although the sugar industry has actively fought to change public opinion about the health effects of sugar, we now know today that sugar impacts just about every organ system in the body.

 Here’s How Sugar Destroys Your Health

Most people blame dietary fat for heart disease. And while certain industrial, inflammatory fats like transfats do cause heart attacks, sugar is most likely the real culprit. In fact, as recently as last year, researchers unearthed a huge sugar industry scandal, indicating that the sugar lobby sponsored phony Harvard research in the 1960s. Apparently, the sugar lobby paid Harvard researchers to take the focus off of the health effects of sugar, instead turning the focus on naturally-occurring fats’. This faulty “research” concluded that the only dietary intervention required to prevent coronary heart disease was to eat less cholesterol and to eat polyunsaturated fat instead of saturated fat.

Now we know that this is not true. In 2014, researchers demonstrated scientifically that ingesting too much added sugar could significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. In fact, people getting 17 to 21 percent of calories from added sugar face a 38 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those who get only 8 percent of their calories from sugar. The relative risk was more than double for those who consumed 21 percent or more of their calories from added sugar.

Today, most U.S. adults consume about 22 teaspoons of added sugars a day – far more than even the American Heart Association recommends as safe.

Sugar Ingredients to Avoid

Added sugars can fall under all sorts of different names on ingredient labels. While it’s currently nearly impossible to tell the percentage of sugar comes from natural or added sources right now, better labeling is right around the corner. By mid-2018, we should expect to see an “Added Sugar” line on the Nutrition Facts label.

One rule of thumb to find these hidden sugars is that any ingredient ending in “ose” is a type of sugar. Remember to check where they fall in an ingredients, list, too. The higher up an ingredient is on the list, the more of it is included in a product.

Other names for added sugar include:

Final Thoughts on Sugar

 Is sugar bad for you? Yes, indeed. Added sugar can significantly increase your risk of early death.

For more information and references, see Dr. Axe’s full article at

Susan Malzone, Nutritional Director, Physicians Weight Loss Centers in Ashburn & Fairfax, VA

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