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This Month In Health
  • Health Numbers that Matter
    You know your phone number and bank account, but do you know the six numbers that equal good health? At your next check-up, ask your doctor to measure these six indicators of good health and know how your numbers stack up. Read >>
  • Sugar’s Aftermath
    Despite sugar being everywhere, you probably hear all the time that you should cut back on the amount of sugar you consume. But do you know why you should cut the sweet from your routine? Read >>
  • A Sleep Solution?
    There are few things more frustrating than elusive sleep. Maybe you’ve limited late night screen time, taken hot baths, or cut back on caffeine with no luck—until you tried melatonin. But is it safe? Read >>
  • Mommy, Don’t Leave Me!
    You leave baby with a loving, caring babysitter, and as soon as you’re out of sight, baby starts crying. Why? Separation anxiety. Knowing what to expect with this type of anxiety and how to cope will help parents and children get through this upsetting phase of life. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Sugar’s Aftermath

Just how bad is sugar for you?

Anyone with a sweet tooth knows how hard it is to resist indulging in candy, cookies, pies, cakes, and pastries. And anyone who tries to limit the amount of sugar they eat knows how hard it is. Besides desserts, added sugars are found in the majority of processed foods—from cereals and salad dressings to breads and hotdogs to yogurt, soups, canned fruit, and even canned vegetables. And don’t forget sweetened beverages. Sodas, fruit flavored drinks, sports drinks, and sweet tea. They may all be delicious, but they’re also loaded with sugar.

Despite sugar being everywhere, you probably hear all the time that you should cut back on the amount of sugar you consume. But do you know why you should cut the sweet from your routine? After all, what exactly does sugar do to your body, besides put a smile on your face?

You’re about to find out all the places sugar touches.


Sugar wrecks havoc on your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar. As they enjoy sugar with you, they release an acidic byproduct that eats away at the enamel of your teeth. Over time, cavities form and suddenly, it’s time for another expensive trip to the dentist.


As your body digests sugar, your pancreas produces insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. When you eat too much of the sweet stuff and your body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin, your pancreas makes even more insulin. This causes your blood sugar to rise, putting you at risk for type 2 diabetes.


High amounts of insulin in your blood harm your arteries, causing artery walls to grow faster and stiffen. This puts stress on your heart. Over time, this stress contributes to heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease.

A diet high in sugar also lowers your HDL cholesterol—the good cholesterol that protects your heart. In addition, as your body becomes increasingly resistant to the effects of insulin, your risk for high blood pressure goes up.

Body Weight

A certain amount of sugar is needed for energy, but all unused energy is stored as fat. The more added sugar you consume, the more weight you’ll gain. In addition to being an uncomfortable condition in itself, obesity is linked to other health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea.


Suffer from stiff, achy joints? Sugar may be partly to blame. High levels of insulin lead to inflammation in the body, which contributes to joint pain. Fat cells also produce hormones that increase inflammation.


Sugar triggers the release of dopamine in your brain. This feel-good chemical is why your body craves more and more sugar and why it’s hard to cut back. Similar to the effect of drugs, sugar activates the pleasure areas in the brain. The more you eat, the more your brain needs to feel the desired effect.


The inflammation caused by sugar can also contribute to premature aging of the skin. That’s because sugar damages collagen (the protein responsible for keeping skin plump, youthful and free of wrinkles). So is that sweet roll really worth it?


Add your liver to the list of organs harmed by sugar. This happens because the liver turns fructose into fat. Too much fructose (think: high fructose corn syrup) can lead to fat buildup in the liver and fatty liver disease. Researchers suggest that sugar may be as detrimental to the liver as alcohol.


As the kidneys work to filter the blood, chronic high blood sugar can lead to kidney damage. Eventually, with unmanaged high blood sugar, the kidneys can no longer do their job well, and kidney failure sets in.

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