Is Sugar Really That Bad For Us?

February 2, 2022

The rest of this article was adapted and reprinted from the North Star Academy April Newsletter, written by Madison Haller.

Not all sugar is bad. Our bodies need a moderate amount of natural sugars to give energy to our cells.  Natural sugars are found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy.  Eating whole foods ("food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances" - Google Definition) are good for us!

The deadly effects of sugar arise when we eat added or artificial sugar.  Our society puts added sugar in MANY different foods that we buy in grocery stores including pudding, ice cream, baked goods, chocolate, candy, pop, cereal bars, sweetened drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, chocolate milk, some breakfast cereals, some yogurts, almost all desserts, and many more food items.  Added sugars are harmful to...

  • Your Brain - sugar is addictive
  • Your Mood - rapid rising and falling of blood sugar levels leads to anxiety and depression
  • Your Teeth - increase in cavities
  • Your Joints - inflammation that results in joint pain and a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Your Skin - faster aging
  • Your Liver - liver damage and disease
  • Your Heart - stresses the heart and often leads to heart diseases like strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure
  • Your Pancreas - overworks your pancreas which can lead to diabetes and heart disease
  • Your Kidneys - kidney damage and failure
  • Your Weight - weight gain

For more information, see the following website: 

Added sugar is like poison in our veins!  The World Health Organization suggests that adults should have no more than 13 tsp (50 g) of added sugar per day.  However, I would go even further to say that 50 grams of added sugar is too much!  To promote health both now and in the years ahead, we should all take a good look at how much added sugar we are consuming each day, try to buy foods at grocery stores that do not have added sugar, and try to substitute sugary choices with healthy choices.  Grab a natural fruit instead of drinking a cup of fruit juice.  Make a dessert with a bit of honey instead of added processed sugar.  Drink more water instead of gravitating to sugary drinks.  There are many different ways that we can protect our bodies against the harmful effects of added sugar.  

This month, let's boost our health by cutting down on the amount of added sugar that we eat each day!

Roxane Penner

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