Are you really avoiding the harmful health effects of sugar?

When you say that you’re addicted to sweets, you aren’t kidding. Sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine.
Despite it’s sweet disguise, there’s no fooling your health when it comes to sugar consumption. While we ignore the hidden dangers of this not-so-sweet truth, worldwide we are consuming about 500 extra calories a day from sugar. This is enough to gain one pound per week.
Beyond weight gain, sugar has been linked to sickness and health issues, while providing no real nutritional benefits. But still, we eat it by the truckload. As Dr. Mark Hyman, MD a leading expert in Functional Medicine, sugar is actually the new fat.

It turns out it’s sugar, not fat, that makes you sick and overweight. The facts are in, the science is beyond question. Sugar in all its forms is the root cause of our obesity epidemic and most of the chronic disease sucking the life out of our citizens and our economy — and, increasingly, the rest of the world. You name it, it’s caused by sugar: heart disease, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, depression, and even acne, infertility and impotence.

To narrow it down, Hyman notes, in America on average we consume about 152 pounds of sugar a year. For adults, that’s 22 teaspoons a day and for kids, that’s about 34 teaspoons a day – more than two 20-once sodas.
As consumption surges, sugar health effects can’t be ignored. Once you realize what sugar is doing to your body and the price you’re paying for your sweet tooth, you might begin to avoid sugar – literally – as if your life depended on it. Here are a few surprising facts on the hidden dangers of sugars:

  1. Addiction. As Mark Hyman explains, sugar addiction is biological and leads to uncontrolled overeating, which can explain why nearly 70 percent of Americans and 40 percent of kids are overweight.
  2. There’s no such thing as a sweetheart. Excess sugar can increase your risk for heart failure.
  3. Sugar promotes belly fat. Fat accumulation at the trunk of the body has been linked to the cause and effect relationships between childhood obesity and the consumption of fructose laden beverages.
  4. Sugar may be linked to cancer. As the Mayo Clinic notes, there are some myths regarding the connection between sugar and cancer but evidence is indicating that consuming large amounts of sugar is associated with increased risks of certain cancers.
  5. Sugar can be as harsh on your liver as alcohol. The calories that you don’t burn off from sugar consumption are stored in your liver as fat. Eventually this can lead to a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. 
  6. Brain Drain. Sugar may zap your brain power, accelerating the aging of your brain but before it does that it also leaves you with less energy. After the energy high you initially feel, your body experiences a dramatic slump. Additionally, scientists have found that sugar blocks the brain cells called orexins that are responsible for feelings of wakefulness.

To break the cycle, experts recommend undergoing a sugar detox. As Dr. Hyman stresses, it is science and not willpower that will help you the most. Over the next month, in preparation for the launch of an Aligned Modern Health Sugar Detox, we’ll be sharing tips from our experts in Functional Medicine that will help get you in gear for a clear path to detox from sugar. To learn more about taking the steps to break your addiction to sweets, check out Dr. Hyman’s 10 Big Ideas – including addiction-reversing foods – that will get you on track for reseting your brain and body.
If you would like to learn more about the future of health care treatment through Functional Medicine, click here to schedule a complimentary consultation with one our doctors. We’re committed to helping you get to the root cause of your health concerns instead of simply treating your symptoms. Our goal is to help you understand how your body functions and provide you with a clear path to get it back in balance!