Did you know that the average American consumes about 140 lbs. of added sugar per year? That's a lot of sweet stuff. The sugar industry was first established in the Caribbean in 1647. Since then, consumption of added sugar has dramatically increased. Around the year 1700, average annual sugar consumption was about 2.5 lbs. per person. By 1800, that number rose to just over 22 lbs. of sugar per person per year. In the year 1900, the average person was annually consuming 90 lbs. of added sugar. And now...? Well, we're doomed if we let these numbers increase anymore. I'd actually like to see average annual sugar consumption decrease. By a lot.
It is recommended that each person consume no more than 1oz. of added sugar each day. That would equal about 22.5 lbs. of added sugar per year. But even then, that's more added sugar than our DNA can handle. We didn't evolve eating sugar from sugarcane. Our bodies literally don't know how to process it. This is evident in the fact that millions of people are suffering from metabolic disorders that could have been prevented by eating naturally occurring, nutrient-dense whole foods.
If you're not yet convinced that eating added sugar is bad for you, let me present you with some convincing reasons why you need to quit eating it.
Sugar Makes You Fat
A diet high in added sugar puts stress on your pancreas forcing it to produce elevated levels of insulin. Elevated insulin raises cortisol levels, which stresses out your body even more. When the body is stressed, it sends your metabolism into hibernation mode. Because of this, hormones that regulate weight, stress, digestion, and metabolism are neglected. This leads to energy dips, mood swings and cravings that often signal you to overeat. Your body decreases its ability to burn fat stores. Sugar is more than just empty calories triggering you to put on weight.
Sugar Makes You Sick
Consuming too much sugar can deactivate your T-cells that are needed to fight bacterial infections. This effect can last anywhere from a couple of hours after ingesting sugar to a couple of days, depending on how much you consume and what your body chemistry is like. If you find yourself getting sick too often during cold and flu season, perhaps you need to reevaluate your sugar intake. And remember this: one 12 ounce can of soda is enough to turn off your immune system for one hour or more.
Sugar is a Primary Cause of Diabetes
Sugar consumption is one of the major risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes and is so detrimental to your health. Eating too much sugar over extended periods of time leads to hypoglycemia and eventually insulin resistance. When your body becomes so insulin resistant that your pancreatic beta cells won't even produce it anymore, the result is diabetes. Do you think it would be fun to prick your finger several times a day to test your blood sugar levels? No, me either. Getting control over your sugar consumption now can prevent this in the future.
Sugar Wreaks Havoc on Your Liver
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is on the rise. And the sad part? Even children are being diagnosed with this condition. High-fructose foods like juice, soda, syrups, and other sweet liquids not only require the liver to work overtime to process them, they also cause it to neglect its other functions. An over-worked liver results in symptoms like fatigue, increased uric acid levels in the body, gout, high blood pressure, and kidney stones. Eating too much sugar causes the liver to become fatty, leading to liver disease, insulin-resistance, and possibly even organ failure.
Sugar Makes You Smell Bad
Due to hormone imbalances, a malfunctioning immune system, increased body fat, decreased liver and kidney function, and poor digestion; eating too much sugar can actually make you smell bad. Sugar feeds bacteria leading to an overgrowth of bacteria that can result in fowl body odor. If that's not bad enough, eating sugar causes plaque to form on your teeth which can lead to bad breath. While you may not notice your bad scent, the people around you definitely do. So do yourself and those around you a favor and stop eating so many sweets.
Sugar is Expensive
It's true that sugar doesn't cost much up front. The cost of sugar is actually hidden in the fact that sugar-related illnesses like diabetes and obesity have caused a steady rise in health insurance premiums. Purchasing and consuming sugar also lines the pockets of processed food manufacturers. As long as these companies continue to profit from it, they’ll keep pumping out the poison with zero regard to our health. As if the increased medical bills weren’t enough, over-consumption of sugar also triggers the production of ghrelin, the hormone which signals to your body that it’s hungry, making you feel like you need to eat more, thus prompting you to spend more money on food overall.