The Dangers of Too Much Sugar

Most people have a general idea that too much sugar is bad for them, but what exactly does that mean?  After all, people have been consuming sugar for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  Why is there such a concern now about sugar?  The answer to that question is simple.  Statistics show that the average sugar intake per person was about four pounds per year.  However, today about 50 percent of people consume 180 pounds of sugar per year.  And that staggering increase in sugar intake isn’t the only reason to be concerned.  Here are five other reasons too much sugar is simply bad for you:

  1. Consuming too much sugar could cause you to get sick.  Studies show that sugar actually works to suppress the immune system by taking away your white blood cells’ ability to eliminate bacteria in your body.  All it takes is two teaspoons of sugar to zap away 25 percent of your white blood cells’ power.
  2. Sugar contributes to tooth decay.The reason sugar contributes so much to the decay of our teeth is because it is full of energy that can be used by bacteria, which create acids that attack the teeth.This one is fairly simple.  If your teeth are decaying, they’ll fall out, and you need teeth to eat.  Of course it is possible to replace those teeth with dental implants, but why would you really want to do that?
  3. Taking in too much sugar lowers your HDL cholesterol levels.  HDL cholesterol is actually the good type of cholesterol that works to help soak up LDL cholesterol, which is the harmful kind that gets most of the media attention.  By lowering the amount of HDL cholesterol, you could actually be increasing your level of harmful LDL cholesterol because there simply won’t be enough HDL cholesterol to soak it up.
  4. High sugar intake raises your triglyceride levels.  Triglycerides are the type of fat that the body creates when breaking down sugar to create energy for the body to use.  Of course there are cosmetic reasons for avoiding fat, but when you take high triglycerides and combine them with low levels of LDL cholesterol, you have a recipe for heart disease.  This can be avoided by limiting your sugar intake.
  5. Sugar is addictive.  Although sugar doesn’t get much attention as an addictive substance, it should.  Virtually everyone has access to sugary treats, so it is far easier to get our hands on this particular drug.  The media has given so much attention to drug and alcohol addictions that the more common addictions like sugar are completely overlooked.  And when you’re addicted to sugar, the health problems you experience will simply multiply.

According to the World Health Organization, everyone should limit their sugar intake to less than 10 percent of their total calorie intake per day.  However, other agencies recommend even less sugar than that.  The best way to learn how much sugar you’re really taking in is to read the labels.  You’ll be shocked at what you find and can then start looking for ways to cut your sugar intake.