With mounting research showing that sugar does more harm than good, many people are choosing to forego it in favor of less harmful alternatives. Explore the damage sugar causes to your health and some of the alternatives that are rising in popularity.
But Isn’t Sugar Found in Nature?
It’s true that one form of sugar, fructose, is commonly found in fruits – but that’s not the problem. This sugar is radically different from the refined sugars that cause obesity and other problems. The problem lies with the ADDED sugar that is infused into a massive variety of packaged foods. We’re not just talking about cake mix either – check out this surprising list of foods that features added sugar where you least expect it.
List of 12 Packaged Foods that Contain Additional Sugar
- BBQ Sauce
- Peanut Butter
- Many Protein Bars and Health Snacks
- Fat-free Salad Dressing
- Lemon Tea Mix
- White Bread
- Soy Milk
- Most Fruit Juices
- Instant Oatmeal
- Granola Bars
Refined Sugar – A Killer With Many Names
Food companies are aware that sugar keeps health-conscious customers away from their products, so they’ve devised other names that essentially mean the same thing. Just because you don’t see the word “sugar” on a product’s nutrition label does not mean that it’s healthy. Make no mistake – these common sugar aliases all do the same damage to your body as sugar:
- Corn Syrup
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Cane Sugar
- Corn Sweetener
- Raw Sugar
Documentaries that are Leading the War against Sugar
The anti-sugar movement has gained traction in recent years, and some of the credit is due to Netflix and their consistent supply of new documentaries that focus on sugar and the problems it causes. While research studies are far less approachable to the average citizen, documentaries give those who are willing to learn a window into major breakthroughs and findings. Take a look at several of the most influential documentaries that fueled the war on sugar:
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (2010)
In one of the most heartfelt and approachable documentaries out there, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead follows the story of overweight Australian, Joe Cross. The viewer can’t help but feel for Cross as he explores the reasons for his decent into obesity and seeks to change his body.
The Sugar Film (2014)
The Sugar Film follows an interesting premise: Damon Gameau is determined to get 40g of sugar per day, but not through the obvious means. Obtaining his sugar from hidden sources where you wouldn’t expect it, you can clearly see how sugar devastates his body and health.
FED Up (2014)
Exploring the reasons why refined sugar became such a widespread American addiction, FED Up turns its focus to laws put in place decades ago. Using real-life stories that tug at your heart-strings, FED Up is a glimpse into the perils of sugar and why it became so prevalent.
Sugar Problems – Now Backed by Research
While concerned moms may have warned against sugar for generations, nothing changes until studies prove that it’s harmful. Now there is research confirming that sugar causes obesity, leads to dementia and may be the one and only cause of cavities. As these studies pile up, the viability of sugar as a legitimate food source hangs by a thread. Check out some of the research that points to the negative aspects of sugar.
Study Where Sugar is a Direct Cause of Obesity
Arguably the most well-known fact about sugar is that it’s the leading cause of obesity. Sugar is considered a source of empty calories, and it has the unique property of immediately converting to fat once it’s consumed. Combined with the fact that it’s in so many foods, it’s clear that sugar is the culprit behind America’s obesity epidemic.
Study that Links High Sugar Levels to Dementia
World-renowned neurologist and author, Dr. David Perlmutter detailed the perils of consuming excess sugars in his book, Grain Brain. One study he highlights shows that participants who had higher glucose levels were much more prone to developing dementia. While it may be easy for young people to brush that off, dementia is a harrowing disease that devastates families who have to deal with it.
Study that Showed Sugar is the ONLY Cause of Tooth Decay
Most people grow up with the knowledge that excessive sugar is terrible for your teeth, but a recent study shows that it’s the ONLY cause of tooth decay. Tooth decay leads to cavities and other unwanted ailments, so by eliminating sugar, you can avoid all of these dental problems.
Study that Points to Sugar as a Cause of Cancer
Multiple research studies have drawn strong links between sugar and various forms of cancer. While not everything is understood about cancer, studies that monitor participants over a number of years are able to highlight the cause when participants acquire the disease. This research shows a link between a high-sugar intake and the development of breast cancer.
A Quick List of Problems Caused by Sugar Consumption
- Sugar provides a dopamine rush and is highly addictive
- Is the leading cause of obesity
- Singlehandedly causes tooth-decay & cavities
- Very likely is a contributor to developing various forms of cancer
- It potentially is a major factor in causing dementia
- Research shows that sugar, not fat, causes heart disease
Next Step Toward Optimal Health: Choose to Avoid Sugar!
If you’re willing to modify your diet in favor of better health and fitness, then there’s nothing that will benefit your body more than swearing off of sugar. The research that shows that it’s bad for you is rapidly piling up, and many of the problems it causes are horrific. Luckily, with a little willpower and self-discipline, you can avoid them all. Simply choose to forego this sweet white poison, and experience a life of improved fitness and health.